Why People Need To Stop Jumping To Conclusions About Meghan Markle's Pregnancy And Zika Virus – ELLE.com


Meghan Markle Prince Harry attend WELLCHILD-AWARDS


In the lead up to Meghan Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry in May, the public was quick to speculate about when the newlyweds would be starting a family.

The Duke of Sussex was even forced to address the question of parenthood during the couple’s engagement announcement, responding: ‘One step at a time, and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future.’

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It’s only been four months since the pair said ‘I do’ and the rumour mill concerning Meghan’s fertility continues to swirl – just last week royal fans suggested the Duchess was concealing a small baby bump, dressed in a Jason Wu dress for the recent ‘100 Days to Peace’ concert in London.

Now, speculation has turned to the couple’s upcoming royal tour of the Oceania region next month, with royal fans looking for clues in the schedule that might indicate the couple are postponing plans to have children.

The Duke & Duchess Of Sussex Attend 'Your Commonwealth' Youth Challenge Reception

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Richard Palmer, royal correspondent for the Daily Express, reported that a British bookmaker had reduced the odds of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child being born in 2019, to 1-4. He added though: ‘I believe women visiting areas affected by [the Zika virus] are advised to wait up to six months before trying to get pregnant. That may be an issue in Fiji and Tonga.’

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The couple’s itinerary will include stop offs in Australia and New Zealand. They will also visit the Kingdom of Tonga and Fiji, two countries which UK health authorities have classified as having ‘a risk of Zika virus transmission’.

According to the NHS, Zika virus disease is mainly spread by mosquitoes and, for most people, it is a very mild infection that isn’t harmful. However, it can be more serious for pregnant women, as there’s evidence it causes birth defects – in particular, abnormally small heads (microcephaly).

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on trip

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As a result, it is recommended women avoid becoming pregnant while travelling to an area with high or moderate risk of Zika virus transmission, and for eight weeks after they return home. The National Travel Health Network and Centre, a group set up by the British Department of Health also suggests couples who have traveled to said regions should ‘avoid conception while traveling and for up to 6 months on return’.

While the risk of infection is a real concern, several royal fans on social media have pointed out that speculating on Meghan Markle’s reproductive choices in relationship to their travel plans is insensitive and inappropriate.

The couple’s fertility and family planning decisions are no one else’s business and heaping on the worries and pressure are unfair.

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The Duke & Duchess Of Sussex Attend The WellChild Awards

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One Twitter user wrote: ‘I hope that this isn’t what yourself & other reporters choose to focus on for this tour. ‘Can we please step out of Meghan’s uterus? It’s really not our business,’ they added.

Another user wrote: ‘Now everyone feels they have an opinion on Meghan’s uterus.’

Harry and Meghan’s trip will kick off on Tuesday 16 October in Sydney. Trips to Dubbo and Melbourne will follow, before they return to Sydney for three days. From there, they will travel to Fraser Island, then on to Suva and Nadi in Fiji and Nuku’alofa in Tonga.

After a brief stop back in Sydney, the couple will head to New Zealand, where they will visit Wellington, the Abel Tasman National Park and Auckland. The trip will end in Rotorua on Wednesday 31 October.

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In the meantime, can we stop digging for any clues at about royal baby plans?

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