Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s decision to head back to Central America before Jill gives birth is causing controversy.
Many fans of the Counting On stars assumed that they would stay home until the arrival of their second child, but they recently revealed that they’ll return to El Salvador while Jill is still pregnant. As the Duggar Family Blog reports, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have been taking a long break from life on the mission field in Central America. They came home early in August, and they’re currently living in a large two-story house owned by Jim Bob Duggar. However, Jill Duggar told People that she and Derick Dillard will soon leave the comfort and safety of their temporary Arkansas residence behind.
“We are planning to go back very soon,” Jill said of their plans to return to El Salvador. “Then we will come back for the birth of the baby.”
A photo posted by Jill Dillard (@jillmdillard) on
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard’s mission trip is being sponsored by S.O.S. Ministries. The organization is scheduled to take a team on a short-term mission trip to Central America on March 10, so Jill and Derick may return with that group.
The comments section of the Duggar Family Blog is usually a safe space for Duggar supporters to express their admiration for the Counting On stars without fear of encountering a lot of critics of the family. However, fans are slamming Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard for taking a risky trip back to Central America while Jill is still pregnant. Some fans pointed out that it would be unsafe for Jill to fly late in her pregnancy. According to Mayo Clinic, medical professionals recommend that women avoid air travel past week 36 of pregnancy. Jill Duggar’s due date is sometime in July, so she’d need to return home sometime in June.
“I hope they decide not to go, at least until the baby’s born,” one fan wrote. “She would be flying to a different country, just to fly back again a couple months later. How stressful and unrealistic!!”
“For a family that advocates for the sanctity of life, I find this announcement quite puzzling,” another wrote. “It’s one thing to live in potentially dangerous parts of the world if it’s just the adults. It’s quite another to place a child and an unborn baby at risk as well.”
Fans weren’t just worried about Jill Duggar flying while pregnant; many also expressed concerns about the Zika virus. As CafeMom reports, the mosquito-borne illness has been linked to birth defects, and El Salvador is a “hot zone” for the virus.
“I know we are to trust the Lord but He gave us a brain with common sense. If it’s that necessary she should send Derick and keep Israel with her,” one fan wrote. “What about the Zika virus?”
According to NPR, severe birth defects linked to the Zika virus include malformed heads and brains (microcephaly), deformed limbs, deafness, and blindness. Some babies affected by the virus suffer from seizures. Researchers also fear that Zika-infected babies who seem fine aren’t completely out of the water because “the virus can continue to reproduce in the brains of babies after they’re born.” In other words, they may experience problems later in life.
Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard have said little about the Zika virus. Last February, Derick revealed that he and his family were using bug spray to protect themselves from the virus. The smiling Counting On star picked up a can of OFF! and posed for the Instagram photo below.
A photo posted by Derick Dillard (@derickdillard) on
Jill Duggar also references the virus in a July 2016 blog post on the Dillard Family website.
“Derick and I are generally very healthy people, but when you’re eating, drinking and living in a different place than the one you grew up in, it’s not uncommon to come down with the ‘traveler’s stuff’ or other bacteria/viruses in the local jungle area. No, we haven’t had Zika that we know of, but both of us have been laid out for a few days here and there, thankfully not both at the same time though.”
Do you agree with the fans who think that Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard are making a mistake by heading back to El Salvador before the birth of their second child? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Featured Image by The Dillard Family/Facebook]