COVID-19 in pregnant mothers linked to complications during pregnancy and the birth

Research published in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine on November 30, discovered that women who are pregnant who have COVID-19 are more likely than those who do not suffer complications during pregnancy and birth. The study examines hospitalizations for births in France during the first six month of the pandemic. It suggests that vaccination may be beneficial in protecting infants and mothers, particularly those at greater risk of developing severe COVID-19.

Few studies have examined the association between COVID-19, pregnancy outcomes and COVID-19, specifically during the initial wave in the beginning of 2020. Sylvie Epelboin, together with colleagues from the Universite Paris, looked into data on hospitalizations for babies after 22 weeks gestation in France between January 2020 and June 2020. From 15 March to the present all confirmed cases of COVID were hospitalized but after the hospital admission, it was determined by the medical condition of the patient. Of the 244,465 babies born in hospital, 874 or 0.36% of mothers had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The COVID-19 women were more likely than women who did not have COVID-19 to be older, obese and to have more than one child, or to have a history of high blood pressure. Women with COVID-19 had higher rates of ICU admissions, death, preeclampsia or eclampsia, gestational hypertension, hemorhage either prior to or after birth, extremely premature spontaneous births, induced births, and cesarean sections. Rates of termination of pregnancy stillbirths, gestational diabetics and placenta previa, as well as placental abruption, as well as blood clots did not increase.

These complications are important for health care providers to offer the best care and help pregnant women. Although causality was not determined in this study by the authors the vaccination to protect pregnant women from COVID-19 is feasible, especially for those who are more at risk.

The authors conclude “We conducted a retrospective analysis of data collected prospectively in an all-national cohort of hospitalizations for babies weighing more than 22 weeks gestation that occurred in France from January to June 2020 using the French National hospitalization database, comprising a total of 244645 births, including 874 (0.36%) with COVID-19 diagnosis. When compared to the non-COVID-19 group, women in the COVID-19 group were associated to an increased frequency of admission to ICU, mortality, preeclampsia/eclampsia, gestational hypertension, postpartum hemorrhage, spontaneous and induced preterm and very preterm birth, fetal distress and Cesarean section.”

Journal reference:

Epelboin, S., et al. (2021) Obstetrical outcomes and maternal morbidities associated with COVID-19 in women who are pregnant in France A national retrospective cohort study. PLoS Medicine.

Content Source:

Gemma Wilson

Gemma is a journalism graduate with keen interest in covering business news – specifically startups. She has as a keen eye for technologies and has predicted quite a few successful startups over the last couple of years.

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