Effects of COVID19 on pregnancy remain uncertain and debatable, says GlobalData

A recent research study showed that for 16 COVID19 positive women there were evidences that their placentas had blood clots and indications of abnormal blood flow from the mother to the baby with most of the women having normal pregnancies. Though these types of issues are present in women without COVID19 and placentas possess a large amount of redundancies, this indicates that pregnant COVID19 patients should be closely monitored using ultrasounds and non-stress tests to assess the levels of fetal oxygenation, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, comments: “Pregnant women should not avoid their doctors due to fear of contracting COVID19 in a hospital setting as proper pre-natal care is important. Telemedicine, virtual visits, and self-monitoring of vital signs can help reduce contacts as a precautionary measure and to reduce strains on the healthcare system.”

Previous studies have shown that 80–90% of pregnant women infected with COVID19 do not show any symptoms. Also currently, there is no evidence that pregnant women are more at risk than the general population in developing severe COVID19 requiring hospital admission.

Moreover, there is currently no evidence of a documented miscarriage directly attributed to COVID19, nor any evidence that COVID19 is teratogenic or is transmitted to the infant in the womb. However, a newborn can contract COVID19 through close contact with an infected person. There has been no evidence of COVID19 being present in breast milk.

However, pregnant women have been added to the moderate-risk group as a precaution, due to studies suggesting that pregnant women with severe flu symptoms are at higher risk of complications during pregnancy. This is the result of a weakened immune system in them.

Swanson concludes: “Pregnant women should still practice social distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing a face mask to reduce their chances of a severe COVID19 outcome, and COVID19 positive mothers of newborns should do the same to protect their children. Though severe COVID19 is less common in children, some children have developed a severe inflammatory response due to the coronavirus infection that appears similar to Kawasaki disease.”

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