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COVID infection link to maternal complications

Thursday December 2nd 2021

Pregnant women with COVID-19 infection appear to be at increased risk of complications during their pregnancy and labour, new findings show.

Researchers led by Dr Sylvie Epelboin at the Universite de Paris, France, aimed to evaluate the risk using national health figures from the first wave, January to June 2020.

This covered 244,645 births including 874 (0.36%) pregnant women who tested positive for COVID. These women tended to be older, pregnant with more than one baby, have a higher body mass index, and a higher rate of high blood pressure.

Smoking and having a first pregnancy were linked to a lower rate of COVID infection.

The women who had COVID were at a raised rate of mortality. They were also more likely to need intensive care, develop preeclampsia or eclampsia, gestational hypertension, postpartum haemorrhage, caesarean section and a premature birth.

COVID infection was not linked to miscarriage or stillbirth, gestational diabetes, placenta praevia, or placental abruption.

The authors write in yesterdays' PLoS Medicine that: "We observed an increased frequency of pregnant women with maternal morbidities and diagnosis of COVID-19 compared to pregnant women without COVID-19.

"It appears essential to be aware of this, notably in populations at known risk of developing a more severe form of infection or obstetrical morbidities and in order for obstetrical units to better inform pregnant women and provide the best care.

"Although causality cannot be determined from these associations, these results may be in line with recent recommendations in favour of vaccination for pregnant women."

Epelboin, S. et al. Obstetrical outcomes and maternal morbidities associated with COVID-19 in pregnant women in France: A national retrospective cohort study. PLoS Medicine 30 November 2021 doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003857

[abstract]

Tags: Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Flu & Viruses | Nursing & Midwifery | Respiratory | Women's Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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