Updated: Apr 16, 2022
What is the effect of COVID-19 on pregnant women?
Pregnant women do not appear more likely to contract the infection than the general population. The large majority of pregnant women experience only mild or moderate symptoms. An estimated 74% of pregnant women with Covid-19 were asymptomatic.
Why have pregnant women been classed as moderate risk?
This is because pregnant women can be more at a higher risk from viruses like flu. It's not clear if this happens with coronavirus. But more severe illness appears to be more common in later pregnancy. In the UKOSS study, most women were hospitalised in their third trimester or peripartum period.
What is the potential impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy?
Maternal COVID-19 is associated with an approximately three times greater risk of preterm birth (17%). Maternal COVID-19 is also associated with an increased rate of caesarean birth. Again, from the UKOSS study, 59% of women had caesarean births; approximately half of these were because of maternal or fetal compromise.
What is the potential impact of COVID-19 on the baby?
It is reassuring that, despite over 31 million confirmed COVID-19 infections, there has been no significant reported increase in the incidence of congenital abnormalities. In the PregCOV-19 Living Systematic Review, there was no evidence of an increase in stillbirth or neonatal death among women with COVID-19, although there was insufficient available evidence to comment on the risk of miscarriage.