DURBAN – A new study published in the BMJ medical journal found that pregnant women with Covid-19 are more likely to land in ICUs than nonpregnant, Covid-19 infected peers.
The researcher also found that pregnant women with Covid-19 are at an increased risk of pre-term delivering and that their babies may be admitted to the neonatal unit.
Although overall rates of spontaneous pre-term births were not high, stillbirth and neonatal death rates were low, the researchers found.
Study researcher Shakila Thangaratinam, a professor of maternal and perinatal health at the University of Birmingham said: “The overall risk the actual risk per se is low but compared to women of reproductive age who are not pregnant, pregnant women appear to be admitted slightly more to ICUs.”
The findings underline the need for pregnant women and recently pregnant women to take all precautions to avoid Covid-19 disease, in particular, if they have underlying conditions.
“More data is needed in comparing pregnancy outcomes versus women who don’t have Covid-19. Although 17 percent of women delivered before 37 weeks which is considered a preterm birth only 6 percent actually went into labour preterm and delivered, which makes us think that could be other factors at play such as hospital policies,” added Thangaratinam.
UNICEF estimates that about 116 million babies will be born under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, there’s also a growing voice from health experts who are arguing that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global commitment to fair access to Covid-19 vaccines should, therefore, include pregnant women.
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