COVID and Pregnancy

As I’ve written before, COVID is the gift that keeps on giving.

A multinational study compares the experiences of pregnant women who have contracted the virus with pregnant women at the same hospitals who did not have the virus. The results aren’t for the faint of heart:

Compared to their peers, pregnant women with COVID are:

  • 20 times more likely to die.
  • More likely to need ICU care and a ventilator.
  • More likely to have issues with blood pressure (preeclampsia).

In addition, 11.5% of babies born to these mothers tested positive for COVID at birth. The study doesn’t report on what happened to these infected newborns.

On the positive side, the report maintains that pregnant women aren’t more likely to catch COVID than other women. Just when they do, the risks are much higher.

The report also notes that obesity and high blood pressure are contributing factors to severe cases.

Bottom line: Women who are considering becoming mothers need the vaccine.


  1. José Villar, Shabina Ariff, Robert B. Gunier, Ramachandran Thiruvengadam, Stephen Rauch, Alexey Kholin, Paola Roggero, Federico Prefumo, Marynéa Silva do Vale, Jorge Arturo Cardona-Perez, Nerea Maiz, Irene Cetin, Valeria Savasi, Philippe Deruelle, Sarah Rae Easter, Joanna Sichitiu, Constanza P. Soto Conti, Ernawati Ernawati, Mohak Mhatre, Jagjit Singh Teji, Becky Liu, Carola Capelli, Manuela Oberto, Laura Salazar, Michael G. Gravett, Paolo Ivo Cavoretto, Vincent Bizor Nachinab, Hadiza Galadanci, Daniel Oros, Adejumoke Idowu Ayede, Loïc Sentilhes, Babagana Bako, Mónica Savorani, Hellas Cena, Perla K. García-May, Saturday Etuk, Roberto Casale, Sherief Abd-Elsalam, Satoru Ikenoue, Muhammad Baffah Aminu, Carmen Vecciarelli, Eduardo A. Duro, Mustapha Ado Usman, Yetunde John-Akinola, Ricardo Nieto, Enrico Ferrazi, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Ana Langer, Stephen H. Kennedy, Aris T. Papageorghiou. Maternal and Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality Among Pregnant Women With and Without COVID-19 Infection. JAMA Pediatrics, 2021; DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.1050
  2. University of Washington School of Medicine/UW Medicine. “Pregnant women with COVID-19 face high mortality rate: Worldwide study also found that 11 percent of babies contracted the novel coronavirus from their mothers.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2021.


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