The alarming rate at which the novel coronavirus hit the entire world raised the alarm with pregnancy in COVID 19 pandemic. Are pregnant women and their babies at greater risk of COVID 19?
While previous research was scary, the latest findings on COVID 19 and pregnancy are more hopeful. For instance, a major concern is whether or not COVID 19 can be passed on from the pregnant mother to the unborn baby?
New findings from the UT Southwestern study revealed 3 percent of pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 showed possible transmission of the virus to the fetus, Science Daily reported.
However, it should be noted that further studies are necessary to prove whether the virus was transmitted in the womb or after being born.
Pregnancy and COVID 19 Risks Lower Than Previous Reports
Obstetrician and gynecologist Emily Adhikari, M.D. revealed that had the findings resulted in at least 5 percent of cases of transmission of COVID 19 from mother to fetus, it would raise a major concern.
As of date there is a slight margin. Yet, researchers reported that in most cases, the pregnant women were only asymptomatic or experiencing a mild infection. As a result, transmission of the virus was less likely.
Who are more at risk of getting COVID 19 during pregnancy?
The latest research did bring to light concern as to the risks of pregnancy in COVID 19 pandemic for Hispanics. The study group consisted of 75 percent pregnant Hispanic women. 90 percent of the COVID-19 positive women in the study were Hispanic.
The study showed a low number of pregnant women developing severe or critical COVID 19 related pneumonia. Among these mothers, chances of preterm birth increased. However, other critical maternal illness such as gestational diabetes may be to blame.
More Research Needed on Placental Problems during Pregnancy in COVID 19
Previously, Science Daily reported the findings from the Northwestern Medicine study. According to that study, several pregnant women who tested positive for COVID 19 showed some placental injury.
Pathologists examining the placenta of the women pregnant in COVID 19 pandemic found that while majority of the placenta was unaffected by the virus, in some cases, a type of injury in the placenta showed abnormal blood flow between babies in-utero and their mothers.
It should be noted that flu cannot cross the placenta. However, studies that followed the effects of the 1918-19 flu pandemic showed that the babies born then have higher risks of cardiovascular disease and lower incomes. Placental injury and immune activity may be to blame.
CDC Tips for Caring for Newborn During Covid 19 Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that risks of transmission from COVID 19 positive pregnant mothers to newborns were uncommon. It remains unclear whether the newborns got the virus in the hospital, during or after birth, or in-utero.
Still, majority of the newborns who tested COVID 19 positive showed mild or no symptoms. In rare cases were newborns diagnosed with severe illness related to COVID 19.
As there remain pregnancy and COVID 19 risk, CDC advised wearing a mask when caring for a newborn. Social distancing is recommended. CDC suggested keeping at least 6 feet away from the newborn and placing a physical barrier like an incubator, wearing a face mask, and washing hands.
However, COVID 19 positive pregnant women increased risks of developing respiratory complications that required intensive care. They are also more likely to use a ventilator, Mayo Clinic reported. In the cases of symptomatic pregnant women, invasive ventilation and ICU admission increase in likelihood.
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