How Does COVID-19 Affect Pregnancy?
Pregnant moms are probably asking, will the coronavirus cause harm to my baby?
Before we answer that concern, let’s first highlight that since COVID-19 is relatively new, the data about it, especially in connection with pregnancy, is still incomplete. As of now, experts are being “cautiously positive” that the infection will not negatively affect fetal development. That doesn’t mean though, that complications won’t happen. In fact, according to the CDC, COVID infection may bring about adverse pregnancy outcomes like preterm birth.
Another thing worth noting is that the mother can potentially transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy or delivery.
With this in mind, pregnant moms need to be more cautious. Especially since recent studies show that they are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms of the coronavirus infection.
The Lambda Variant Case
Recently, the Department of Health announced that the country’s first lambda variant case is a pregnant woman from Western Visayas. They didn’t release further details about the woman’s current condition, but the department said the latest variant is more transmissible than the original Wuhan strain. Still, they recognize that delta variant is more contagious, capable of infecting 8 to 9 other people.
Will the current vaccines still work against the lambda variant? The department said it might affect the efficacy, but the jab will still offer protection against severe infection.
What Do Studies Say about COVID-19 and Pregnancy?
Now, we’ll talk about three separate studies. The goal of these studies is to determine if COVID-19 infection is more severe for pregnant patients. To do this, the researchers analyzed the data from pregnant women with COVID infection
The Study in the United States
In one huge study, the experts examined the data from 8,200 pregnant women and 83,200 non-pregnant ladies. Their age ranged from 15 to 44 years old and all of them tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
The results of the analysis showed that 1/3 of pregnant participants needed hospitalization while only 6 % of non-pregnant women required confinement. However, there’s a tricky part. The researchers admitted that they couldn’t “distinguish” between the reasons for hospitalization. It could be because of COVID symptoms, but it could also be due to pregnancy-related procedures.