Pregnant women and their developing babies are at higher risk for severe outcomes if they get Covid-19, and now a large, international review is helping to underscore how devastating those risks can be.
The study draws on data from 12 studies from as many countries—including the United States. Altogether, the studies included more than 13,000 pregnant women—about 2,000 who had a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19. The health outcomes for these women and their babies were compared to about 11,000 pregnancies where the mother tested negative for Covid-19 or antibodies to it at the time of their deliveries.
Across the studies about 3% of pregnant women with Covid-19 needed intensive care, and about 4% needed any kind of critical care, but this was far higher than the numbers of pregnant women who needed that kind of care outside of a Covid-19 infection.
Compared to pregnant individuals who weren’t infected, those who got Covid-19 were nearly 4 times more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit. They were 15 times more likely to be ventilated and were 7 times more likely to die. They also had higher risks for pre-eclampisa, blood clots, and problems caused by high blood pressure. Babies born to moms who had Covid-19 were at higher risk for preterm birth and low birth weights.
Previous studies have suggested that Covid-19 may increase the risk of stillbirth, but this study didn’t find that same link.
Risks persist across nations
Still, the findings paint a clear picture that shows the risks of pregnancy are amplified by Covid-19 infections.
“It’s very clear and even it’s consistent, y …