The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread concern over the past few months, especially in women who are pregnant or plan to be. Many questions have emerged regarding how COVID-19 can affect a pregnancy, and vice versa.
JAMA released a study on June 5 called Caring for Women Who Are Planning a Pregnancy, Pregnant, or Postpartum During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The piece was written by Sonja A. Rasmussen, MD, MS of the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine and Danise J. Jamieson, MD, MPH of the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University School of Medicine (1).
Rasmussen and Jamieson looked at available data of pregnant women with COVID-19 in the United States. At two hospitals in New York City, a hotbed for COVID-19 cases, a report of 43 pregnant women with COVID-19 showed that the percentage of those women with severe disease was similar to the proportion of the general population with severe disease (1).
Their report concluded two very significant findings regarding COVID-19 and pregnancy in the United States. It has revealed that present data does not support that (1):
- Being pregnant puts someone at an increased risk of acquiring COVID-19.
- Pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 are at an increased risk for severe illness compared with the general population. While pregnant women have been shown to be at an increased risk for severe illness resulting from other contagious respiratory conditions such as influenza, there are no such results that show this tendency in COVID-19 cases.
Rasmussen and Jamieson noted, however, that there is a severe lack in data regarding COVID-19 and pregnancy. There is still a great deal of dedicated research required to determine the full effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy and the neonate (2).
At present, the recommendations for pregnant women continue to match those of the general population: that they practice social distancing, wash hands often, and wear a mask (2).
- Rasmussen, S. A., MD, MS, & Jamieson, D. J., MD, MPH. (2020, June 05). Caring for Women Who Are Planning Pregnancy, Pregnant, or Postpartum During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2767060
- Adigun, A. (2020, June 18). Pregnant women not more susceptible to COVID-19, current data suggests. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://abcnews.go.com/Health/pregnant-women-susceptible-covid-19-current-data-suggests/story?id=71153309