A recent study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows that Pregnant people infected with Covid appear to be more likely to experience serious complications or die during pregnancy than those who aren’t infected with the coronavirus. Although the risk is considerably lower in case you have already been vaccinated, this data shows the danger of the pandemic with clarity.
Unvaccinated pregnant people with moderate to severe Covid-19 symptoms were more likely to need a Cesarean section, deliver prematurely, experience postpartum haemorrhage or die around the time of birth than those without the infection or with no or mild symptoms. This is according to the study of more than 13,000 pregnant people from 17 U.S. hospitals.
Unvaccinated pregnant women were also more likely to experience severe illness from infection besides Covid, develop high blood pressure, lose the pregnancy and have the infant die as a newborn.
The increased risk was linked to the severity of Covid-19 symptoms. However pregnant women are also more likely to experience more severe symptoms. The researchers found that mild or asymptomatic infections will not increase pregnancy risks.
The research is among the first to find if Covid infection increases the risk of serious pregnancy complications. Though this study was conducted before the widespread of vaccinations, this emphasises the need for getting vaccinated, as vaccination prevents the most severe symptoms of this disease. Also, most of the study was done in the third trimester of pregnancy. There is not enough scientific study done on the effects of covid in the first trimester of pregnancy.
A separate study published in JAMA found vaccination during pregnancy produced a stronger immune response than an infection in an unvaccinated mother, resulting in more lasting antibodies in infants and higher antibody levels in the mother. While it’s unclear how high antibody levels need to be to completely protect infants from Covid, the levels indicate that it will protect the infant from serious symptoms of the illness.
As the new variant, Omicron is still spreading, pregnant women need to ensure vaccination and need to be more careful than the average person from catching COVID.