A new study has revealed that pregnant women are not at more risk of severe COVID-19 than other women.
Researchers have found that pregnant women are no more likely to become unwell with a severe COVID-19 infection than other women.
The study, which was run by researchers at the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Universities of Leeds and Birmingham, Kings and Imperial Colleges London, found that 4.9 women out of every 1000 pregnant women had been admitted to hospital with the recent coronavirus.
However, researchers warned that pregnant women from black and ethnic minority backgrounds as well as those who were overweight or obese were more likely to be admitted to hospital with the virus.
Professor Marian Knight, Professor of Maternal and Child Population Health at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford and lead investigator for the study, said, “A very small number of pregnant women do become severely ill with COVID-19 and sadly some women have died.
“Our thoughts must remain with their families. It is concerning that more pregnant women from black and minority ethnic groups are admitted with COVID-19 in pregnancy and this needs urgent investigation.
“Most pregnant women who were admitted to hospital were more than six months pregnant, which emphasises the importance of continued social distancing measures in the later stages of pregnancy,” she added, warning, “following the current guidance about careful social distancing will help prevent infection”.
“Admission with infection in pregnancy is also associated with older maternal age, overweight and obesity, and the presence of pre-existing medical conditions,” added study author Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
“Awareness of these factors is important for both women and their doctors and midwives to help ensure women receive appropriate advice about prevention and complications of COVID-19 are recognised early. Detailed advice and guidance for women is available on the RCOG website”.
Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, added, “During this current crisis, pregnancies have continued, babies have been born, and, throughout it all, midwives have been at their side, supporting and caring for them.
“It’s absolutely vital that women continue to attend antenatal appointments to ensure that they and their babies are well.
“Staying in touch with their maternity services team will help put any concerns at ease and enable them to act quickly when necessary”.