Getting COVID-19 during pregnancy can have devastating effects, study says

New evidence suggests that getting COVID-19 during pregnancy can have devastating effects. (Credit: CNN Newsource)
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:11 AM CST
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(CNN) - New evidence suggests that getting COVID-19 during pregnancy can have devastating effects.

“This was a very large study. About 13,000 pregnant women. Twelve countries. Twelve studies all put together that they reviewed,” Dr. Tara Narula from Lenox Hill Hospital said.

The study found that pregnant women who got COVID-19 were nearly four times more likely to be admitted to an ICU, at 15 times greater risk of getting put on a ventilator and seven times more likely to die compared to those who were pregnant and not infected.

Pregnant women who got COVID-19 were also at an increased risk of conditions like pre-eclampsia, hypertensive disorder and blood clotting.

Researchers found dangers for babies, too.

”There was an increased risk of pre-term birth, low birth weight and getting admitted to a neonatal ICU,” Narula said.

Health experts say getting vaccinated is the best way to protect pregnant women and their babies.

Right now, about 72% of pregnant women in the United States received their first series of COVID-19 shots. Only about 19% have gotten an updated booster.

”The CDC, the American College of OBGYNs and the Society of Maternal Medicine all support the safety and benefits of getting vaccinated during pregnancy at any point, getting your booster, if you’re eligible, and also if you’re conceiving or planning on getting pregnant,” Narula said.

Pregnant women can also protect their babies by getting a COVID-19 vaccine because the antibodies from the vaccine will also help protect newborns. This is important because babies are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine until they are 6 months old.