COVID-19 infection in pregnancy is not associated with stillbirth or early neonatal death, according to a new study.
However the research, from over 4000 pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, also found women who had a positive test were more likely to have a premature birth.
The research, led by scientists from Imperial College London and published in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, used data from the UK and the USA.
The study team looked at data from 4004 pregnant women who had suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Of these women, 1606 were from the UK, from a data registry called PAN-COVID, while 2398 were from the US, from the American Academy of Pediatrics SONPM data registry.
PAN-COVID was funded by the Medical Research Council, UK National Institute for Health Research and the NIHR Imperial Biomedical Research Centre.
All the women gave birth between January-August 2020.
The research found that no babies died from COVID-19 in the study. There was also no increase in risk of stillbirth or low birth weight.
However, both the UK and US data suggested a higher risk of pre-term birth (defined as birth before 37 weeks).
In the UK data, 12 per cent of women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 had a pre-term delivery – 60 per cent higher than the national average rate of 7.5 per cent. In the US data, 15.7 per cent of women had a pre-t