Should pregnant women worry about Covid 19, the Coronavirus? It depends.
Recently a small study was conducted on 16 pregnant women. Fifteen of the babies were delivered in the 3rd trimester. One mother had a miscarriage during the second trimester. The mother who miscarried was asymptomatic. The remaining mothers all had normal pregnancies.
THE PLACENTA IS THE LIFELINE FOR MY BABY
The placenta, the baby’s lifeline, is the first organ to form during fetal development. The placenta acts as the baby’s stomach, lungs, kidneys, and liver. The placenta delivers food, nutrients, and oxygen to the baby. In addition, the placenta also filters the blood and waste from the fetus.
Research found that there were two abnormalities with the placenta. One was insufficient blood flow from the mother to the fetus. The deficient blood flow was due to MVM, maternal vascular malperfusion.
MVM occurs when a mother’s blood pressure is higher than normal. It is typically seen in cases of preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. However, during the course of this study it was noted that only one of the mothers had hypertension.
The participants of the study were, “16 women who delivered their babies at Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital. All tested positive for COVID-19. Four patients came in with flu-like symptoms three to five weeks before delivery and tested positive for the virus. The remaining patients all tested positive when they came in to deliver. Five patients never developed symptoms; others were symptomatic at delivery.”
The other abnormality found in mothers with the coronavirus is blood clots in the placenta. Clots prevent the free flow of blood, which contains oxygen to the parts of the body that need it.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology concluded that 80% of the women with Covid had MVM and that 40% of mothers with Covid had clots in the placenta. Comparing these numbers to pre-Covid numbers, the research states that MVM occurs in 55% of patients and 9% of patients had placental blood clots.
WHAT EFFECT CAN A DAMAGED PLACENTA HAVE ON THE BABY?
The placenta is how the baby receives nutrients, blood, and oxygen throughout his body.
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, is a condition caused by a decrease of blood and oxygen to the brain. For the purposes of this article, we are concerned about the reduced level of blood and oxygen to the fetus prior to and during birth. HIE can cause developmental delays due to a reduction in blood and oxygen to the brain.
SHOULD PREGNANT WOMEN WORRY ABOUT COVID-19?
Should pregnant women worry about covid 19, the coronavirus? The CDC has stated that mother to child transmission in utero is unlikely, but that is not the only fear. The concern lies with the potential for injury to the baby in utero if mother contracts the virus. Mothers should be concerned and practice safe habits to avoid contracting Covid 19. In the unfortunate event a pregnant woman does contract the Coronavirus, she needs to let her OB know right away.
As of the date of this article, there is no known cure for Covid-19. With that said, to learn more about this topic follow the link HERE for more info on this study.
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Your friends here at HIE Resource Place.