A study by British scientists revealed on Friday that pregnant women infected with the coronavirus and their newborn children face higher risks of complications than was previously known.
An infection of the new COVID-19 in such newborns is associated with a three-fold risk of acute medical complications, according to a study conducted by scientists at the University of Oxford.
While pregnant women are at higher risk of complications such as premature birth, high blood pressure with organ failure risk, need for intensive care and potential death.
Aris Papageorghiou, co-lead of the trial and a professor of fetal medicine at Oxford University said “women with COVID-19 during pregnancy were over 50% more likely to experience pregnancy complications compared to pregnant women unaffected by COVID-19.”
The study was conducted in over 2,100 pregnant women across 18 countries, where each woman affected by the coronavirus was compared to 2 non-infected women giving birth at the same time in the same hospital.
Findings from the study, published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, also showed a delivery by caesarean section may be associated with an increased risk of virus infection in newborns.
Nonetheless, breastfeeding does not seem to heighten risks of babies contracting the coronavirus from their mothers, according to scientists.