In pregnant women, Covid-19 doubles the risk of giving birth to a stillborn child

published on Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 10:55 a.m.

This is revealed by a study by the American public health agency which studied 1.2 million deliveries. The Delta variant further increases this risk, the study says.

While the National College of French Gynecologists and Obstetricians wants pregnant women to be able to access the anti-Covid vaccine booster campaign conducted in France, due to their vulnerability to the disease, a large study by American health authorities published on Friday 19 November shows that Covid-19 also poses threats to the unborn child: the risk of a stillborn child is almost twice as high for pregnant women positive for Covid-19 than for others.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) analyzed more than 1.2 million deliveries between March 2020 and September 2021, from a database of hospitals. In fgeneral, stillbirths are rare (0.65% of births, or about 8,150), but the risk of stillbirth is 1.90 times higher in women positive for Covid-19, reveals the study, the public health agency speaking of stillbirth for those born from the 20th week of pregnancy.

Concretely, between March 2020 and September 2021, 1.26% of births were to a stillborn child for women who contracted Covid-19, compared to 0.64% for others. The Delta variant also increased this risk, noted the health agency, which analyzed the periods before and after this variant became dominant in the country, in July 2021. Compared to uninfected women, the risk was thus increased by 1.47 for mothers positive for Covid-19 during the pre-Delta period, and 4.04 once the variant is majority.

Further studies are needed to examine the role of maternal complications linked to Covid-19 on the risk of stillbirth, “the CDC concludes. Some studies in the past have suggested that the cause is particularly inflammation and decreased blood flow to the placenta .

This CDC study is the most important to date that demonstrates the link between stillbirths and Covid-19. However, the data on which the survey is based do not allow us to know whether women positive for Covid-19 were sick at the time of their childbirth or if they had been infected previously. The immunization status of the women was also not known.

American health authorities strongly recommend that pregnant women be vaccinated against Covid-19, before or during their pregnancy.

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