Moms who had COVID-19 in pregnancy can breathe easier thanks to a small, new study that found no growth or development problems in 6-month-old babies whose mothers had the virus while expecting.
“Our results should be reassuring to pregnant women with COVID-19 who are worried about how the virus might affect the baby,” said study co-author Dr. Malika Shah, a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
“At 6-month follow-up, we observed normal growth patterns and developmental milestones, with the rate of developmental referrals not higher than what we normally see,” Shah said in a hospital news release.
“This is very good news during the pandemic,” added Shah, an associate professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
The study included 33 publicly insured Hispanic women and their infants, who were born from April to July 2020, before COVID-19 vaccines were available and before concerning variants of the virus started to appear.
All had COVID-19 during pregnancy, and 55% tested positive within 10 days of delivery.
None of the infants tested positive for COVID-19. Three (10%) were born premature and five (15%) required neonatal intensive care for conditions unrelated to COVID-19.
According to the researchers, the study is the longest follow-up to date of infants whose mothers had COVID-19 during pregnancy.
“As the pandemic persists and variants emerge, looking at longer-term outcomes is critical,” Shah said.
The results appear in the Journal of Perinatal Medicine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19 and pregnancy.
SOURCE: Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, news release, Dec. 16, 2021
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