Poorer outcomes for mums and babies during the pandemic

21 May 2021

Pregnancy outcomes for mothers and babies have worsened during the Covid-19 pandemic, revealed a global study.

The review of 40 studies from 17 countries in The Lancet Global Health showed an increase in the chances of stillbirth and maternal death, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Women requiring surgery for ectopic pregnancies increased and mental health outcomes worsened, with reported increases in postnatal depression and maternal anxiety.

Overall, the study revealed a disproportionate impact on low- and middle-income countries. The study is the first global assessment of the impact of the pandemic on antenatal, birth and postnatal outcomes, though it didn’t look at the impact of Covid-19 infection in pregnancy.

Lead author Professor Asma Khalil said: ‘It is clear from our study and others that the disruption caused by the pandemic has led to the avoidable deaths of both mothers and babies, especially in low- and middle-income countries.’

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