COVID’s Cost to Moms and Babies

The pandemic has led to worse outcomes for yet another vulnerable group: moms and their babies, according to a new Lancet Global Health meta-analysisof 40 studies of maternal and perinatal outcomes across 17 countries.

Why? The synthesis of studies that included data on more than 6 million pregnancies found disrupted access to health care and a reluctance to risk COVID-19 infection led to preventable deaths of mothers and babies, The New York Times reports.

By the numbers: 

  • One-third – increase stillbirths and maternal deaths from January 2020 to January 2021, according to CNN.
  • 6X – increase in ectopic pregnancies (which occur when a fertilized egg develops outside a mother’s uterus)
  • Other increases were reported in maternal anxiety and symptoms of depression

The Quote: “This is a pattern we’ve seen before. When you have an infectious disease that consumes a lot of health care resources and affects large segments of the population, maternal and infant health suffer,” said Denise Jamieson, chair of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Emory University.

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