Covid-19 has caused unprecedented stressors as a new study showed a rise in pregnancy-related complications during the pandemic.
The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, assessed how pregnancy-related complications and obstetric outcomes changed during Covid compared to pre-pandemic.
Looking at the relative changes in the mode of delivery, rates of premature births and mortality outcomes before compared to during the pandemic, the team found increased odds of maternal death during delivery hospitalisation, cardiovascular disorders and obstetric hemorrhage during the pandemic.
“We found a small but statistically significant increase in maternal death during hospitalization for childbirth and pregnancy-related complications during the pandemic, which is alarming,” said researcher Rose L. Molina from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in the US.
For the study, the team analysed data from more than 1.6 million pregnant patients who gave birth in 463 US hospitals in the 14 months before the advent of Covid-19 and during the first 14 months of the pandemic.
There were no statistically significant differences in the two groups’ demographic characteristics, including age, race and ethnicity, insurance types and co-morbidities.
Consistent with reports from the US Census Bureau, the team saw a 5.2 per cent reduction in total live births during the pandemic period.
Their analysis also revealed maternal death during delivery hospitalisation increased from 5.17 deaths per 100,000 pregnant patients prior to the pandemic to 8.69 deaths per 100,000 pregnant patients during the pandemic, a small but statistically significant increase.