What are the impacts of COVID-19 on pregnant patients as well as maternal and neonatal outcomes?

Bottom Line:

Available data shows that the COVID-19 infection during pregnancy, especially in the final trimester, does pose some risks to the baby but there is no evidence currently of the infection being passed to the baby during the pregnancy. However, it is unknown if passing the infection to the baby is more likely with a normal delivery than a C-section and extra care needs to be taken with suspected patients both during their pregnancy and delivery.


Muhidin et al., Analysis of Maternal Coronavirus Infections and Neonates Born to Mothers with 2019-nCoV; a Systematic Review. Archives of Academic Emergency Medicine (2020). https://doi.org/10.22037/aaem.v8i1.656

Date Published:

15 April 2020


Previous pandemic viral infections have shown that pregnant women are at a higher risk for poor outcomes than non-pregnant women following an infection. However, very little is known about the current 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov) and its impact on pregnancy, maternal and fetal health. This paper looked at 89 pregnant women who were infected with 2019-nCov during their pregnancies from December 2019 to March 2020 and also examined their babies’ health. The majority of women reported symptoms such as low-grade fever and cough. Lab results in these women showed low white blood cell count and elevated liver enzymes. The women who showed symptoms also presented with abnormal CT scans. The main complications to the fetus included fetal distress, premature rupture of membranes (water breaking early), and preterm labour. Seventy-nine of these women also had to deliver by C-section instead of a normal delivery. Available data does suggest that the risks to the baby increase if the mother is infected during her third trimester. Fortunately, there has been no evidence found of the infection being transferred to these babies during the pregnancy.

Summary by Brintha Sivajohan