COVID-19 infections during the third trimester are unlikely to pass through the placenta to the foetus, study finds | Living and LovingLiving and Loving

COVID-19 infections during the third trimester are unlikely to pass through the placenta to the foetus, study finds

A recent study followed 64 pregnant women with COVID-19 and found that none of them passed the virus on to their unborn babies.

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Pregnant women unlikely to pass on COVID-19 to their unborn baby. Image: iStock

The Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School research teams followed 64 pregnant women who tested positive for the coronavirus. None of these women passed on the virus to the baby, and there were no traces of the virus in the placenta.

The researchers do warn, however, that this is a small scale study, only following 64 women. This does not discount the possibility of the virus being passed on to a baby in utero. However, it does show that the “natural defences of pregnancy fend off the virus.”

Eunice Kennedy Shriver from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and Director Dr. Diana Bianchi says “this study provides some reassurance that SARS-CoV-2 infections during the third trimester are unlikely to pass through the placenta to the foetus but more research needs to be done to confirm this finding.”

New research has been surfacing, some even concluding that the majority of pregnant women are asymptomatic. Of the 64 women studied, 23 of them did not show any symptoms, and three were critical. About 22 of them showed mild symptoms.

Women who had severe symptoms had a blood flow issue in the placenta. According to Daily Mail, the researchers “also noticed lower-than-expected levels of protective antibodies in the umbilical cord blood, but much higher levels of influenza-specific antibodies.”

These antibodies may suggest immunity to the virus, but nothing has been concluded.

More research is still underway in trying to understand the complexities of the virus and pregnancy.

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