There are many unknowns for pregnant women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical experience of pregnancies complicated with infection by other coronaviruses e.g. SARS and MERS, has led to pregnant woman being considered potentially vulnerable to severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Physiological changes during pregnancy have a significant impact on the immune system, respiratory system, cardiovascular function and coagulation. These may have positive or negative effects on COVID-19 disease progression. The impact of SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy remains to be determined and a concerted, global effort is required to determine effects on implantation, fetal growth and development, labour and neonatal health. Asymptomatic infection presents a further challenge regarding service provision, prevention and management. As well as direct impacts of the disease, a plethora of indirect consequences of the pandemic will adversely affect maternal health including reduced access to reproductive health services, increased mental health strain and increased socioeconomic deprivation. In this review we explore the current knowledge of COVID-19 in pregnancy and signpost areas for further research to minimise its impact for women and their children.


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Wastnedge, E., Reynolds, R., Boeckel, S., Stock, S., Denison, F., Maybin, J. & Critchley, H. 2020, 'Pregnancy and COVID-19', Physiological Reviews, 101, pp. 303-318. https://doi.org/10.1152/physrev.00024.2020

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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