COVID-19 in pregnancy linked to poor respiratory health in babies

People infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy were more likely to give birth to babies with higher levels of respiratory distress, a study published in Nature Communications found. The study enrolled more than 200 women with COVID-19 in Los Angeles. Although none of the babies tested positive for COVID-19 at birth, about 17% were diagnosed with respiratory issues ─ a higher than average number for newborns ─ and had hospital stays of 24 days on average. Babies with unvaccinated mothers were three times more likely to be diagnosed with respiratory distress compared with mothers who had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The authors suggest encouraging COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and more research to understand the impact of maternal COVID-19 vaccination on chronic pulmonary conditions. (The Hill article, 1/25/24)