NIH to Study How COVID-19 Pandemic May Have Affected Pregnancy Outcomes in US

By Reuters Staff

May 20, 2020

(Reuters) - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday it will study whether changes to the healthcare delivery system implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to more pregnancy-related complications in the United States.

The study will also assess the risk of pregnant COVID-19 patients transmitting the virus to their fetus, and monitor the newborns until they are discharged from the hospital.

Researchers from the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, a group of 12 U.S. clinical centers, plan to look at medical records of 21,000 women to understand the effects of COVID-19 during and after pregnancy. (

They will also monitor more than 1,500 pregnant COVID-19 patients for six weeks after childbirth.

A separate study in the UK earlier this month by Oxford University and Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggested mothers-to-be are at no greater risk of severe COVID-19 than the wider population. (

However, most expectant mothers who do develop the serious illness tend to be in the later stages of pregnancy, according to that study.