COVID-19 and perinatal research

So far, there is very little information about how COVID-19 affects mothers and newborn babies. While COVID-19 infection in babies appears to be uncommon, research will improve understanding of how babies get COVID-19 infection, whether it transmits from mothers to their babies while they are still pregnant, during labour and birth, or whether the infection occurs following birth.

Two UK studies run from the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) are collecting information about mothers and babies who are affected by COVID-19 and are ill. These rapid reviews will inform care and best advice to pregnant women about the effects of COVID-19 on them and their baby.

The COVID-19 in Pregnancy study is focusing on pregnant women and mothers who have recently given birth. It will look at:

  • What are the outcomes of Covid-19 infection in pregnancy for both mother and baby?
  • What are the characteristics of women who are hospitalised with pandemic Covid-19 infection in pregnancy and do these characteristics influence disease outcome?
  • How does the treatment of pandemic Covid-19 infection in pregnancy influence outcomes for mother and baby?

The Neonatal Complications of Coronavirus Disease study is focusing on newborn babies who have COVID-19 or who are born to mothers who have tested positive for the virus. It will look at:

  • How babies get Coronavirus
  • What happens to babies when their mother has Coronavirus
  • What treatments are effective in helping babies with Coronavirus to get better
  • What happens to babies in the longer term when they have been treated


Other UK based registries for COVID 19 perinatal outcomes

  • PAN-COVID:  a registry for pregnancy and neonatal outcomes for women with COVID-19. Run by Imperial College London and University of Wales
  • ObsCovid: for healthcare workers in maternity to keep a record of their encounters with mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Supported by RCOG, RCM, OAA and RCoA
  • periCOVID: Surveillance to look at the impact of the novel coronavirus on pregnant women and their infants, and the mode of transmission from mother to baby. Run by St George’s and supported by Public Health England
  • There are links here to paediatric surveillance and data collection sources, collated by the RCPCH
  • The national audit programme for perinatal deaths to MBRRACE-UK is continuing through the pandemic. Reporting is essential to assess both the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 on perinatal mortality


Information hubs with COVID 19 guidance, research summaries and resources

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