The University of Louisville Journal of Respiratory Infections


Background: Coronaviruses have caused 3 outbreaks in the past 2 decades. The novel one is SARS-COV-2, which causes COVID-19. Pregnant women have somewhat altered immune state, which may make them more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its complications. Extensive research is needed to better understand the clinical course of COVID-19 in this population.

Objective: This review article discusses the comparison of previous coronaviruses’ outbreaks, clinical presentations, and complications in pregnant women and newborns.

Study Design: We conducted literature search for case series and case reports about pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19 during the early phase of pandemic.

Results: In case series, 37 of 129(28.6%) pregnant women with COVID-19 disease had preterm delivery and 14 of 67 pregnant women had fetal distress. The rate of preterm labor in normal pregnant women who are healthy and not infected with any virus worldwide is approximately 11%.

Conclusion: Based on the articles reviewed, preterm delivery appears to be the most common complication in COVID-19 pregnant patients. Other complications include fetal distress, stillbirth, ICU admission and severe disease leading to fetal demise and maternal mortality. Pregnancy outcomes seem to be better with Covid-19 compared to SARs and MERS. However, most of these publications are from the early part of the pandemic when protocols for care for pregnant women were being worked out and comprehensive knowledge of the disease process in pregnant women was still in developing stage.


The author(s) received no specific funding for this work.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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