skip to Main Content
[font_awesome icon="phone"] 1-800-987-654[font_awesome icon="envelope"] [email protected][font_awesome icon="user"][wp_login_url text="User Login" logout_text="Logout"]

Covid in pregnancy doubles risk of speech and motor delays in babies: study

Babies who were exposed to Covid-19 infection while in the womb are at double risk of being diagnosed with speech or motor delay before their first birthday, a new study has found.

The study results, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, indicate that although the risk of developmental delays was low overall, it increased to around 6% in babies whose mothers had contracted Covid during pregnancy. The risk was about 3% in babies of mothers who did not have the infection.

It was also found that catching Covid in the third trimester – which is particularly critical for brain development – ​​seemed to add more risk than in early pregnancy.

The delays were seen in behaviors such as turning around, reaching for objects or babbling – fundamental milestones in early childhood.

The researchers took into account race, age and other factors that could explain the different rates of developmental delays.

They also noted that much more research is needed to determine the risk Covid poses to fetal brain development and how best to minimize it.

“It’s going to be important to watch this cohort grow, to see what these kids will look like in 18 months and two years,” said lead author Roy Perlis, director of the Center for Quantitative Health at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

For now, he said, “if our study encourages more pregnant mothers to get vaccinated, or more people planning to become pregnant to go get vaccinated, that would be fantastic.”

The study could not assess the impact of vaccination because it looked at records of pregnancies between March and September 2020, before Covid vaccines became available. Most Covid patients had mild cases, Perlis said, so the impact of disease severity also could not be measured.

The new study adds to a growing body of research on the lasting effects of Covid-19 infection.

An earlier study pointed out that women who have Covid towards the end of their pregnancy are vulnerable to childbirth complications. The results showed that premature births, stillbirths and newborn deaths are more common among women who had the virus 28 days or less before their due date.

To subscribe to Mint Bulletins

* Enter a valid email

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Back To Top