New research about Covid and children offers some promise and instills fear when mothers have Covid before they deliver.
Chicago neurologists found babies born to women who had Covid showed reassuring signs of growth and development after six months follow up.
The Lurie Children’s study was small but reassuring looking at 33 women and their infants. The mothers had Covid during pregnancy but none of the infants tested positive.
But this relieving study result does not occur in a vacuum. Stress levels are at an all-time high which obstetricians say poses a threat to babies. Pregnant women with covid are 60% more likely to deliver prematurely which can lead to multiple health threats for the baby including hearing, vision and breathing problems. Infected moms are four times as likely to have a stillborn child.
According to University of Toronto neurologist Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, “The greatest danger for unborn children exposed to Covid is not the coronavirus itself but the mother’s immune system.”
Inflammation from the mother’s immune response can change the way the brain develops.
That’s why experts urge pregnant women to get the Covid vaccine. The shots illicit an immune response without causing inflammation.
Currently only 35% of pregnant women are fully vaccinated.
According to the CDC, at least 150,000 pregnant women have been diagnosed with Covid, 25,000 have been hospitalized, 249 have died.
The main message now is don’t fear and instead focus on getting protection. And if the baby is healthy, that’s a good sign.
The risks of Covid are not just to the mom and baby. Studies show in men, sperm quality is impaired for months after a Covid diagnosis and that can diminish the abilty to conceive.