Covid-19 Appears to Attack Placenta during Pregnancy
The realities of the Covid-19 pandemic have continued to cause worries across the world, particularly among vulnerable populations such as the elderly and immune-compromised individuals. Expectant mothers have understandably raised concerns because of worrying about the danger posed to them and their fetus by the pandemic.
A study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology aimed to assess the potential effects of coronavirus disease on placentas. The study examined 16 placentas of women who had delivered with confirmed cases of coronavirus. The study results indicate that infected women have high chances of experiencing a placental injury.
No Harm to the Fetus
Fourteen mothers out of the sixteen whose placentas were examined delivered full-term babies that recorded excellent newborn examinations. Besides, they were discharged within 4 days. One mother delivered at 34 weeks of pregnancy, and the exam of her newborn was excellent.
The 16th mother experienced a miscarriage in the sixteenth week, and it was not clear whether the miscarriage had a connection with her Covid-19 positive status. None of the babies delivered tested positive for the coronavirus disease.
Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein, who was the author of the study, noted that there is nothing wrong that should be expected with the placentas of mothers infected with Covid-19.
Implications of Covid-19 on the Placenta
The study offers a glimpse of ways in which Covid-19 may cause changes and impact the placenta. Besides, it indicates the health implications of coronavirus on both the baby and the mother. In particular, the placentas of pregnant women infected with Covid-19 had injured maternal vessels.
While the study findings were fascinating and possibly worrying, they are also encouraging since all infants delivered had excellent and healthy outcomes. Although there is a possibility of a newborn getting infected with Covid-19 just like any other person, research has disapproved that an infected pregnant woman can transmit the infection to the fetus through the placenta
For a pregnant woman, the placenta is a very vital organ because it acts at the lungs, liver, kidney, and gut for the fetus. This flattened circular organ located within the uterus of an expectant mother nourishes the fetus and sustains it via the umbilical cord. This cord is the central link between the placenta and the fetus.
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The placenta provides nutrients and oxygen through this cord. It also removes waste from the fetus blood. Therefore, any negative impact on the placenta can potentially harm the health of a baby.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that although Covid-19 has not been proven to affect expecting mothers differently, pregnant women are highly prone to respiratory infections and other sicknesses in general.
Thus, pregnant women need to take extra care amid the Covid-19 pandemic. While the attacks on the placentas by the coronavirus disease have not been proven to affect the growth and health of babies, expectant mothers must ensure they do not contract the virus. This is because if a pregnant woman contracts Covid-19, her health is significantly affected. Eventually, the growth and development of her baby will also be affected.