Does being born during the COVID-19 pandemic affect a child's development? The infants scored lower on a developmental screening test, a new study has found. Globally, about 200 million babies were born since the beginning of the pandemic, the researchers of a new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, noted. While vertical transmissions of the virus from the mother to the fetus are said to be rare, previous coronavirus outbreaks have shown that getting a severe infection during pregnancy may affect the mother's health and increase the risk for "several adverse infant outcomes." "Infants born to mothers who have viral infections during pregnancy have a higher risk of neurodevelopmental deficits, so we thought we would find some changes in the neurodevelopment of babies whose mothers had COVID during pregnancy," the study's lead investigator, Dani Dumitriu, of Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, said in a news release from Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC).
A quarter of adults aged between 18 and 25 are unaware that women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy, according to a survey of 2,000 Britons. A staggering 26 per cent admitted they did not know that official guidance states that a woman, if pregnant, should avoid alcohol entirely. Just 17 per cent of the young adults correctly identified alcohol exposure in utero as causing more long-term harm to a baby than other substances such as heroin. Almost half (49 per cent) of 18-25 year-olds polled said they get information on alcohol in pregnancy from social media while four in ten discussed it with a teacher. The research was carried out by the National Organisation for FASD (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders).
The increasing number of coronavirus cases has medical professionals of all ages mobilizing to lend a helping hand. Several universities across the country are allowing their medical students to graduate early, while at the same time retirees are heading back to work. It's demonstrating the spirit of the times, showing that we really will get through this together. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. At first, doctors said that the coronavirus was not a risk to pregnant women or the very young.
Acetaminophen, long the mainstay of a pregnant woman's pain-relief arsenal, has been linked to behavioral problems in children born to mothers who used it during pregnancy. Research published Monday by the journal JAMA Pediatrics found that a woman's use of acetaminophen at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy was associated with greater odds that when the resulting child was 7 years old, his or her mother would report a range of problematic behaviors. Compared to women who reported no acetaminophen use at 18 weeks of pregnancy, those who took the medication at that point of gestation were 42% more likely to report hyperactivity and 31% more likely to report conduct problems in the children they bore. Women who took acetaminophen at 32 weeks of pregnancy were 29% more likely than women who did not to report emotional difficulties in their child at age 7. Children born to mothers who took acetaminophen late in their pregnancy were 46% more likely to experience a wide range of behavioral difficulties than were children born to moms who took no acetaminophen at that point. Finding a link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and an outcome affecting the child is no proof that acetaminophen is the cause of the outcome.
Pregnant women who are positive with COVID-19 when they give birth rarely transmit the virus to their newborns, according to a spate of new research. The reason: COVID-19 isn't often found in a patient's bloodstream. As researchers have raced to understand the effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy and infants, these findings offer good news to expecting parents. "Analyses show that infection among infants born to women with COVID-19 was uncommon," said Kate Woodworth, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease and Prevention. Even so, a pregnant woman with COVID-19 risks serious illness which can also have negative health consequences for her newborn child even if the baby is born COVID-free.