Counseling in maternal-fetal medicine: SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy.Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2021 May; 57(5):687-697.UO
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a zoonotic coronavirus that crossed species to infect humans, causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Despite a potentially higher risk of pregnant women acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with the non-pregnant population (particularly in some ethnic minorities), no additional specific recommendations to avoid exposure are needed in pregnancy. The most common clinical symptoms and laboratory signs of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy are fever, cough, lymphopenia and elevated C-reactive protein levels. Pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with the non-pregnant population, including pneumonia, admission to the intensive care unit and death, even after adjusting for potential risk factors for severe outcomes. The risk of miscarriage does not appear to be increased in women with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Evidence with regards to preterm birth and perinatal mortality is conflicting, but these risks are generally higher only in symptomatic, hospitalized women. The risk of vertical transmission, defined as the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from the mother to the fetus or the newborn, is generally low. Fetal invasive procedures are considered to be generally safe in pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection, although the evidence is still limited. In pregnant women with COVID-19, use of steroids should not be avoided if clinically indicated; the preferred regimen is a 2-day course of dexamethasone followed by an 8-day course of methylprednisolone. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used if there are no contraindications. Hospitalized pregnant women with severe COVID-19 should undergo thromboprophylaxis throughout the duration of hospitalization and at least until discharge, preferably with low molecular weight heparin. Hospitalized women who have recovered from a period of serious or critical illness with COVID-19 should be offered a fetal growth scan about 14 days after recovery from their illness. In asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic women who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection at full term (i.e. ≥ 39 weeks of gestation), induction of labor might be reasonable. To date, there is no clear consensus on the optimal timing of delivery for critically ill women. In women with no or few symptoms, management of labor should follow routine evidence-based guidelines. Regardless of COVID-19 status, mothers and their infants should remain together and breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, kangaroo mother care and rooming-in throughout the day and night should be practiced, while applying necessary infection prevention and control measures. Many pregnant women have already undergone vaccination, mostly in the USA where the first reports show no significant difference in pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women receiving SARS-CoV-2 vaccination during pregnancy compared with the background risk. Vaccine-generated antibodies were present in the umbilical cord blood and breast milk samples of pregnant and lactating women who received the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Based on the available limited data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy, it seems reasonable to offer the option of vaccination to pregnant women after accurate counseling on the potential risk of a severe course of the disease and the unknown risk of fetal exposure to the vaccine. © 2021 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology.