Last week there was significant coverage of two new reports on COVID-19 in pregnant women. Both reports (see them here and here) focus on pregnant women with COVID-19 who were hospitalized (either for COVID-19 related reasons or for labor and delivery). The authors find that some pregnant women are hospitalized with severe illness, and they find some serious complications, including a small number of stillbirths and a (possibly) higher rate of preterm birth.
These papers, along with everything else we know, certainly suggest that pregnant women should take precautions around COVID-19, as we all should. This includes mask wearing and hand washing. They also make clear that COVID-19 illness can be very serious in pregnant women and can result in pregnancy complications. This is true for many illnesses.
What this evidence really cannot speak to is whether pregnant women are more likely to have serious COVID-19 than non-pregnant women (they are more likely to be hospitalized in general in these data, but most of these hospitalizations are for labor and delivery). They also cannot speak to whether COVID-19 is more common in pregnant women than non-pregnant. Overall, I’m afraid this doesn’t add much to what we know in this area. As usual, I’m a bit frustrated with the outsize attention given to non-new evidence, but I’ll leave this for now.