ST. LOUIS – Fox 2 reporter Molly Rose explains how a new study shows evidence that the coronavirus might attack the placenta in pregnant women, but there’s also good news in this study.
The small study out of Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital in Chicago looked at the placentas of 16 pregnant women who were COVID-positive. Researchers examined the placentas right after the birth — and found evidence of restricted blood flow from the mother to the fetus and blood clots in the placenta — even so, all of these babies were born healthy.
Researchers say this damage to the placenta might interfere with its role in delivering oxygen and nutrients from mom to baby and cause issues removing waste products from the baby’s blood. Many of the placentas were also smaller than they should have been.
According to Molly, a doctor with northwestern medicine in Chicago — who co-authored the American Journal of Clinical Pathology study — says it’s time to look into if doctors should change how they monitor positive pregnant women right now. One example is testing the oxygen delivery of the placenta during pregnancy. But a doctor not involved in the study out of Atlanta says doing additional ultrasounds and screenings can lead to more risks.
Other doctors also oppose extra screenings, saying placentas are built with an enormous amount of redundancy and say even with it half working, babies are often completely fine and in this case they were.