COVID-19 and baby outcomes

What are the risks to the babies born to women with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 from COVID-related and other complications?

Are babies born to women with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 at increased risk of complications than those without COVID?

Diagram explaining fetal and neonatal outcomes in pregnant women with Covid-19 as described below
Fetal and neonatal outcomes in pregnant women with COVID-19

Version 6: updated 27 April 2021

  • The overall rates of stillbirths and neonatal deaths in babies born to pregnant women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 do not seem higher than the background rate.
  • Admission to the neonatal unit are often due to policies, including those for quarantine or observation.

Existing evidence has not identified major risks of complications in babies born to mothers with COVID-19. 

(v6.0 last search update on 27 April 2021; findings may change as new evidence emerges)

Disclaimer: The findings have not yet been peer reviewed and the sources cited should be checked. Any views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of their institutions and organisations.


Previous versions

Structured research question (PICO)

COVID-19 and risk of offspring complications
Population Babies
Exposure Mothers with suspected/confirmed COVID-19
Comparator                   - Mothers without COVID
Outcomes COVID-related: all-cause mortality, COVID-specific mortality, neonatal pneumonia, admission to NICU, sepsis, Need of respiratory support (invasive ventilation, non-invasive ventilation, oxygenation)

Pregnancy-related main outcomes:
Stillbirth, neonatal death, congenital malformation, fetal growth restriction post infection

Secondary outcomes: Apgar score at 1’, 5’; cord blood pH, gestational age at delivery, birthweight, LGA (large-for-gestational age), SGA (small-for-gestational age), fetal distress, HIE (hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy), neonatal seizures, neonatal infection (other than COVID), neonatal sepsis, neonatal asphyxia, DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation), NEC (Necrotising Enterocolitis), RDS (Respiratory distress syndrome), admission to the neonatal unit, length of stay in neonatal unit, primary cause of neonatal death.
Study design Observational studies


Full details to be published shortly. Currently undergoing peer review.