RCM responds to study on COVID-19 link to stillbirth and preterm birth

on 20 May 2021 Covid-19

The Royal College of Midwives has today sought to reassure pregnant women, following a study by the National Maternity and Perinatal Audit which found that pregnant women who tested positive for COVID-19 in England at the time of birth had higher rates of stillbirth or a preterm birth.

Dr Mary Ross-Davie, Director for Professional Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “While the increased risk of a stillbirth or pre-term birth remains low when women have COVID-19 in pregnancy, the important message here is that pregnant women, like all of us, should continue to take precautions to reduce their chances of exposure to the virus. This includes continuing social distancing, handwashing and mask wearing.

“Vaccination is also key to protecting yourself from the virus. The Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine are now being offered to pregnant women when their age group is eligible, and the NHS is working hard to make sure that they can get the vaccine that is right for them. Taking all of these steps will enable women to give themselves and their baby the best protection against this virus.”


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Notes to editors

The study has been published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and can be read at https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(21)00565-2/fulltext.

Information for pregnant women on COVID-19 and pregnancy can be read at https://www.rcm.org.uk/media-releases/2021/march/maternity-royal-colleges-welcome-moves-to-improve-access-to-covid-vaccine-for-pregnant-women/.

See also the most recent comment from the RCM and Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology on pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine at https://www.rcm.org.uk/media-releases/

RCM information for pregnant women about the vaccination is here: https://www.rcm.org.uk/guidance-for-pregnant-women/.

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance, and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences, and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website.