The objective of this study was to compare neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or special care nursery admission for deliveries with water immersion compared with deliveries in the matched control group without water immersion. Secondary outcomes included adverse neonatal diagnoses, maternal infections, and perineal lacerations. Findings suggest that hospital-based deliveries with second-stage water immersion had lower risk of NICU or special care nursery admission and perineal lacerations than matched deliveries in the control group without water immersion.
Valaciclovir to prevent vertical transmission of cytomegalovirus after maternal primary infection during pregnancy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trialby Keren Shahar-Nissan et al
This prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was done at the Infectious Feto-Maternal Clinic of Rabin Medical Center (Petach Tikvah, Israel). Pregnant women aged 18 years or older, with serological evidence of a primary cytomegalovirus infection acquired either periconceptionally or during the first trimester of pregnancy, were randomly assigned to oral valaciclovir (8 g per day, twice daily) or placebo from enrolment until amniocentesis at 21 or 22 gestational weeks. Findings suggest that valaciclovir is effective in reducing the rate of fetal cytomegalovirus infection after maternal primary infection acquired early in pregnancy. Early treatment of pregnant women with primary infection might prevent termination of pregnancies or delivery of infants with congenital cytomegalovirus
The Community-Level Interventions for Pre-eclampsia (CLIP) cluster randomised trials in Mozambique, Pakistan, and India: an individual participant-level meta-analysisby Peter von Dadelszen et al
The objective of this study was to overcome the three delays in triage, transport and treatment that underlie adverse pregnancy outcomes with community-level interventions targeting women with pregnancy hypertension in three low-income countries. In this individual participant-level meta-analysis, the authors de-identified and pooled data from the Community-Level Interventions for Pre-eclampsia (CLIP) cluster randomised controlled trials in Mozambique, Pakistan, and India, which were run in 2014–17. The CLIP intervention did not reduce adverse pregnancy outcomes. Future community-level interventions should expand the community health worker workforce, assess general (rather than condition-specific) messaging, and include health system strengthening.
Improving the health of young African American women in the preconception period using health information technology: a randomised controlled trialby Jack et al
The aim of this research was to assess the impact of an embodied conversational agent system on preconception risks among African American and Black women. The Gabby system has the potential to improve women's preconception health. Further research is needed to determine if improving preconception risks impacts outcomes such as preterm delivery.
Universal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) Testing Uptake in the Labor and Delivery Unit: Implications for Health Equityby Kernberg et al
The objective of the study was to understand severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing uptake in the labor and delivery unit and rationales for declining testing, and to institute a process to increase equitable testing uptake. Findings suggest that universal SARS-CoV-2 testing uptake significantly increased through a rapid-cycle improvement initiative. Aligning hospital policy with patient-centered approaches led to nearly universally acceptable testing.
Effect of the COVID-19 pandemic response on intrapartum care, stillbirth, and neonatal mortality outcomes in Nepal: a prospective observational studyby Ashish Kc et al
The authors aimed to assess the number of institutional births, their outcomes (institutional stillbirth and neonatal mortality rate), and quality of intrapartum care before and during the national COVID-19 lockdown in Nepal. Findings suggest that institutional childbirth reduced by more than half during lockdown, with increases in institutional stillbirth rate and neonatal mortality, and decreases in quality of care. Some behaviours improved, notably hand hygiene and keeping the baby skin-to-skin with their mother. An urgent need exists to protect access to high quality intrapartum care and prevent excess deaths for the most vulnerable health system users during this pandemic period.
Clinical characteristics and risk factors for mortality in obstetric patients with severe COVID-19 in Brazil: a surveillance database analysisby Takemoto et al
The objective of this study was to describe clinical characteristics of pregnant and postpartum women with severe COVID-19 in Brazil and to examine risk factors for mortality. The authors identified 124 maternal deaths, corresponding to a case fatality rate among COVID-19 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) cases in the obstetric population of 12.7%. At least one comorbidity was present in 48.4% of fatal cases compared to 24.9% in survival cases. Among women who died, 58.9% were admitted to ICU, 53.2% had invasive ventilation and 29.0% had no respiratory support. The multivariate logistic regression showed that the main risk factors for maternal death by COVID-19 were postpartum at onset of ARDS, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, while white ethnicity had a protective effect.
Mapping Inequity among COVID Cases in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan: Assessment of Characteristics and associations among COVID-19 Cases to Inform Equitable COVID Responseby Das et al
The broader goal of this study is to assess any association between individual and demographic characteristics of the COVID-19 patients and the risk and severity of the diseases. This cross-sectional study will synthesize the COVID-19 surveillance data and actively collect data on additional variables. The sample would comprise of all the reported cases irrespective of age and gender of COVID-19 in Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan.
Effect of pregnancy prolongation in early-onset preeclampsia on postpartum maternal cardiovascular, renal and metabolic function in primiparous women: an observational studyby Mulder et al
The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between deferred delivery in early-onset preeclampsia and offspring outcome and maternal cardiovascular, renal and metabolic function in the postpartum period. Findings suggest that pregnancy prolongation in early-onset preeclampsia is associated with improved offspring outcome and survival. These effects do not appear to be deleterious to short-term maternal cardiovascular and metabolic function, but are associated with a modest increase in risk of residual albuminuria.
In this study, the authors aimed to elucidate best practices regarding infection control in mother–newborn dyads, and identify potential risk factors associated with transmission. Data suggest that perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur if correct hygiene precautions are undertaken, and that allowing neonates to room in with their mothers and direct breastfeeding are safe procedures when paired with effective parental education of infant protective strategies.
What has women's reproductive health decision-making capacity and other factors got to do with pregnancy termination in sub-Saharan Africa? evidence from 27 cross-sectional surveysby Abdul-Aziz Seidu et al
The authors examined the reproductive health decision-making (RHDM) capacity and pregnancy termination among women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Findings suggest that women who are capable of taking reproductive health decisions are more likely to terminate pregnancies. Findings also suggest that age, level of education, contraceptive use and intention, place of residence, and parity are associated with pregnancy termination.
Rush University Medical Center has produced PROVIDE – A Training Compendium on Providing Mothers’ Own Milk in NICU Settings, to train healthcare professionals in mothers’ own milk (MOM) feeding practices in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) worldwide. It is available on The Global Health Network’s knowledge platform LactaHub: www.lactahub.org/nicu-training
Effect of a quality improvement package for intrapartum and immediate newborn care on fresh stillbirth and neonatal mortality among preterm and low-birthweight babies in Kenya and Uganda: a cluster-raby Walker et al
The authors aimed to assess the effect of a quality improvement package for intrapartum and immediate newborn care on stillbirth and preterm neonatal survival in Kenya and Uganda, where evidence-based practices are often underutilised. This unblinded cluster-randomised controlled trial was done in western Kenya and eastern Uganda at facilities that provide 24-h maternity care with at least 200 births per year. Findings suggests that fresh stillbirth and neonatal mortality among low-birthweight and preterm babies can be decreased using a package of interventions that reinforces evidence-based practices and invests in health system strengthening.
Unintended pregnancy and abortion by income, region, and the legal status of abortion: estimates from a comprehensive model for 1990–2019by Bearack et al
The authors developed a model that simultaneously estimated incidence of unintended pregnancy and abortion within a Bayesian framework. The findings suggest that between 1990–94 and 2015–19, the global unintended pregnancy rate has declined, whereas the proportion of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion has increased. As a result, the global average abortion rate in 2015–19 was roughly equal to the estimates for 1990–94. Our findings suggest that people in high-income countries have better access to sexual and reproductive health care than those in low-income countries. Our findings indicate that individuals seek abortion even in settings where it is restricted. These findings emphasise the importance of ensuring access to the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services, including contraception and abortion care, and for additional investment towards equity in health-care services.
Cost-effectiveness analysis of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in promotion of breast-feeding and reduction of late neonatal infant mortality in Brazilby Osvaldinete Lopes de Oliveira Silva et al
The objective of this study was to analyse the cost-effectiveness of Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in promoting breast-feeding during the first hour of life (BFFHL) and reducing late neonatal mortality. Cost-effectiveness analysis showed that BFHI was highly cost-effective in raising BFFHL by 32·0 % at lower cost in comparison with non-BFHI. In addition, BFHI was cost-effective in reducing late neonatal mortality rate by 13·0 % from all causes and by 13·1 % of infant mortality rate from infections.
Characteristics of Women of Reproductive Age With Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Pregnancy Status - United States, January 22-June 7, 2020by Ellington et al
The objective of the study was to assess the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 among pregnant U.S. women and determine whether signs and symptoms differ among pregnant and nonpregnant women. Findings suggest that among women of reproductive age with COVID-19, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized and at increased risk for ICU admission and receipt of mechanical ventilation compared with nonpregnant women, but their risk for death is similar. To reduce occurrence of severe illness from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the potential risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and measures to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 should be emphasized for pregnant women and their families
Pregnancy and Postpartum Outcomes in a Universally Tested Population for SARS-CoV-2 in New York City: A Prospective Cohort Studyby Prabhu et al
This prospective cohort study aimed to describe differences in outcomes between pregnant women with and without COVID-19. Among pregnant women with COVID-19 at delivery, the study observed increased cesarean delivery rates and increased frequency of maternal complications in the postpartum period. Additionally, intraplacental thrombi may have maternal and fetal implications for COVID-19 infections remote from delivery.
Clinical Findings and Disease Severity in Hospitalized Pregnant Women With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)by Savasi et al
The objective of this study was to investigate the clinical evolution of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitalized pregnant women and potential factors associated with severe maternal outcomes. In the study cohort, one in five women hospitalized with COVID-19 infection delivered urgently for respiratory compromise or were admitted to the ICU. None, however, died. Increased pregestational BMI and abnormal heart and respiratory rates on admission were associated with severe disease.
A telehealth lifestyle intervention to reduce excess gestational weight gain in pregnant women with overweight or obesity (GLOW): a randomised, parallel-group, controlled trialby Ferrara et al
In this trial, the authors investigated whether a primarily telehealth lifestyle intervention reduced excess gestational weight gain (GWG) among women with overweight or obesity. Evidence-based programme showed that health-care delivery systems could further adapt to meet the needs of their clinical settings to prevent excess GWG and improve healthy behaviours and markers of insulin resistance among women with overweight or obesity by using telehealth lifestyle interventions.
The aim of the present study is to examine the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on the prevalence of depressive and anxiety symptoms and the corresponding risk factors among pregnant women across China. Findings suggest that major life-threatening public health events such as the COVID-19 outbreak may increase the risk for mental illness among pregnant women including thoughts of self-harm. Strategies targeting maternal stress and isolation such as effective risk communication and the provision of psychological first aid may be particularly useful to prevent negative outcomes for women and their fetuses.