J Perinat Med. 2023 Oct 18. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2023-0280. Online ahead of print.
OBJECTIVES: Although the knowledge on SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy has greatly improved, there is still a lack of information on its role in the later stages of gestation. The aim of this study is to investigate whether SARS-CoV-2 discovered at delivery is associated with any obstetric or neonatal complications.
METHODS: A retrospective case-control study was conducted at Department of Obstetrics, University Hospital Maggiore della Carità, Novara, Italy, from March 2020 to March 2023. Pregnant women admitted were tested for SARS-CoV-2. 168 women resulted positive at the time of delivery; the women were asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic. 170 negative women were selected as controls, selecting, for each SARS-CoV-2 positive patient, the patient who gave birth right before, if negative. Demographic and anamnestic characteristics, pregnancy, labor, and neonatal outcomes were evaluated.
RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 positive patients were more likely to have gestational diabetes (13.7 vs. 5.3 %) and required less frequently intrapartum analgesia (11.3 vs. 27 %) and labor augmentation (7.3 vs. 16.5 %). Post-partum hemorrhage rate was lower (13.7 vs. 22.9 %) and a shorter length of first and second stage of labor occurred. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups regarding the mode of delivery and neonatal outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 positive patients have shorter labor length and a lower incidence of postpartum hemorrhage. Fewer obstetric interventions, as well as less use of intrapartum analgesia and oxytocin, could explain these findings. Moreover, gestational diabetes could increase susceptibility to infection. SARS-CoV-2 infection discovered at the time of delivery in asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic patients does not appear to increase the rate of cesarean delivery or other obstetric complications, and neonatal outcomes have not worsened.