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Sign Up For Registry Tracking Effects of COVID-19 On Pregnancy and Newborns

Infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy and worried about the pregnancy and baby? A national registry has just been established that is tracking the effects of coronavirus COVID-19 on the pregnancy and on newborns. This is because the virus is so new that we don't know what, if any, effects it has on pregnancy and on the baby. Does it harm the developing baby during the first 2 trimesters or cause problems during pregnancy? We just don't know.

Normally something like this takes a long time to set up and implement, but this has just started and already over 400 pregnant women have signed up. Women can sign up through their health care provider or on their own at the registry website. The registry is called the Pregnancy Coronavirus Outcomes Registry (PRIORITY).

So far the one small study out of China that was done was reassuring, but it only looked at the last trimester of pregnancy. So please consider signing up for the national PRIORITY registry. The more women sign up, the more we will learn.

On a related note, people are pushing back at the  CDC guidelines suggesting that newborns born to women with COVID-19 infections should be removed and put into isolation. And if breastfeeding, to pump the breast milk and have a healthy caregiver feed the baby. That guideline is absolutely NOT supported by evidence. Also, the virus has not been detected in breastmilk.

An excerpt from Medscape (the medical professional site) on the CDC guidelines: "Some experts say the recommendation to separate mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 from their infants after delivery is not supported by evidence and could cause lasting harm."  Absolutely.

From Medscape: COVID-19 Registry Tracks Pregnant Women, Newborns

A multidisciplinary team of researchers has created a national registry to study how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and their newborns. 

"Pregnant women are generally considered healthy, but they are also a vulnerable group, and we currently have no data on COVID-19 in pregnancy," co–principal investigator Yalda Afshar, MD, PhD, an obstetrician/gynecologist at UCLA Health, Los Angeles, California, told Medscape Medical News.

The Pregnancy Coronavirus Outcomes Registry (PRIORITY) is enrolling pregnant women and those who have been pregnant or post partum within the past 6 weeks and who have either received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or are being evaluated for COVID-19.

Women are being recruited through their healthcare provider. A study coordinator contacts the participants by telephone. Women can also join the registry on their own without a referral by visiting the registry website.

The registry collects data on COVID-19 symptoms, clinical course, pregnancy, and neonatal outcomes and follows women from enrollment through the second and third trimesters and the postpartum period. The goal is to follow the mothers and babies for up to 1 year.

In speaking with Medscape Medical News, Afshar noted that these kinds of registries often take months to design and to receive funding, but with COVID-19, "there was no time for that. We had to get it up and running ASAP."

She said the team has been "blown away" by how quickly people have come forward to join the registry. Within 2 weeks of going live, the registry had enrolled more than 400 participants from across the United States. "At this rate, I think we will easily get 1000 participants in a month or so," Afshar said.

Afshar noted that although the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy remains unknown, history suggests the disease will make some pregnancies and deliveries more challenging. "We know that in previous outbreaks of the regular flu, for example, there have been more deaths and poorer outcomes among pregnant women compared with nonpregnant women," Afshar said in the release.

Afshar is overseeing the study with colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where the registry data will be coordinated.

"In addition to gaining a better understanding of the course of the disease, we will investigate disease transmission to determine if it can be passed from a mother to her baby in utero and during the postpartum period, such as in breast milk," UCSF's Stephanie Gaw, MD, PhD, who is leading the biospecimen core of the study, said in the release.

Healthcare providers interested in more information about the registry may send an email to . A YouTube video on the registry is also available.

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