Change in the Incidence of Stillbirth and Preterm Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Retrospective study that compares pregnancy outcomes, including rates of stillbirth (fetal death ≥24 weeks’ gestation), preterm and cesarean delivery, and neonatal unit admission in the months preceding vs during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic at a London university hospital. There were 1681 births in the prepandemic period and 1718 births in the pandemic period. The incidence of stillbirth was significantly higher during the pandemic period (n = 16 [9.31 per 1000 births]) than during the prepandemic period (n = 4 [2.38 per 1000 births]). None of the pregnant women who experienced stillbirth had symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, nor did the postmortem or placental examinations suggest SARS-CoV-2 infection, although universal testing for SARS-CoV-2 was not implemented. There were no significant differences over time in births before 37 weeks’ gestation, births after 34 weeks’ gestation, neonatal unit admission, or cesarean delivery.

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