Babies Born in First Year of Covid-19 Pandemic Have Minor Developmental Lag: Study

Babies Born in First Year of Covid-19 Pandemic Have Minor Developmental Lag: Study

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The study found the development of the babies was affected irrespective of their mothers having Covid-19 during their pregnancy.

Almost half of the mothers of babies used in the study had contracted the coronavirus at some point during their pregnancies.

Babies born during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic scored marginally lower on the developmental screening test for social and motor skills compared to the babies born just before the pandemic, according to a new study. The study conducted by a group of scientists at Columbia University in New York has been published in the JAMA Pediatrics Journal. The study found the development of the babies was affected irrespective of their mothers having Covid-19 during their pregnancy.

The study has been conducted by including 255 babies born at New York Presbyterian’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and Allen Hospital between March and December 2020- the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. All the babies were around 6 months old. Almost half of the mothers of these babies had contracted the Coronavirus at some point during their pregnancies.

According to the lead author of the study, Dani Dumitriu, assistant professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, it was known to researchers that infants born to mothers who have viral infections during pregnancy remain at a higher risk of neurodevelopmental deficits.

“So we thought we would find some changes in the neurodevelopment of babies whose mothers had COVID during pregnancy,” she said.

The researchers found that babies who were in the womb of their mothers during the first year of the pandemic had slightly lower scores in developmental areas. It was found that babies born during the first year of Covid-19 pandemic have weaker social and motor skills than babies born before the pandemic.

“The results suggest that the huge amount of stress felt by pregnant mothers during these unprecedented times may have played a role,” Dumitriu added.

Dumitriu had led a group of pediatric researchers in organising studies investigating the impact of the coronavirus on infants during the first wave of coronavirus.

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