A new study has revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic has raised the rate of stillbirths, maternal mortality, and depression.
The study, published on Wednesday in the Lancet, collected data from 40 separate studies in 17 countries. They discovered that stillbirths and maternal deaths increased by a third.
Researchers from St. George’s University of London concluded that a lack of medical access during the pandemic is to blame for heightened pregnancy risks. Many hospitals and healthcare facilities were bombarded with COVID-19 patients. Some women have also been reluctant to visit the doctor out of fear of being exposed to the virus.
Aside from the risks in pregnancy, the study determined that the number of women experiencing depression and anxiety increased significantly.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to learn from the experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic to plan for a future of inclusive and equitable maternity care worldwide,” said the study’s co-author, Dr. Erkan Kalafat of Koc University in Turkey.
Similar results were found after the 2013 Ebola pandemic, which gives a grim look at how the crisis goes far beyond the virus itself.