Covid killed 40% more pregnant women in 2021

"1,205 pregnant women died in 2021, representing a 40 percent increase in maternal deaths compared with 2020 when there were 861 deaths, and a 60 percent increase compared with 2019 when there were 754." (Rabin, 2023, p.5).

Jiska Hachmer
Covid-19 collection


Everyone had complications and more changes to death, but there are also differences between, White, Hispanics, and Blacks.

Especially Hispanics have more often Covid compared to other pregnant women (Yocom, et al., 2022, p.2). Especially August until
In December 2021 there were more deaths among pregnant women, and the risk of death was 3 times greater than before (Yocom, et al., 2022, p.12). In 2020, and 2021 preterm and low birthweight births increased, especially among Black women (Yocom, et al., 2022, p.13), but the complications did go up for everyone in 2020, and 2021.

The death rates and complications might show Covid was already around in 2019

Also in 2019, everyone had more complications, this could show Covid was around then too, without knowing (Yocom, et al., 2022, p.14). In 2019 Covid was already in Barcelona, we know now since the sewer samples from 2019 were checked for Covid. Since march 2019 Covid been around in their samples (Allen, and Landauro, 2020).

In 2021, those pregnant, and with Covid infection had a sevenfold risk of dying, and 35% were not admitted to intensive care.

Also, the risk of giving birth prematurely, and needing neonatal intensive care is increased (Rabin, 2023, p.12). 35% of the pregnant women who died from Covid were not admitted to intensive care.

The average that died, was 31, obese, after preterm delivery, died 7 days after childbirth with organ failure, and had a baby with a low birth weight.

The average pregnant woman that died of Covid was 31 and obese. 86.4% were infected before childbirth, and 60.3% were detected in the third trimester of pregnancy, with symptoms of dyspnea (73%), fever (69%), and cough (59%). When they got worse, they had organ failure (90,4%). Then, 64.8% were admitted to critical care, with an average of 8 days. In most cases, the women died postpartum 7 days after childbirth. Preterm delivery happened to 76.9% of the women, and low birth weight happened to 59.9% of the babies (Pan American Health Organization, 2022).

In 2022, and 2023, 7% of pregnant women with a covid infection died, also like in 2021, pregnant with covid infection more often give birth prematurely.

In 2022, 3% of pregnant women with Covid were admitted to intensive care, 4 times more than uninfected women. About 2% of those infected needed mechanical ventilation (Sample, 2023, p.6). 7% of pregnant women with Covid died, but a fifth of the Covid-infected got pneumonia. Uninfected pregnant women have 23 times less often pneumonia (Sample, 2023, p.7). The same for pregnant with Covid infection in 2021, as pregnant with a covid infection in 2022 and 2023, women could get pre-term babies, which need often neonatal intensive care, but these also, have a greater risk of lifelong health problems and can have delayed cognitive development (Sample, 2023, p.8- 10).

Babies of vaccinated pregnant women reduce the risk of babies being admitted to the hospital.

In 2023, vaccination research shows babies from vaccinated pregnant women had less risk of being admitted to the hospital within the first 6 weeks of life (Sample, 2023, p.13).


Covid remains a dangerous infection during pregnancy. 7% of pregnant women with a Covid infection die. Covid during pregnancy causes also complications like preterm birth, low birth weight, and lifelong health problems. Women most often die from organ failure, when infected with Covid during pregnancy. Most were 31, obese, and died on average 7 days after their child was born. Being vaccinated as a pregnant woman, also helps babies not to have to be admitted to hospital in the first 6 weeks of life.


Allen, N., and Landauro, I. (2020, June 26) Coronavirus traces found in March 2019 sewage sample, Spanish study shows. Reuters.

Pan American Health Organization (2022, May 12) A study on maternal mortality and COVID-19 shows barriers in critical access for pregnant women. PAHO.

Rabin, R. (2023, March 16) Covid Worsened a Health Crisis Among Pregnant Women. NY Times.

Sample, I. (2023, January 16) Covid increases risk of grave illness and death in pregnant women — study. The Guardian.

Yocom, C., et al. (2022, October) Maternal Health. Outcomes worsened and disparities persisted during the pandemic. GAO.