While the literature on COVID-19 in pregnant women with asthma is limited, this section describes what is currently known (as at April 2022) about pregnancy and asthma as risk factors for COVID-19, the adverse perinatal outcomes which are increased following COVID-19 and evidence for the safety and effectiveness of vaccination against COVID-19 in pregnancy.

Pregnant women do not appear to be highly susceptible to infection with COVID-19, unlike the experience seen with influenza. In those who acquire severe acute infection, this has been associated with worse outcomes for both mother and baby. Pregnancy, together with comorbidities, such as diabetes, obesity and asthma though is likely to enhance the risk of acute severe disease. They may also increase the risk of post acute sequelae of COVID-19 or “Long COVID. Vaccines against COVID-19 are safe and highly effective in all stages of pregnancy and offer the best protection for pregnant women and their babies.

For the latest Australia evidence-based Covid-19 treatment guidelines, visit the National Covid-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce website.

Key messages

  • Public health measures have been very effective at preventing COVID and we recommend pregnant women with asthma maintain their vigilance against infection
  • Pregnancy itself is not a risk factor for severe COVID-19 disease or mortality due to COVID-19
  • Pregnant women with asthma may be at increased risk of COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation compared to those without asthma
  • COVID-19 infection in pregnancy is associated with increased risk of pre-eclampsia, preterm birth and stillbirth
  • Vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended for all pregnant women
  • There is limited information about the long-term consequences of COVID-19 for pregnant women and their children 

Photo Credit: Alissa Eckert, MSMI, Dan Higgins, MAMS.