(Reuters) – The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday it will study whether changes to the healthcare delivery system implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to more pregnancy-related complications in the United States.

The study https://bit.ly/2LH0qtt will also assess the risk of pregnant COVID-19 patients transmitting the virus to their fetus, and monitor the newborns until they are discharged from the hospital.

Researchers from the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, a group of 12 U.S. clinical centers, plan to look at medical records of 21,000 women to understand the effects of COVID-19 during and after pregnancy.

They will also monitor more than 1,500 pregnant COVID-19 patients for six weeks after childbirth.

A separate study in the UK earlier this month by Oxford University and Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggested mothers-to-be are at no greater risk of severe COVID-19 than the wider population.

However, most expectant mothers who do develop the serious illness tend to be in the later stages of pregnancy, according to this study. (https://reut.rs/3bN6efE)

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)