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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect births?
Institution: United Nations Population Fund
Published: December 2021
Based on available reported data from UNFPA and the Short Term Fertility Fluctuation (STFF) study to date, there are no signs of dramatic increases or decreases in fertility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Short term effects were observed in a range of highly developed countries but these reverted to pre-pandemic levels and trends shortly after. Data from low and middle income countries suggest similarities to those of many developed countries, with short term declines in births and subsequent recoveries. In this report, data from 15 countries sheds light on how the Covid-19 pandemic may affect births.

Perturbed nuptiality, delayed fertility: childbirth effects of Covid19

AUTHOR(S)
Mazhar Mughal; Rashid Javed

Published: August 2021   Journal: Journal of Population Research
An aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic that merits attention is its effects on marriage and childbirth. Although the direct fertility effects of people getting the virus may be minor, the impact of delayed marriages due to the first preventive lockdown, such as that imposed in Pakistan from March 14 to May 8 2020, and the closure of marriage halls that lasted till September 14 may be non-negligible. These demographic consequences are of particular import to developing countries such as Pakistan where birth rates remain high, marriage is nearly universal, and almost all child-bearing takes place within marriage. Based on historic marriage patterns, this study estimates that the delay in nuptiality during the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak may affect about half of the marriages that were to take place during the year. In Pakistan, childbearing begins soon after marriage, and about 37% of Pakistani married women give birth to their first child within twelve months of marriage. A sizeable number out of these, around 400,000 annual births that occur within twelve months of the marriage, may consequently be delayed. Postponement of marriages due to the accompanying difficult economic situation and employment precariousness will accentuate this fertility effect. The net fertility impact of the Covid-19 outbreak will ultimately depend not only on the delay in marriages but also on the reproductive behavior of existing couples.
The effects of opioids on female fertility, pregnancy and the breastfeeding mother‐infant dyad: a review

AUTHOR(S)
Daniel J. Corsi; Malia S. Q. Murphy

Published: February 2021
Rates of opioid use and opioid agonist maintenance treatment have increased substantially in recent years, particularly among women. Trends and outcomes of opioids use on fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and longer‐term child developmental outcomes have not been well‐described. This paper reviews the existing literature on the health effects of opioid use on female fertility, pregnancy, breastmilk and the exposed infant. It finds that the current literature is primarily concentrated on the impact of opioid use in pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, with little exploration of effects on fertility. Studies are limited in number, some with small sample sizes, and many are hampered by methodological challenges related to confounding and other potential biases. Opioid use is becoming more prevalent due to environmental pressures such as COVID‐19.
Rates of opioid use and opi-
oid agonist maintenance treatment have increased substantially in recent years, par-
ticularly among women. Trends and outcomes of opioids use on fertility, pregnancy
and breastfeeding, and longer- term child developmental outcomes have not been
well- described. Here, we review the existing literature on the health effects of opioid
use on female fertility, pregnancy, breastmilk and the exposed infant. We find that
the current literature is primarily concentrated on the impact of opioid use in preg-
nancy and neonatal outcomes, with little exploration of effects on fertility. Studies
are limited in number, some with small sample sizes, and many are hampered by
methodological challenges related to confounding and other potential biases. Opioid
use is becoming more prevalent due to environmental pressures such as COVID- 19.
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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.