UAB doctors voice concerns about pregnant women and COVID

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:39 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Doctors at UAB are continuing their push for pregnant women to get vaccinated before they come down with COVID. The very contagious Delta variant is increasing the number of pregnant woman being hospitalized and put on ventilators.

Three doctors at UAB who treat women and expectant mothers are continuing to urge them to get vaccinated. The reason is the growing number of pregnant women being hospitalized and putting their lives and their babies lives at risk of getting COVID.

August 20th’s numbers showed UAB was taking care of 39 unvaccinated pregnant women. Of those, ten were in ICUs and seven were on ventilators.

“Another recent study showed almost 60% increase in pre-term births among women affected with COVID. All the data shows the benefits of vaccinations outweigh the risks,” Dr. Audra Williams, UAB Obstetrics and Gynecology, said.

Dr. Williams says less than 25% of pregnant women across the nation have one dose of the vaccine. Those numbers are even lower among pregnant African American women at about 10%.

Many of the women who are hospitalized come in with respiratory problems. Those pregnant unvaccinated women who are put into ICU and on ventilators include those with health risks.

“There are some patients with co-morbidities. I would say obesity is the most common one we have seen. There are also other patients who have zero risk factors other than being pregnant that ended up intubated and in ICU,” Dr. Williams said.

The UAB doctors spoke out against rumors such as vaccines would affect fertility or breastfeeding. A UAB doctor who was pregnant and took the vaccine urged other women to do the same.

“There are too many mothers who will never meet their baby because of COVID and there are too many babies who will not meet their mom,” Dr. Jessica Grayson said.

Dr. Williams has reminded us there have been cases where pregnant women that contracted COVID have died and their babies being delivered by C-section. Of course, COVID poses a health risk to those babies, so doctors continue to encourage expectant mothers to get the vaccine and wear those masks.

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