Vaccines during pregnancy: COVID-19 spike in unvaccinated pregnant women

Coronavirus Vaccine

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — There’s a surge of expectant mothers testing positive for COVID-19 across America. Health officials are urging moms to be vaccinated, but not all are willing to roll up their sleeves.

Melissa Cedeño is a new mom who says she regrets not being vaccinated and has a warning for expecting mothers.

Today, Cedeño is the happy and relieved mother of a new 10-pound, 2-ounce baby boy named Wyatt James.

She’s relieved because not so long ago, she wasn’t sure if either she or her baby would live to see this day.

After two miscarriages, when Cedeño got pregnant this time, she was reluctant to put anything in her body that might harm the baby.

“I had not been vaccinated because I was worried about what was in the vaccine and how it would affect the baby and myself and I just wasn’t sure,” she explained in a video she shared to her “mommy group.”

Yet, at 25 weeks, when she got COVID-19, she ended up in the hospital for six days — pumped full of all sorts of drugs to keep her alive.

“I ended up pumping my body and therefore the baby with everything from Tylenol, Robitussin, steroids — while I was in the hospital — anti-viral, anti clot, albuterol,” Cedeño said.

Nationwide, doctors say the delta variant is hitting pregnant women hard. 

“It’s really scary to see these patients gasping for air really trying to get better to have this happy outcome with their babies and their deliveries,” said Dr. Yvette Cordova with Jackson Health Maternal Fetal Medicine.

Many women are even dying before they get to see or hold their newborns. In Mississippi, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, said they’ve lost eight mothers in the last four weeks; their babies all survived but will now grow up without moms.

“It’s been a tragedy,” Dobbs said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge all pregnant women to get vaccinated. The CDC says studies show it’s safe for both mothers and their babies. But so far, fewer than 25 percent of pregnant women have rolled up their sleeves.

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Cedeño said she wishes she’d taken that advice.

“If I could go back and do it again, I would have gone vaccinated, the first minute it was available for me,” she said.

Doctors said baby Wyatt is healthy and shows no ill effects of Cedeño having had COVID-19 during pregnancy. Nevertheless, Cedeño plans to get vaccinated as soon as she’s able.

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