AUSTIN, Texas — Doctors in Texas are seeing more pregnant women with severe symptoms in the hospital due to the delta variant.
“We've all seen over the past several weeks an increase of maternal moms that are pregnant, ending up hospitalized and ending up in our ICU,” said Jessica Clay Ehrig, a doctor of maternal-fetal medicine at Baylor Scott and White. “From the pregnancy side, we're also seeing increased complications. Those complications include preterm birth and prematurity, increased risk of preeclampsia for these moms which can require preterm delivery, and unfortunately also increased risk of stillbirth.”
On Monday, Austin Public Health hosted a press conference along with maternity health experts asking pregnant women to get vaccinated.
APH said the majority of patients being hospitalized are unvaccinated.
“Over 95% of the women who are admitted right now are unvaccinated,” said Kim DeFastano, medical director of maternal-fetal medicine for The Women’s Center of Texas. “All pregnant and lactating people should be vaccinated. Almost 150,000 pregnant patients have been vaccinated already with clearly demonstrated safety thus far. We know that the earlier in pregnancy you are vaccinated, the more antibodies are present at the time of birth for the infant so it protects the infant.”
Austin resident Colleen Grande is currently pregnant, and says she feels safe because she got the vaccine early on in her pregnancy.
“I was very grateful that I got it nice and early,” Grande said. “I think I got my first shot right around 10 weeks and then my second shot right around 15 weeks. So just feeling very relieved.”
She’s encouraging others in her position to make the same choice.
“If you're pregnant right now and you're weighing your options of getting the vaccine or not, get the vaccine,” Grande said. “Do you want to watch your baby grow up? Then you should get the vaccine.”