LITTLE ROCK, Ark – Little Rock hospitals are seeing an uptick in the number of pregnant women who are hospitalized with COVID-19.
This week Dr. Cam Patterson with UAMS tweeted 20% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at the hospital are pregnant women.
“They have not been spared,” UAMS Obstetrician/Gynecologist Dr. William Greenfield said.
Dr. Greenfield said it’s not so much that more pregnant women are getting the virus but they are experiencing worse symptoms.
“They’re at more risk for having pregnancy complications, pre-term deliveries, they’re at increased risk for having requirements for mechanical ventilation,” Dr. Greenfield said.
He said the main reason symptoms are worse is because of how the baby lays in the mother’s womb, which in any circumstance puts pressure on the expecting mother’s lungs.
“When you put [COVID] on top of this, this condition that makes it a little more strenuous for the patient,” Dr. Greenfield said.
Beth Anne Travis is expecting her third child in September.
She said this pregnancy is different from the last because it’s happening during a pandemic.
“There’s been a lot more anxiety around it,” Travis said.
Travis said even though the mask mandate has been lifted, she still wears one and is taking extra precautions to make sure she and her baby stay safe.
Rachel Lichoff is another expecting mother and this will be her first child, but said she is less nervous about the virus because she has already gotten it.
“I know how my body reacted to it,” said Lichoff.
Lichoff also works from home as a school teacher and said her risk of contracting COVID-19 are much lower.
“I can just get up and teach the kids and not have to worry about all the germs in the public school system,” Lichoff said.
Both moms have different opinions on the virus but agree that they won’t let fear outweigh the joy of being pregnant.
“I want to look back and remember these nine months as a joyful time,” Lichoff said.
Baptist Health said it has seen an uptick in the number of pregnant women being admitted to the ICU with COVID-19 but currently do not have any right now.