CDC finds that Delta Variant causes an increased risk of stillbirths. According to two new studies, pregnant women who contract the delta variant are at an increased risk of stillbirths or dying at birth. Unfortunately, doctors across the nation have noted an unprecedented rise in pregnant women critically ill with COVID-19.
“We are seeing loads of pregnancy complications from Covid-19 infection,” said Dr. Ellie Ragsdale, director of fetal intervention at UH Cleveland Medical Center. These complications include premature deliveries, unusually high blood pressure in the expecting mothers, and stillbirths.
Alarming Rise of Stillbirths
One study analyzed the outcomes of over one million pregnancies between March 2020 to September 2021. And it showed that stillbirth rates were low before the pandemic. However, the percentage has jumped from 0.59% to 0.64% among women who never contracted Covid. Per the CDC, the rates rose to 0.98% among expectant mothers who contracted Covid. Furthermore, once the delta variant hit this year, those rates rose to a whopping 2.7% for expecting mothers with Covid.
“Although stillbirth was a rare outcome overall,” the study authors wrote, documented Covid diagnosis was associated with a marked increase in the risk for stillbirth, “with a stronger association during the period of delta variant predominance.” In addition, obstetricians documented the notable differences in how much oxygen fetuses could absorb in infected mothers. Dr. Ragsdale and her colleagues noted that pregnant women with Covid have difficulty getting oxygen-rich blood to their fetuses. “We’re seeing areas of the placenta that are oxygen-deprived,” she said. “That’s the baby’s source of oxygen and survival in pregnancy.”
Vaccinations Are Safe For Pregnant Women
We must understand the CDC’s studies only assessed unvaccinated pregnant women. Sadly, by the time the delta variant reared its ugly head, only about one-third of pregnant women had vaccinations. As expected, the virus proved deadlier to mothers who had underlined health issues. “We have evidence to show there is no increased risk of miscarriage or poor pregnancy outcomes from the vaccine,” said Dr. Zsakeba Henderson, deputy chief medical and health officer for the March of Dimes. “All evidence points to the safety of this vaccine.” Thus, the CDC stresses the importance of vaccinations in expecting mothers.