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Sentara reports rise in COVID positive expectant mothers, encourages vaccine consideration

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital says its Women's Health Department reported a spike in pregnant COVID-19 patients over the summer.

NORFOLK, Va. — Vaccine hesitancy is causing great concern among expecting mothers. 

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital says it is seeing some severe cases of pregnant patients suffering from COVID-19 symptoms. 

The hospital's Women's Health Director, Megan Buchholz, says it is reporting more expecting mothers with symptoms of the virus than the department reported last year.

"A lot of them are requiring oxygen. A lot of them are coming in pre-term," Buchholz said. "Some of their babies are also getting COVID."

Pregnant COVID-19 patients doubled from July into August, according to Buchholz. She says many of the women are still hesitant on getting the vaccine.

"It really is like playing Russian Roulette," Buchholz explained. "You may not get COVID if you're not vaccinated, but you may, and you may be symptomatic and very, very sick."

It's a chance a new mother from Norfolk, Hannah, says she didn't want to take with her own pregnancy. Doctors delivered her daughter via emergency C-Section in August. Since then, both mother and daughter have been healthy.

"My husband is immunocompromised...so we both got the vaccine as soon as we could," Hannah said.

She said she got her vaccine after learning a family member of her friend passed away from the virus while pregnant.

"Neither she nor her baby made it....so for me, that was a huge thing," Hannah explained.

Buchholz says she understands some parents' hesitancy, but hopes more people start taking these warnings seriously. She says if you're still not sure what is best for you and your baby, the best thing to do is talk to your OBGYN and find out what's best for your current condition.

Meanwhile, the CDC is also urging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine, after reporting more than 125,000 pregnant patients who tested positive for the virus since the beginning of the pandemic.