Mums share harrowing stories of Covid pregnancies to encourage people to get jab

4 December 2021, 00:02 | Updated: 7 June 2023, 08:56

Three mums share harrowing stories of Covid pregnancies

By Emma Soteriou

Three mothers have shared their harrowing stories of suffering with Covid while pregnant and unvaccinated, urging others to get their jabs.

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The "terrifying" experience saw all three rushed to hospital to have emergency C-sections as their cases worsened.

It comes as part of a campaign from the Government to get more pregnant women vaccinated against Covid, by warning of the dangers of the virus to both them and their babies. 

Around 98 per cent of pregnant women in hospital with the virus are unvaccinated, with them making up nearly one in five of Covid patients who are most critically ill, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

Christina, a mental health therapist from Guildford, was admitted to hospital with Covid in her third trimester.

"I had to give birth via emergency C-section because there was concern that I could have a stillbirth. It was terrifying," she said.

"I don't know what the future holds for me and my baby; I'm still suffering with symptoms now along with the anxiety of not knowing how or when I'll recover.

"I would urge pregnant women to get vaccinated because I don't want anyone to experience what I went through."

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Tanviha, who works in anaesthesiology and research in Manchester, spent two months in hospital with Covid-19 following an emergency C-section, said she caught the virus during her second pregnancy in February.

She said: "At the time, the vaccine wasn't available to me and I quickly took a turn for the worse.

"I was rushed into hospital and went straight into intensive care where my condition deteriorated and my son was delivered by emergency C-section.

"I was put to sleep and intubated, and my family were told it was unlikely I'd survive and to prepare for the worst.

"The day after I was intubated, the nurse told them they were going to switch the machine off, but instead I was transferred to an Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which is a last resort for patients with severe heart and lung failure, and it saved my life.

"The first time I saw my son he was two months old. It's the scariest experience of mine and my family's life but I'm just grateful that me and my son are alive.

"If you're unsure about getting vaccinated please come forward and get your jab, not everyone's as lucky as I am."

Read more: "Community transmission" of Omicron variant in Scotland

Joanne, a make-up adviser from Lincolnshire, also suffered complications with her pregnancy after catching Covid.

"I had been unsure what was the right thing to do about getting vaccinated while pregnant," she explained.

"I was planning on having the jab after my daughter was born but I caught Covid-19 when I was 35 weeks pregnant and became seriously ill, I couldn't get out of bed for a week.

"I had nearly recovered but something just didn't feel right. I couldn't feel my baby kicking so I made an urgent appointment to see my midwife.

"The team at the hospital quickly spotted the baby's growth had dropped and her fluid was low.

"Her heartbeat was going down and down so the consultant rushed me off for an emergency caesarean when Mollie-Ann was born.

"I'm so grateful to the maternity team for keeping me and my baby safe and I just wish I'd been vaccinated sooner."

This critical care worker urges pregnant women to get vaccinated

Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said: "Nearly 1 in 5 COVID-19 patients who are most critically ill are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated, which shows just how important it is that expectant mothers get the vaccine to keep themselves and their babies safe.

"Over 81,000 pregnant women have so far received their first dose, with 65,000 being double-jabbed, which is fantastic, but there’s still more to be done.

"The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for pregnant women and I urge everyone to get their vaccines as soon as they can to secure this significant protection."

Around one in five women who are admitted to hospital with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover and one in five of their babies need care in the neonatal unit, the DHSC said.

However, no fully vaccinated pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with the virus in England between February and the end of September 2021.