Unvaccinated women who suffered with coronavirus (Covid-19) during their pregnancies have told “terrifying” stories of having the virus, from being rushed to hospital to having emergency C-sections.
The women appear in a video sharing their experiences of severe Covid-19 during pregnancy. It’s part of a new campaign encouraging expectant mothers to get the vaccine.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 98% of pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic Covid-19 are unvaccinated.
The video features three women who experienced serious complications after contracting coronavirus before they were vaccinated. It also features the doctors and frontline staff who treated them, to warn of the dangers of the virus for pregnant women and their babies.
“It was terrifying”
Christina, a mental health therapist from Guildford who was admitted to hospital with Covid-19 in her third trimester, said:
I had to give birth via emergency C-section because there was concern that I could have a stillbirth. It was terrifying.
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.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
I would urge pregnant women to get vaccinated because I don’t want anyone to experience what I went through.
‘Not everyone’s as lucky as I am’
Tanviha, who works in anaesthesiology and research in Manchester, spent two months in hospital with Covid-19 following an emergency C-section. She said she caught Covid-19 during her second pregnancy in February, adding:
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.
“I just wish I’d been vaccinated sooner”
Joanne, a make-up adviser from Lincolnshire, suffered complications with her pregnancy after catching Covid-19. She said:
I had been unsure what was the right thing to do about getting vaccinated while pregnant.
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.
‘Book in your vaccine without delay’
The DHSC said nearly one in five coronavirus patients who are most critically ill are pregnant women who have not had the vaccine.
Of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic Covid-19, 98% are unvaccinated. And no fully vaccinated pregnant women went into intensive care with Covid-19 in England between February and September 2021.
Around one in five women admitted to hospital with the virus need to be delivered preterm to help them recover. Moreover, one in five of their babies need care in the neonatal unit, the DHSC said.
Since April 2021, around 84,000 pregnant women have received one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. More than 80,000 have received two doses.
Professor Lucy Chappell, chief scientific adviser at the DHSC and honorary consultant obstetrician, said:
The stories shared as part of this film are heartbreaking and provide invaluable, first-hand insight into why accepting the offer of a Covid-19 vaccine is so important for mothers and their babies.
Getting the vaccine is one of the most vital ways in which you can protect yourself and your baby from Covid-19, which can be really dangerous for pregnant women – of those pregnant women in hospital with symptomatic Covid-19, 98% are unvaccinated.
Watch the film, speak to your clinician or midwife if you have any questions or concerns, and book in your vaccine without delay.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?