Island Health’s top maternity doctor is worried about what she’s seeing after four pregnant women have bcome sick with COVID-19 within the past two days.
Dr. Hayley Bos, Medical Director of Maternity for Island Health, is worried there are going to be even more coming down with COVID-19.
“I anticipate the numbers going up everyday,”Bos said. “As the school exposures increase, I anticipate we’ll see more and more of our patients testing positive.”
On Tuesday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, pleaded with pregnant women to get vaccinated for their health, and the sake of their unborn babies.
“I do know that we’ve had 40 people who have been pregnant in ICU over the course of the pandemic and a good proportion of those have been in the last few months,” said Henry.
As the fourth wave of the pandemic continues, Bos said the fear is that more pregnant women will be admitted to hospital.
“We are very worried. We are very worried. And we’ve had to make plans on the island to make sure that we care for these women in the proper centre, with the proper expertise.”
The number of pregnant women in B.C.’s intensive care units is likely to increase, including within Island Health.
And the consequences can be devastating.
“The biggest risk is pre-term delivery,” Bos said. “Because mom becomes so unwell that we cannot keep the pregnancy in utero. Or there are concerns about ongoing pregnancy; will the fetus continue to grow normal? will the placenta function? is it damaged by the virus?”
Misinformation is fueling vaccine hesitancy among pregnant women and their partners, but the benefits of the shot outweigh any concerns, according to Henry.
“It is highly recommended that pregnant women get their vaccine as soon as possible, preferably if you are planning on getting pregnant, to have the vaccine before that. But at any stage during pregnancy, it is safe and it is an important way to protect you and your baby.”
Bos encourages all pregnant women to talk to a trusted medical professional with any concerns, to ensure their unborn babies are healthy.