WEST ALLIS, Wis. — An Advocate Aurora Health obstetrician is urging pregnant woman to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after The Wisconsin Maternal Mortality Review Program noticed an alarming uptick in the number of unvaccinated pregnant women dying from coronavirus in Wisconsin.
According to the program, there are also several cases in which the infant has passed away due to the virus as well.
Dr. Stacy Syrcle, an Obstetrician with Advocate Aurora Health in West Allis, says being vaccinated while pregnant could save both the life of the mother and the baby if COVID-19 is contracted during pregnancy.
"If you do contract COVID-19 in pregnancy, you do have a higher risk of complications, both to you and your baby," said Dr. Syrcle. "There’s plenty of evidence showing increased risk of hospitalizations, ICU stay and death in pregnant women, as well as risk to the baby including: pre-term delivery, NICU admissions, growth restriction and infant still-birth."
Dr. Syrcle was vaccinated while she was 11 weeks pregnant with her baby Lily. That vaccination happened back in 2020, before there was a bunch of research on the impacts of the COVID-19 vaccines on pregnant women and their babies.
"We now have been vaccinating pregnant women with the COVID-19 vaccine for a year and all of the data shown so far has shown to be safe and effective and that’s the best thing that they can do to prevent severe complications in pregnancy," she said.
The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 34.8% of pregnant women are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 in the United States.
Doctors believe misinformation on social media is to blame for that low number.
Dr. Syrcle recommends that pregnant women who are hesitant to be vaccinated check out guidance from the CDC, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Society of Reproductive Medicine - all of which support being vaccinated while pregnant.