COVID-19 and pregnancy: Women regret not getting the vaccine | National News

The women live on opposite sides of the Alabama-Georgia line, an area that was hit hard by the delta variant this summer.

While Harrison had to be put on life support, Nipper’s symptoms were more subtle. When she was eight months pregnant, she lost her sense of smell and developed a fever. The symptoms went away quickly, but Jack didn’t seem to be kicking as much as he had been. She tried drinking a caffeinated beverage: Nothing. She headed to the hospital in Columbus, Georgia, for fetal monitoring where medical staff delivered the news: Baby Jack was gone.

“He was supposed to come into the world in three weeks or less,” Nipper said. “And for them to tell you there’s no heartbeat and there is no movement …”

Nipper’s doctor, Timothy Villegas, said testing showed the placenta itself was infected with the virus and displayed patterns of inflammation similar to the lungs of people who died of COVID-19.

The infection likely caused the baby’s death by affecting its ability to get oxygen and nutrients, Villegas said. The doctor said he has since learned of similar cases from other physicians.

“We’re at that point where everybody is starting to raise some red flags,” he said.

In west Alabama, Dr. Cheree Melton, a family medicine physician who specializes in obstetrics and teaches at the University of Alabama, said she and her colleagues have had about a half-dozen unvaccinated patients infected with COVID-19 lose unborn children to either miscarriages or stillbirth, a problem that worsened with delta’s spread.

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