MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Twin Cities doctors are concerned over seeing a rise in pregnant women becoming sick with COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates 77% of expecting women are not vaccinated. But that’s only part of the story.

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The Birthplace at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Children’s Hospital has seen its share of pregnant women with COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic.

Medical director of the clinic Dr. Sarah Cross says anecdotally she’s seen an increase in recent weeks.

“There are a lot of exposures, and pregnant women don’t have the luxury, in general, usually, of being able to really isolate themselves,” Cross said.

She says that, coupled with the contagious Delta variant, and high number of unvaccinated women expecting add to the rise in cases.

“As a physician, my number one concern is that something bad happens to that person, right, that she gets sick. We know that pregnancy is a high risk condition for COVID,” Cross said.

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Dr. Ryan Loftin, with Allina Health says they’ve seen a small amount of break-through cases.

“What we are seeing in our numbers is that about 86% of COVID cases that we’re seeing in pregnant women are women who are unvaccinated, which fits with what we’re seeing nationally,” Loftin said.

More recently, he’s seen pregnant women requiring increased support and even ICU care.

“It can be as severe as it is in anyone else, requiring intubation, mechanical ventilation and even including deaths of pregnant women because of severe illness,” Loftin said.

And that’s why doctors want pregnant patients to know the vaccine is safe.

“The data is incredibly reassuring that there are no increased risks of pregnancy complications or complications for the woman that gets vaccinated,” Cross said.

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Doctors say they’ve seen more pregnant patients be open to getting the vaccine, following the CDC’s recommendation.

Jennifer Mayerle