By Liz Collin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) —  Complications from COVID-19 forced a Minnesota mom to deliver her baby six weeks early.

Her doctor says it’s a dangerous scenario playing out far too often at one Minneapolis hospital.

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Breann Barber tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 22 in her hometown of Two Harbors.

“I just kind of started getting a little bit of a cold and a tickle in the throat it was getting a little harder to breathe,” Barber said.

Pregnant with her third child, her oxygen levels plummeted. Days later she was hospitalized in Duluth, then airlifted to Abbott the next day.

“So many different medical teams worked together to make sure we came out OK,” Barber said.

Barber delivered barely 4-pound Gemma on Dec. 1 at 34 weeks. She didn’t want to say whether she was vaccinated.

“I think it’s just personally whatever you feel comfortable doing, and when you have a little baby growing inside of you it’s what you need to do for you and your baby,” Barber said.

Breann Barber and daughter Gemma (credit: CBS)

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Barber’s doctor, Tim Wood, believes more pregnant women should be. He is an internal medicine and pediatrics hospitalist at Abbott Northwestern.

“The data, from vaccine perspective, continues to be more and more safe and efficacious, and pregnancy is included in that,” Wood said.

He’s noticed more hesitancy in that population. He’s caring for 10 expecting moms with the virus right now — the majority unvaccinated. They are hospital stays Wood says are playing a part in the current crunch for space.

“Some of these women are in the hospital for weeks and weeks just to make sure that their oxygen numbers are adequate,” he said.

Wood says during the pandemic, he’s cared for two expectant moms with the virus who did not survive, and one baby who didn’t make it after being delivered.

Barber was released from Abbot last week. She’s breathing much easier now. It will still be a few more days before Gemma heads home, too.

“She’s just been kicking butt and we’ve just been super blessed,” Barber said.

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Liz Collin