Pregnant women may be at a greater risk of COVID-19 infection, according to new research

Pregnancy and COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Melissa Gardner was excited to find out she’s expecting her second baby boy.

“We found out a couple weeks into quarantine,” said Gardner.

But because of the pandemic, she’s had to go to most of her appointments alone, causing a little anxiety.

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“If at any point I would’ve gotten bad news, I would’ve been by myself, and I’m so thankful that this baby is healthy,” said Gardner.

Duval County Medical Society Foundation President Dr. Sunil Joshi said new research indicates pregnant women could be more susceptible to COVID-19.

“Our immune system takes a little bit of a dip during pregnancy. Women’s natural antibodies are shared with the baby through the placenta,” said Joshi.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s a greater risk of complications, such as preterm delivery.

Joshi said while the percentage is low, it’s still possible for infected mothers to pass the illness to their babies.

“In those cases where the babies did test positive — in almost all of those cases — the moms developed COVID in about a week or two prior to delivery,” said Joshi.

According to a study co-authored by the Mayo Clinic, the outcomes could be even worse for pregnant women with underlying health issues.

“Just take the precautions that we’ve been talking about all along,” said Joshi.

Gardner is due in December; in the meantime, she’s making sure to take extra good care of herself.

“We were cautious, to begin with. And then once we found out we were pregnant, we became 10 times more cautious,” said Gardner.