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Up to 45% of expectant mothers testing positive for COVID-19 before giving birth at BJC

"The time to get vaccinated was yesterday," said Dr. Ebony Carter, Washington University high-risk OB/GYN at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis area doctors are pleading with the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Physicians especially want pregnant women to step up and get not just two shots, but three. 

"If you aren't vaccinated, please get vaccinated," stressed Dr. Ebony Carter, Washington University High-Risk OB/GYN at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. "And if you're not boosted then get boosted, because that's going to be the best protection for mom and the baby, once the baby gets here."

Dr. Carter says studies show women who have received a COVID booster had a higher likelihood of passing on protective antibodies to their babies.

"There is really good evidence that mom is passing those soldiers or antibodies through the umbilical cord and over to the baby," said Dr. Carter.

Prepping your body to fight COVID, particularly the omicron variant is critical and currently, it seems that it is a fight pregnant women are losing.

"The rates of COVID have been really high, as high as 45% for patients who are pregnant coming into our labor floor," said Dr. Carter.

She says some women have needed intensive care due to COVID symptoms, some have needed to isolate from their newborns and others are suffering high-risk pregnancies.

"I don't want to scare people because the absolute risk of that, the numbers are low, but so much higher if you didn't have COVID," said Dr. Carter.

In addition to vaccinations, including boosters, Dr. Carter recommends to all her patients isolating a few weeks before their due date.

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