Suffolk midwife concerned as pregnant women in critical care with Covid

Routine blood tests have been cancelled at Ipswich Hospital, Colchester Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital as a result of...

Ipswich Hospital, Colchester Hospital and West Suffolk Hospital - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk midwife is "increasingly" worried by pregnant women in critical care hospitals with Covid-19. 

Teri Gavin Jones, maternity lead for Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, made the warning as mostly unvaccinated people lie in Ipswich, West Suffolk and Colchester Hospitals. 

Six people are unvaccinated and one is pregnant but has had only one dose in the critical care unit at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Trust. 

At West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust there are four Covid-19 patients in the critical care unit - none are elderly and two are unvaccinated. 

Ms Jones said she understands women being "hesitant" when it comes to their pregnancy and pointed out that midwives and the vaccine service is there to help talk it through with women. 

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"Most women think they can wait till they've had their baby," she said. "The numbers of Covid-19 patients who are pregnant in critical care is increasing."

But she explained pregnant women are often more at risk in later trimesters when their breathing is difficult. Due to Covid-19 being a respiratory illness it further puts pressure on people giving birth. 

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The latest research indicates women can be two to three times more likely to give birth to their baby prematurely if they catch Covid and are symptomatic. And suffer worse than women in the same age groups with the disease. 

She understands women were not urged to take it in the beginning of the vaccine roll-out but now after lots of research, she said: "The message to women is we as midwives are confident in the safety of the vaccine."

A spokesman for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “No one wants to end up in a hospital’s critical care unit, and yet we know that is a very real possibility, especially if you have not been vaccinated.

“Taking up the offer of a Covid-19 vaccine is the very best way to protect your own health and the health of others, and there are many pop-up clinics happening locally where you can go with no need for an appointment.

“If you’ve got any questions or concerns we urge you not to rely on the many unauthorized sources of information on social media. Instead speak to a health care professional at one of our clinics, visit the trusted local NHS website at or call our helpline on 0344 257 3961.”

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