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STATEWIDE — Pregnant women already face an uphill battle mentally, physically, and emotionally. It’s safe to say it’s even more stressful during a global pandemic.

For unvaccinated pregnant women, their own health may not be the only thing on the line. Their unborn babies could face the consequences of COVID-19 as well.

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19. CareSource Chief Medical Officer Dr. Cameual Wright says unborn babies also face that risk if their mother isn’t vaccinated.

“If a mom isn’t getting enough oxygen the baby could be deprived of oxygen and perhaps not grow,” Wright tells WISH-TV. “Worst case scenario, the baby could potentially die and there have been reports of women who had very serious COVID-19 infections and have lost their babies.”

But Dr. Wright says if a vaccinated mother is protected from a severe reaction to COVID-19, so is the baby. Wright says antibodies developed as a result of the vaccine are passed along through the womb. Dr. Wright says this is important because babies are not yet eligible for vaccination, thus offering them a layer of protection against COVID-19.

Dr. Wright says a new study of over 200,000 people revealed some positive news for vaccinated pregnant women. The study states the babies showed no negative side effects scientists could trace back to the vaccine.

All pregnant women in that study gave birth to healthy babies.