Everything was going well and smoothly with my pregnancy alhamdulila. It was my second pregnancy so I knew more about what to expect and any symptoms that may have worried me in my first pregnancy. I was working from home from 28 weeks in order to self-isolate and reduce my risk of contracting COVID.

My husband was a front-line worker and we both contracted COVID whilst I was 33 weeks pregnant. It was a worrying time, as I read it can double the chances of stillbirth and triple the chance of having a preterm birth, which can have a long-term health impact on your baby.

I deteriorated very fast and had extreme difficulty breathing on top of being heavily pregnant and fatigued.

My symptoms started with a sore throat and my sense of smell and taste changed. I deteriorated very fast and had extreme difficulty breathing on top of being heavily pregnant and fatigued. The doctors thought it was highly likely I had a lung clot and I was put on high dose oxygen. I went from someone who was so fit and healthy just 2 weeks before, to becoming someone 100% reliant on healthcare staff for the most basic activities. I remember laying in the hospital ward wishing I would die as I thought that I would never get better.

With growing concern for mine and my baby’s health, I had an emergency C-section at 36 weeks as my health deteriorated fast. We were both very lucky to have survived. However, I experienced long COVID symptoms of extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing for around 6-8 months post COVID. I wished I had had the vaccine but at the time there were no vaccine opportunities. I urge every pregnant woman to have the COVID vaccine, if not for your sake, for your baby’s sake. Not everyone is as lucky as me to tell their story.

Note from MWN Hub: The majority of pregnant women who have been admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 are unvaccinated.  Research also shows Black and Asian pregnant women are more likely to be admitted to hospital due to Covid. It is therefore really important to have the vaccination and the booster.  We know that women women may be reluctant to have the vaccination for a range of reasons. It is therefore important to have access to trusted information to help with decision making.  The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have produced information and a decision making tool for women who are pregnant, considering a pregnancy or who are breast feeding, which can be accessed here.

Also, some women may be reluctant to attend hospital appointments because of the Covid pandemic.  However, it is important that if you experience any unusual signs and symptoms such as reduced fetal movements that you contact your midwife immediately.

Videos about having the Covid vaccination can also be accessed in different languages: EnglishUrdu and Bengali.

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