Unvaccinated Mom With COVID Has Premature Baby in Emergency C-Section

A pregnant woman who had not been vaccinated against COVID-19 had to have an emergency C-section weeks before the baby's due date, after falling severely ill.

Kaitlin Moore, from Indianapolis, tested positive for the virus in September, after which her health deteriorated rapidly.

She was 32 weeks pregnant when her oxygen levels dropped and both her lungs collapsed, leading medics to make the decision to perform an emergency C-section. Moore fell into a coma, and had to be placed on a ventilator for 19 days.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to fall severely ill from COVID-19, unless they are vaccinated.

They are also at increased risk for preterm birth, stillbirth and other pregnancy complications.

However, according to the CDC, as of September 29, only 31 percent of pregnant woman in the U.S. had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

"I was just really sick. My oxygen wasn't getting any better. Sofia wasn't getting any oxygen," Moore told WTHR. "So I was in the room and I have no idea what is going on. Don't know if the baby is even alive."

Moore was able to hold her baby daughter, Sofia, for the first time 25 days after giving birth. However, Sofia had to spend 81 days in the neonatal intensive care unit, after suffering health complications of her own.

She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, though doctors said that this was not related to Moore's COVID-19 infection.

"Just her being here and me being here and being here together that's the biggest miracle really," Moore said.

"You just never know how quickly things can change and when it might be your last moment, and to really cherish the people you love because life is so fragile."

A study released by the CDC in August concluded that they had found no evidence of an elevated risk of miscarriage among nearly 2,500 pregnant women who received a COVID-19 vaccine before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

"Miscarriage typically occurs in about 11-16 percent of pregnancies, and this study found miscarriage rates after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine were around 13 percent, similar to the expected rate of miscarriage in the general population," the CDC said at the time.

Some 22 pregnant women died from COVID-19 in August alone, according to the CDC, the highest monthly total of COVID-related deaths in pregnant women.

As of September 27, the CDC reported that 161 pregnant women had died from the virus, and 22,000 had been hospitalized, out of 125,000 laboratory-confirmed cases.

Mother lying next to her newborn baby
It was 25 days after Sofia's birth that Kaitlin Moore was able to hold her baby for the first time. doble-d/iStock