not been vaccinated, Dobbs adds.
Subramaniam said the usual stillbirth rate is typically 2% at her facility, which treats high-risk pregnancies, but the COVID-associated rate has ranged from 3% to 6% during the pandemic.
The national rate is 1%. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the loss of 266 pregnancies to stillbirth since the pandemic began.
With the highly contagious Delta variant striking many younger adults, pregnant individuals are among the casualties. The CDC reports more than 118,260 cases of COVID-19 in expectant women during the pandemic. And intensive care doctors have seen an increase in severe cases among unvaccinated pregnant women in recent weeks, NBC News reports.
“Since we’re seeing more pregnant people getting ill, it’s not surprising to me that, unfortunately, we are seeing a higher rate of fetal losses and stillbirth,” Dr. Brenna Hughes, chief of Duke University Medical Center’s Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine in Durham, N.C says.
The potential connection between COVID and stillbirths might be the virus’ impact on oxygen supply, she suggests.
“If you can’t get enough oxygen delivered to the baby, then that increases the risk of bad things happening to babies,” Hughes tells NBC News.
A pregnant woman’s blood pressure may also drop during COVID, making it impossible to get enough blood flow to the baby, according to Hughes. Inflammation that can be caused by severe COVID cases causes the body to produce