EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — Welcoming your first child into the world is supposed to be exciting, but for women like Lindsay Bowie, COVID-19 has made the experience more difficult to deal with both emotionally and physically.
“I found out I was pregnant very end of March early April. It was very exciting and that was right when COVID quarantine was happening. We did not know what was going on,” said Bowie.
Expecting mothers are considered high risk when it comes to being exposed to COVID-19 and doctors say that risk is even greater for Hispanic women.
“We have a high Latino population in El Paso and this population does get more severe disease and higher incidents,” said Dr. Armida Moreno with Providence Health Network. “COVID-19 is affecting pregnant women a lot, like everyone else in the population.”
Recent studies published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Hispanic women and Latino families are placed in a higher risk category.
“I’m not sure it’s completely understood but they do classically have lower access to care and more underlying medical conditions,” said Moreno.
Numbers exclusively obtained by KFOX14 show that a total of 54 pregnant women have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in El Paso this far. No newborns have tested positive.
“COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory disease and hypoxi is very dangerous for the fetus. It can affect their development and even cause brain injury,” said Moreno. “It can also cause scarring in the lungs for mom.”
Moreno says the virus can affect pregnant women differently.
“We’ve certainly seen the whole spectrum here of disease from mild symptoms to intubation and ICU admission,” said Moreno.
Lindsay just learned she and her husband Bryan will be welcoming a baby girl in December, and while she’s counting down the days until she can hold her in her arms, she worries about the obstacles ahead.
“It’s been a very tough time as I’m sure a lot of pregnant women can relate and not being able to see anybody and not being able to cherish the joyous things that come with pregnancy,” said Bowie. “Right now I want to make sure my husband can be in the delivery room with me on that day, since he hasn’t been allowed inside at any of my appointments.”
For the latest updates on COVID-19 in our area and around the world, head to our coronavirus section.
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