Alarming new research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to an increased risk of stillbirths in pregnant women who become infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19.

"We are seeing loads of pregnancy complications from Covid-19 infection," Ellie Ragsdale, director of fetal intervention at UH Cleveland Medical Center, said.

The study adds to accounts from doctors around the country who have seen an unprecedented increase in pregnant women falling seriously ill as a result of Covid-19, especially as the highly contagious variant has spread.

Premature births, excessively high blood pressure in pregnant women, and pregnancy loss are among the complications, according to Ragsdale, who was not part of the new study.

One of the latest studies looked at the results of over 1.2 million pregnancies that occurred between March 2020 and September this year across the country.

Stillbirths were uncommon in the U.S. prior to the pandemic, occurring at a rate of .59%. Even after the pandemic, those rates remained consistent, at .64% among women who had never been diagnosed with COVID.

According to the CDC, the rate of stillbirths increased to .98% among pregnant moms infected with the coronavirus.

And, as the Delta variant became prevalent in July 2021, the rates of stillbirth skyrocketed: 2.7% of COVID-positive pregnancies resulted in stillbirth.

Although the study does not prove that the Delta variant causes more fetal death, obstetricians are increasingly noticing significant disparities in how much oxygen fetuses can absorb depending on whether their moms have been diagnosed with COVID.

Ragsdale and her colleagues have seen that pregnant women with Covid have trouble getting oxygen-rich blood to their growing fetuses.

Although the CDC investigation did not look at vaccination status, experts believe that unvaccinated pregnant women are particularly vulnerable.

According to the CDC, just under a third of pregnant women had been vaccinated against COVID by the time the delta variant took hold in July.

Data from the CDC revealed that 348 pregnancies were lost among 34,016 COVID-positive pregnant women.

Furthermore, the infection can be fatal to the mother, especially if she has an underlying health problem. A separate CDC report, released on Friday, investigated 15 fatalities among COVID-positive pregnant women in Mississippi. Almost everyone had a chronic health issue, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

None had been properly vaccinated. The CDC issued a health advisory in September advising pregnant women to get vaccinated against COVID-19.