A new case study found that the novel coronavirus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Texas mothers speak about passing COVID-19 to her newborn baby.

Dr. Amanda Evans, senior author of the report asserted, “It’s very important to bring to the forefront this finding that mothers and infants can be affected by COVID-19, transmission can occur during pregnancy, and pregnant mothers need to protect themselves.” The new case study involved a woman who was 34 weeks pregnant.

Maternal Transmission of Coronavirus to Baby During Pregnancy

This case is documented across the world of COVID-19 transmission between a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. Wendy Figueroa was admitted in the hospital with a headache, fever, and a gastrointestinal symptom on April 30, after two days, her baby Alexa was born.

Wendy Figueroa had tested positive for the COVID-19 infection before giving birth and she wasn’t permitted to touch or hold her baby. Baby Alexa tested positive within 24 hours.

Figueroa said being separated from her newborn child (4th child) was difficult for her. It was the first US case of COVID-19 transmission from mother to an unborn baby. Figueroa gave birth to Alexa six weeks early. After giving birth, Alexa commenced showing symptoms of fever and respiratory distress.

Her newborn Alexa was admitted at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, fighting SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Wendy said, “They showed her to me from a distance and then took her away.” And mentioned further, “It’s hard to carry a baby for nine months and when they’re born, you can’t even cradle them … It’s hard for a mother.”

Dr. Wilmer Moreno, obstetrics and gynecology stated that “We have enough evidence in her case that the virus was passed from mom to baby while the baby was still inside.”

Dr. Moreno mentioned transmission from mother to fetus can happen, but rarely. Dr. Moreno said, “The fact that this can occur, even if rare, illustrates how important it is to limit exposure for mothers and newborns.” New testing protocols are found to track the trends in newborns, but Dr. Moreno stated that the challenge is treatment.

The Doctor added, “Typically women sometimes are excluded from these trials because people are afraid of risks to the baby, so at this moment, all of the institutions, doing research, are very aware that they need to include women and pregnant women in these studies.”

Figueroa paid a virtual visit during her daughter’s three-week hospital stay. After two months both Wendy and her daughter are happy to be home.

This case study was published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal on July 10. Dr. Amanda Evans, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, did the case study.