According to a recent study published on July 14th, the first-ever recorded case of a newborn contracting the coronavirus via the mom (in the womb) has happened in France recently. Antoine Beclere, 23 years of age, was admitted to a Paris hospital showing symptoms of a fever and cough at just over 35 weeks pregnant. She tested positive for COVID-19 and would give birth to her baby via C-section, where it was found that the infant had contracted the virus as well.
Inflammation on the baby’s brain was found, caused by COVID-19. Doctors believe the illness infected the newborn’s bloodstream via the placenta. Thankfully, the baby recovered from the virus and was released from the hospital two-and-a-half weeks later.
According to the doctors, after birth, the baby was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit within the hospital, so they were able to eliminate any chances that the child caught COVID-19 after being born.
While this is the first-ever case of COVID-19 transmission from mom-to-baby via the womb, past research has revealed that is was possible. Earlier this month, an Italian research team reviewed 31 moms with the novel coronavirus that delivered in March and April. Signs of the illness were discovered in the placenta, umbilical cord, as well as breast milk (in one case). The research dealt with three different hospitals during the peak of the outbreak that occurred in northern Italy. The team also found certain anti-COVID antibodies within the breast milk and umbilical cord blood.
Since COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, doctors have pondered whether or not a mom could pass the virus on to her unborn child. Zika, HIV, and other conditions have been known to do so. Some early reports from China suggested that the same would be the case when it came to COVID-19; although, there was also the thought that the virus might have been spread to babies during or after they were born.
It’s important to note that while a mom passing on the virus to their unborn child is possible, it is not very common. Many babies have been born to moms with COVID-19 during the pandemic, and there are no laboratory signs of the illness. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drafted a report that indicates pregnant women might be more at risk when it comes to the novel coronavirus than their newborns.
Therefore, pregnant women need to understand that while self-isolation isn’t necessarily needed, a focus on social distancing, washing hands, refraining from touching your face, and wearing a mask when needed, should be adhered to.