(WFLA/KXAS) – A mother from Texas is opening up about passing COVID-19 to her newborn baby.
The case is one of the few documented cases around the world of coronavirus transmission between a pregnant woman and her unborn child.
Wendy Figueroa couldn’t touch or hold her baby because she had tested positive for the virus right before giving birth.
Within 24 hours, baby Alexa tested positive as well.
Figueroa said being separated from her fourth child was the hardest part of their journey, which doctors say might be the first US case of coronavirus transmission from mother to unborn baby.
Figueroa gave birth six weeks early, but doctors say Alexa was otherwise healthy until the day after, when she began showing signs of fever and respiratory distress.
“We have enough evidence in her case that the virus was passed from mom to baby while baby was still inside,” said Dr. Wilmer Moreno, obstetrics and gynecology.
Dr. Moreno said transmission from mother to fetus is possible, but rare.
New testing protocols will help track the trends in newborns, but Dr. Moreno said the challenge is treatment.
“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,” the doctor said.
Figueroa relied on virtual visits during Alexa’s three week hospital stay.
But two months later, both are home and happy to be COVID-free.
The CDC says more than 3,000 pregnant women in the country have been hospitalized because of coronavirus.
According to doctors, most pregnant women make full recoveries.
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