Wendy Figueroa had to wait 20 days after giving birth at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas, before she could hold her newborn daughter, Alexa. She and her newborn both had tested positive for the coronavirus. The KTVT reported that the mom felt "horrible" for enduring the long wait.
COVID-19 present in the placenta
On April 30, Figueroa had tested positive for the deadly virus during her eighth-month pregnancy. Two days later, she went into labor at the hospital. The mom told CBS DFW that she was nervous to give birth with COVID-19.
Marjorie Quint-Bouzid, Parkland's senior vice president of nursing, women, and infant's specialty health told the outlet that the mom had a special case. She said that they found that the virus was present in Figueroa's placenta.
Mom saw her daughter from a distance
Within a day of being born, Alexa showed symptoms of the disease. She had a fever and difficulty breathing. The hospital staff isolated Figueroa and brought Alexa to the NICU. Thankfully, the staff tried to keep the mother and daughter "attached" while being apart.
They let the mom see her daughter live-stream using an iPad. Quint-Bouzid said that they felt like they had to do something. They all cried when Figueroa saw her baby and got reunited for the first time.
Researchers in Texas found strong evidence of intrauterine transmission of #COVID19 from mother to baby. Read more about the study that was published in @PIDJournal on @TheSun. https://t.co/AT6HYzTRZ3 pic.twitter.com/xzrAHi8AOz — Lippincott (@lippincott) July 24, 2020
It was hard for the mom
The mom of three told USA Today about her experience of having to be separated from her newborn. She said that it was hard for a mom not to cradle the baby that she carried for nine months in her womb. She shared that after the nurses showed her newborn to her from a distance, they took her away.
She shared that it is not the same as seeing her newborn through a camera. She would cry seeing her little one through the camera because she could not have her little girl.
In July, a report was published in "The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal" about the case. Co-author of the study, Dr. Amanda Evans, found that even if the baby got exposed to mom's body fluids on her way out through the birth canal, it would not be possible to affect the placental tissue.
A neonatal doctor at UT Southwestern and medical director of the NICU at Parkland Hospital, Dr. Mambarambath Jaleel, said his thoughts. He said that since Alexa was immediately taken from her mom, they ruled out the transfer of the virus through droplets.
Figueroa shared some advice to other pregnant moms. She said that they should take care of themselves because it is so difficult to have to be away from your newborn baby.
Parkland Hospital tests every woman who got admitted for delivery for COVID-19 tests. 173 mothers tested positive for the deadly disease, and all got separated from their newborns. Later, five doctors also tested positive.
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