NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner says a baby died from COVID-19 related complications. The coroner says it is that parish’s first child death related to the new coronavirus.
Dr. William “Beau” Clark says a pregnant woman went to the hospital with symptoms and had to be placed on a ventilator. She went into preterm labor and had to deliver the baby prematurely at just under 22 weeks. The child did not survive. The baby has not yet tested positive for COVID-19 but the mother did.
We spoke with a high-risk pregnancy OB-GYN with LSU Health New Orleans who says pregnant women should fully adhere to the recommended protection measures.
“We’ve seen a number of instances, where especially if they have underlying health risks, that we have had pregnant moms who have been admitted to the hospital with different ranges of disease severity,” said LSU Health New Orleans OB/GYN, Robert Maupin, M.D.
Dr. Maupin adds severe infections can also put a pregnant woman at risk for complications.
“We know not just from COVID but other severe viral illnesses including influenza that during pregnancy if a woman has a more severe case of an illness, respiratory illness, such as severe influenza, COVID and other conditions that we have seen, it does pose a risk for pregnancy complications such as preterm birth,” said Maupin.
Maupin adds it’s also important to protect newborns since they don’t have a fully functioning immune system yet.
“It is important to protect them because it is going to be a critical window of risk. We just don’t have enough cases to know what it fully looks like for very, very, young children who unfortunately become infected,” said Maupin.
Maupin says while it’s unknown whether a mother can transmit COVID-19 to her unborn baby, a newborn may be at risk of contracting the infection from its mother directly after birth. That’s why he says very careful measures should be put in place following birth if the mother is diagnosed with the virus.