Study suggests mother-to-infant transmission of COVID-19 can’t be ruled out

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:

Many of us are worried about our health in general during the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s especially of concern for women expecting to give birth soon.

One of life’s greatest joys is to bring a child into the world.

Jessica DiCarlo of Port Charlotte is preparing to welcome her second child in August and she says their family is excited.

But she didn’t expect this time to be filled with so much uncertainty, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s scary,” DiCarlo said. “You feel like you can’t even come out of your own house.”

The CDC recommends expectant mothers follow simple steps to stay healthy; avoid sick people and wash your hands often.

But beyond those tips, the CDC says there’s still a lot of questions about COVID-19’s impact on pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and infants.

Dr. David Patton is an OBGYN practitioner. “There are smart people in epidemiology that are following this,” he says. “I’m relying on their expertise and since they’re taking it seriously I feel like we all have to take it seriously as well.”

Southwest Florida hospitals remain cautious with Fawcett, Bayfront, NCH and Lee Health limiting birthplace visitors to just one per patient.

DiCarlo says it’s heartbreaking because her mother and my mother-in-law are her best friends “so if I can’t have them there, I don’t know what I will do.”

She says her family’s support, and faith will get her through, “You know, all you can do is pray.”

The CDC says it’s currently unclear if a pregnant mother with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy or delivery.

But one study of three newborns with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China found mother-to-infant transmission can’t be ruled out.

Visitation policies:

Bayfront Health visitor policy with COVID:
“One partner, significant other or designated support person may visit patients in labor and delivery and/or post-partum and may stay overnight”

HCA/Fawcett visitor policy:
“Labor and delivery, post-partum, and the NICU one visitor is allowed and may stay overnight”

NCH visitor policy:
“Birthplace visitors are limited to one support person per patient.”

Lee Health:
Obstetric Services at HealthPark Medical Center and Cape Coral Hospital Family Birth Suites, Special Care, Antepartum and Mom/Baby units will be limited to 1 support person for visitation throughout the hospital stay. No children under 12 years old will be allowed.


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