A Singaporean mother who was infected with COVID-19 while pregnant is said to have given birth to a healthy baby boy. It is known that the baby has antibodies to the virus.
Doctors suspect that the mother passed on COVID-19 antibodies to her child while in the fetus.
The World Health Organization has not confirmed whether pregnant women can pass COVID-19 to their babies during pregnancy.
Singapore has the world’s lowest death rate from the coronavirus and is considered to have successfully tackled COVID-19.
Celine Ng-Chan told the Straits Times newspaper that her son, Aldrin, was born in November without COVID-19, but with coronavirus antibodies.
“The doctor suspected I had transferred COVID-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy,” Ng-Chan told the newspaper.
In its report, the Straits Times quoted doctors as saying this 31-year-old woman contracted the coronavirus, along with her family after returning from a vacation in Europe.
He developed mild symptoms of COVID-19 and was discharged from the hospital after two and a half weeks of treatment.
“My pregnancy and childbirth went smoothly despite being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the first trimester, which is the most unstable stage of pregnancy. I am very blessed to have Aldrin and he was born very healthy,” she said.
Associate Professor Tan Hak Koon of KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital told the Straits Times that “it is not yet known whether the presence of these antibodies in newborns provides a degree of protection against COVID-19 infection, let alone the duration of protection.”
According to the World Health Organization, it is not known whether a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.
Until now, the active virus has not been found in fluid samples around the baby in the womb, as well as in the mother’s milk.
Doctors in China reported detection and reduction of COVID-19 antibodies over time in babies born to women who contracted the coronavirus, according to an article published in October in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.