Wendy Figueroa had to wait 20 days to hold her newborn daughter

By Benjamin VanHoose
August 14, 2020 01:02 PM
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A mom had to wait 20 days before holding her newborn after both contracted novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to KTVT, Figueroa said it was "horrible" having to wait 20 days before cradling her daughter Alexa.

Figueroa tested positive for the virus on April 30, eight months into her pregnancy, and went into labor two days later at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas.

While she wasn't the first pregnant woman to give birth while infected with COVID-19, Parkland’s senior vice president of nursing, women and infant’s specialty health Marjorie Quint-Bouzid told the outlet this case was unlike others since there was "evidence of COVID in the placenta."

The newborn showed COVID-19 symptoms within a day of being born, including a fever and some difficulty breathing.

Figueroa had to be isolated and Alexa taken to the NICU, but hospital staffers found ways to keep the mother and child "attached" while apart. They provided Figueroa with a live-stream of the baby via an iPad.

“[It] made us all cry when she was able to see the baby for the first time,” Quint-Bouzid said.

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Figueroa — who also has two daughters and a son — opened up to USA Today about her time apart from Alexa:

“They showed her to me from a distance and then took her away. It’s hard to carry a baby for nine months, and when they’re born you can’t even cradle them. … It’s hard for a mother," she said. “Seeing her through a camera, it’s not the same. I would cry watching my little girl through the camera because I would say, ‘I can’t have my little girl.’ ”

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The case was studied in a report published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal in July, in which Dr. Amanda Evans, co-author of the study, found that "even if the baby had been exposed to mom’s secretions or bodily fluids on the way out of the birth canal, that likely would not have affected the placental tissue,” according to USA Today.

Figueroa offered advice to other expectant moms: "Tell everyone who’s pregnant to take care of themselves, try to take care as much as you can, because it’s so difficult."

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