Mother With Covid-19 Gives Birth To Baby Born With Protective Antibodies

by : Hannah Smith on : 01 Dec 2020 14:29
Mother With COVID-19 Gives Birth To Baby Born With Protective AntibodiesPA Images

Giving birth in the middle of a pandemic sounds like a terrifying experience in itself, but what happens if you come down with the virus while you’re pregnant?

That’s exactly what happened to Celine Ng-Chan, who contracted the virus while 10 weeks pregnant back in March. Thankfully, Ng-Chan recovered without suffering any serious complications, and in early November gave birth to her son, who doctors say appears to have been born with protective coronavirus antibodies.


The Singaporean private tutor told The Straits Times:

My pregnancy and birth was smooth sailing despite being diagnosed with COVID-19 in my first trimester, which is the most unstable stage of the pregnancy. I’m very blessed to have Aldrin and he came out very healthy,

I feel relieved my COVID-19 journey is finally over now.

PA Images

It’s a happy ending for what must have been a scary few months for the new mother. As per Science Alert, Ng-Chan was diagnosed with Covid in the early stages of the pandemic, when little was known about its impact on pregnant women and newborns.


Research has since emerged suggesting that mother-to-baby transmission of the virus is rare, and Ng-Chan’s experience should hopefully help reassure other expectant parents as they try to cope with the stresses of pregnancy during a global pandemic.

A report published earlier this year studied six mothers who tested positive for Covid-19 while pregnant, and found that all but one of the babies had elevated levels of antibodies at birth, suggesting babies can gain ‘passive immunity’ in utero. Another study has found that antibodies capable of neutralising Covid-19 could also be passed to babies through breast milk.

PA Images

According to Business Insider, this kind of protection is not necessarily a surprise, as babies have been shown to be protected from other infectious diseases in the womb before.


Paediatrician Dr. Jessica Madden told Insider:

This is the reason why certain vaccines, like pertussis and flu, are recommended during pregnancy…IgG antibodies increase in fetuses later in pregnancy, especially after the 36-week gestation mark.

While this is clearly good news, Dr. Madden also warned that it was likely that babies would not remain immune for long after birth, and said it’s unclear if mothers who had Covid-19 before they became pregnant would provide their babies with similar immunity.

So while it’s sensible to continue to take extra precautions if you’re expecting, this news should be reassuring to soon-to-be parents trying to navigate through this pandemic.


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Science Alert
  1. Science Alert

    A Baby Was Born With Protective Antibodies After Mom Had COVID-19 During Pregnancy