A mother gave birth two months prematurely while she was critically ill with COVID-19.
Expectant mom gave birth while battling with COVID-19
Elsa Larkins looks at the world as a proud and adoring new mom while cradling her tiny baby in her arms. The moment became almost impossible for their family as she became in critical condition when she was diagnosed with COVID-19 during her pregnancy.
When Elsa was seven months pregnant, she was rushed to Kingston Hospital, southwest London, after Christmas. Aside from her pregnancy, she was so sick as if she was going to die.
Elsa reminisces, telling one of the nurses that she is dying, and that upset the nurse. The mother, 34, has no underlying health issues. However, the infant inside her womb was pushing her lungs up, which compromised her breathing.
According to Sky News, she had a difficult decision to deliver the baby through the emergency cesarean section. Even if the procedure was risky, doctors looked after Elsa as they felt they had no other option.
Senior consultant obstetrician Meena Shankar said Elsa was unwell and needed more oxygen, which is not a good indication with COVId-19 patients. Doctors knew Elsa was required to go to the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) and be ventilated as her oxygen requirements went up, Shankar added.
"To actually decide to deliver a baby early is a huge thing in obstetrics," she said. According to Shank, Elsa's case was unusual. Even if the hospital sees expectant mothers infected with COVID-19, they are not as sick as Elsa.
Doctors feared 'healthy' mother and her baby would die
Elsa was put in a coma after she gave birth while in critical condition with COVID-19. Her husband, Tommy Larkins, feared both his wife and baby would die as doctors struggled to save them, although the mom had no underlying health conditions.
At the time, Elsa was seven months pregnant. Doctors feared she might die after being rushed to the hospital after Christmas.
Tommy was urged to be prepared for losing Elsa and his unborn daughter and was told to bid goodbye before Florence was successfully delivered on January 5 by the emergency C section. The NHS staff battled to save the baby, who only weighed 1.5kg. The baby was put on life support, while her mother was put in a coma in the ICU. They were also placed on a ventilator.
According to The Mirror, the emergency C-section was risky, but they needed to save both lives, so doctors had no choice. Two weeks later, Elsa was brought out of her coma and first sought her baby.
From the ICU, Elsa was moved to a maternity ward. She said she had a tough experience, mainly waiting every day to be with her baby. But because she was not getting better, hospital staff kept on saying she could have her baby "tomorrow." The mother waited for several days before she was able to see her baby for the first time.
Elsa became strong by thinking of cuddling her baby for the first time, to get out of bed and recover. Now, the 34-year-old mom is recovering at their home.
Women could give antibodies to the unborn child
Recently, HNGN reported that a study reveals a pregnant woman infected with COVID-19 could protect her child through antibodies. Researchers say COVID-19 antibodies could be passed to an unborn baby's placenta if a woman caught the virus while she is still pregnant. However, expectant moms cannot assert with certainty that the mom will be safe from COVID-19 as the study is still evolving.
Besides, Dr. Richard Beigi said pregnant women are still encouraged to be vaccinated. According to Beigi, there is no theoretical reason that the COVID-19 vaccine would harm either the mother or the unborn baby.