The good news from Greece.
The first baby born virus-free was delivered on March 19. Doctors created a confined area in which to perform a cesarean section. They also took precautions like wearing three pairs of gloves, protective eyeglasses, and masks to protect themselves from being exposed to the virus themselves. The mother will be isolated for 14 days before she is allowed to hold the baby. The second virus-free baby was born on Monday and we assume similar precautions were taken.
Small studies also indicate the virus is not passed from womb to baby.
Earlier this month, we shared the findings of two studies that found mothers with COVID-19 will not necessarily pass the virus to their babies. It's important to note that in both studies the babies were delivered via C-section, which means the findings do not necessarily apply to women who give birth vaginally.
Some newborns have tested positive for COVID-19.
In February, we shared the case of a baby who was born to a mother with coronavirus and tested positive for it as well 30 hours after being born. Then in March we shared the story of another baby born to a mother with coronavirus and in that instance, the baby tested positive for the virus just minutes after being born. What's different about these births in respect to the babies that tested negative in Greece is that these babies were delivered vaginally as opposed to via C-section, and could have contracted the virus during the delivery process.
How should pregnant women protect themselves and the babies they are carrying?
Our go-to sources for how coronavirus affects pregnancy have been the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Word Health Organization. Both organizations acknowledge that COVID-19 is such a new illness that the scientific community is still learning about it and how it affects specific populations like pregnant women. What is known is that because of changes to pregnant women's immune systems, "pregnant women can be badly affected by some respiratory infections" and that's why it's so important for pregnant women to protect themselves against COVID-19.
The best defense against coronavirus for pregnant women is to not catch it at all. Both the CDC and WHO recommend that pregnant women take the same precautions as the general public to avoid contracting the disease. Those precautions include washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and staying away from sick people.