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1st-time mom gets COVID days before baby’s due date

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — “Definitely that whole week leading up to giving birth was an emotional rollercoaster. Because it was the end of March, beginning of April, there still wasn’t that much information, there was still so many unknowns.”

Giving birth with COVID-19. A first-time mom tested positive for the virus just days before her baby’s due date, and is now participating in a UCSF study on pregnant women with coronavirus.

“It started out with a dry cough for two days then I woke up and felt congested,” Rachel Collette said.

Collette’s symptoms are similar to the other nearly 600 women who are participating in a UCSF study who tested positive for coronavirus while pregnant.

The national study found that COVID-19 has a prolonged effect for many women during pregnancy, and while symptoms generally ease after a month, 25-percent of pregnant women had symptoms.

That persisted for eight or more weeks.

“Definitely that whole week leading up to giving birth was an emotional rollercoaster,” Collette said.

Rachel is now a healthy mom to a healthy six-month-old girl. But days before her daughter was born, Rachel got sick — she had a dry cough, a sore throat, a headache, and tested positive for coronavirus.

“At 39 weeks, some of my family started getting sick, 39 and a half weeks, I started feeling some symptoms,” Collette said.

Because her husband also had symptoms, he was unable to be at the hospital when she gave birth.

Her baby — tested negative, and Rachel’s symptoms soon subsided.

Researchers say they hope the findings from the study help pregnant women and their doctors understand what to expect with COVID-19 infections moving forward.

“During pregnancy, infections from any cause can have a more prolonged course than if you are not pregnant and now we know that with certainty for COVID-19,” Dr. Vanessa Jacoby, M.A./Associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at UCSF, said.

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