• A woman in India who was hospitalized with COVID-19 prematurely gave birth to a baby girl 24 weeks into her pregnancy
  • The child suffered several complications, including ones related to COVID-19, but her condition improved
  • The two are in good health three and a half months after the delivery, with the baby now weighing around 2.2 pounds

A pregnant woman in the Indian state of Karnataka prematurely gave birth late last year to a baby who weighed a little over a pound while she was hospitalized with COVID-19.

Rekha Ramesh was taken to Aster CMI Hospital in Bengaluru after her health deteriorated due to her coronavirus infection, The Hans India reported. It is not clear when exactly she was diagnosed with COVID-19 and when she was taken to the hospital.

She was taken to the hospital's intensive care unit for further observation but was later forced to undergo an emergency cesarean section just 24 weeks into her pregnancy due to her lungs being damaged by COVID-19, according to the outlet.

"After an extensive consultation with the anesthetist and neonatologist, we decided to go ahead with an emergency C-section. This had to be performed faster as we could not expose her to anesthesia for long," Dr. Chetana V., the hospital's senior consultant for obstetrics and gynecology, was quoted as saying by the New Indian Express.

Ramesh's newborn, described by the doctor as an "extremely preterm baby" who weighed around 500 grams (1.1 pounds), was intubated before being shifted to the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit and put on high-end ventilator support.

Full-term babies, who are born between 37 and 41 weeks into a pregnancy, usually weigh around 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds).

"The journey was a challenge as the baby faced many complications like severe respiratory distress syndrome, requiring prolonged ventilator support followed by NIV, symptomatic Patent Ductus Arteriosus, feeding intolerance (Early Necrotizing Enterocolitis) requiring total parenteral nutrition," explained Dr. Sudheer K.A., a consultant for neonatology and pediatrics.

Additionally, Ramesh's baby girl also suffered neonatal multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a post-COVID complication, and both of her eyes were affected by retinopathy of prematurity.

The child received laser treatment for the latter, and she was discharged in stable condition after her condition improved.

The mother, meanwhile, was given anti-infection, oxytocin and fluid rehydration therapy after giving birth. She remained in the ICU for a few weeks following the operation and "improved gradually" over time, according to Dr. Prakash Doraiswamy, senior consultant of anesthesia and critical care at Aster CMI.

The mother and her child are in good health three and a half months after the operation, with the baby now weighing around 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds).

"I am extremely grateful to doctors, nurses and other staff at Aster CMI who made my complicated pregnancy a successful one," said Ramesh, who went through multiple miscarriages and 10 in vitro fertilization rounds before she became pregnant.

India has reported 42,867,031 COVID-19 cases and 512,622 virus-related deaths, according to data provided by the World Health Organization.

Representation. Rekha Ramesh went through multiple miscarriages and 10 in vitro fertilization rounds before she became pregnant. Pixabay