Trans dad becomes first person outside of China to give birth with COVID-19 after falling sick while 9 months pregnant
A trans man was the first person outside of China to give birth with coronavirus, and made medical history as the first person to have a non-caesarean birth while infected.
Maaike, 43 gave birth to a healthy baby in March, according to an interview with his partner in Australia’s Sunday Mail, and was told by medics his was the first non-caesarean birth in the world to a COVID-19 sufferer.
While babies had been delivered in China to coronavirus-positive parents, the Chinese government made it mandatory for these to be caesarean births due to the health risks.
Maaike’s partner, Holly Zwalf, contracted COVID-19 in February while attending her grandmother’s funeral in the UK.
On her return to Queensland, Australia, where she lives with her four-year-old child, Zwalf fell ill.
“I had absolutely no idea I had coronavirus when I came down with a fever two days after arriving home,” she said. “By the time I went to see my doctor I didn’t have a temperature anymore so he also assumed I was fine.”
“Turns outs I wasn’t,” Zwalf, who was the 15th coronavirus case in Queensland, added.
Maaike, Zwalf and Zwalf’s child all tested positive for coronavirus after Maaike’s four-year-old became ill and was rushed to hospital.
Each partner was then quarantined separately with their child.
“By this point my partner was a couple of days off his due date,” Zwalf explained.
“Back then the data on pregnancy, COVID-19 and birth was very sparse, and we were in uncharted waters.
“In China they had ben conducting mandatory caesareans […] but together with a panel of infectious diseases experts and midwives we decided to attempt a non-caesarean birth.”
A further complication was that Maaike has cystic fibrosis, so there were “huge concerns” that the virus would get into his lungs.
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However the birth was successful with the baby born healthy – and free of COVID-19.
Maaike’s record-breaking birth is now the focus of research by the Infectious Diseases Department at the Sunshine Coast University.
In Australia, more than 250 trans men have given birth in the past decade.