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Covid-positive mum welcomes first baby of 2021 and says 'it's crazy'

New Year's baby joy

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Brody McWilliams Brown was born to mum Jennifer McWilliams in The National Maternity Hospital at four seconds past midnight, making him the first baby born in Ireland in 2021

Brody McWilliams Brown was born to mum Jennifer McWilliams in The National Maternity Hospital at four seconds past midnight, making him the first baby born in Ireland in 2021

Brody McWilliams Brown was born to mum Jennifer McWilliams in The National Maternity Hospital at four seconds past midnight, making him the first baby born in Ireland in 2021

When Jennifer McWilliams (19) made a pre-Christmas dash into Holles Street, she initially thought she was having contractions - given that she was nearly 37 weeks pregnant.

But nothing could have prepared her for the news that came back from her medics - she had tested positive for Covid-19.

She would go on to have Ireland's first baby of 2021 in what has been described as "ironic" by the National Maternity Hospital Master, Professor Shane Higgins, given the current pandemic.

The Sallynoggin student was not due her first baby with partner Eric Brown until January 13 but both mum and her little boy Brody, who weighed 7lbs 10oz, are thriving.

She told the Herald how she was asymptomatic when she first entered the hospital but would go on to lose her sense of taste.

She received her Covid positive diagnosis on December 22.

"I came into hospital thinking I was having contractions and they said they would do a blood test and also a Covid-19 test," she said.

"It was a shock as everyone in my circle of close contacts have come back as negative except me so I've no idea where it came from."

She added: "My main concern was for the baby but after talking to the midwives and the nurses, they said anyone they've seen who had Covid didn't pass it on to the baby.

"So that was a relief to hear. They tested him this morning but we haven't got the results yet, so fingers crossed."

Given that she was also diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, medics decided to induce her on December 31 as a precautionary measure.

She said she had "no idea" she would welcome in the country's first New Year's Day baby and said having him after being diagnosed with Covid was "crazy".

The hospital said all proper protocols were followed to ensure the care of Jennifer and delivery of Brody.

"We weren't too sure when he'd arrive but one minute, we checked and I was only 2cm dilated and an hour later, I was at 10cm and we were pushing so it was quick," she added.

"I didn't actually think he was going to be the first. Holles Street was very busy last night, so I wasn't expecting it."

The Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Prof Shane Higgins, said it was "ironic" that the first baby born in 2021 was to a Covid-positive mum and encouraged all their patients to remain vigilant.

Meanwhile, Co Cork's first birth of 2021 was at one minute past midnight.

Busy

A baby boy was born to parents Karen and Michael Foley.

The first New Year's Day birth recorded at the Coombe hospital was with a baby girl who arrived in at 12.24am.

The new arrival, who has been named Kady, was born to parents Vanessa and Garry McLaughlin from Co Meath.

It will be a busy time in their household, given that baby Ava was born in the same hospital 19 months ago.

The first New Year's Day birth recorded at the Rotunda Hospital came at 12.31am.

Baby girl Ríona, who was born to parents Ursula Ní Shionnain and Dean Mac Aogáin from Dublin.


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