COVID-19: Mums and Bubs


The effect of epidemics on pregnant women and newborns has often been neglected, so what do we know about the effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy and newborns?

As vaccines and other treatments are developed, should pregnant women also be included in clinical trials?

In low- and middle-income countries, disruption of essential maternity and newborn services may erode many of the gains made in maternal and child health over the past two decades.

We have 4 speakers to talk about these issues.



Dr Clare Whitehead is a consultant Obstetrician specialising in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Royal Women’s Hospital. She is an NHMRC Neil Hamilton Fairley Clinical Research Fellow and Senior Research Fellow at the Pregnancy Research Centre at the University of Melbourne. She is co-PI of the national COVID-19 in pregnancy registry (CHOPAN), and contributor to international research in this area. Her other major areas of research are placental function, fetal development, and evaluating biomarkers and therapeutics for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Associate Professor David Tingay is a Neonatologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital and group leader of Neonatal Research at MCRI with a research interest in neonatal respiratory failure and its management. His work has developed new strategies to measure and manage neonatal respiratory failure in the NICU. He is member of the international neonatal ARDS project.

Professor Melissa Wake is a paediatrician and Director of the Generation Victoria (GenV) initiative. She aims to speed up children’s research and test interventions that change children’s care.

Professor Fiona Russell is Professor in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Director of the Child and Adolescent Health PhD Program, and Group Leader, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.   She leads a number of studies funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations in the region that address research questions for governments to make decisions about child health policy.

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