Study: Very low risk to newborns from moms with Covid-19
New research adds to the growing body of evidence that women who have Covid-19 are less likely to pass on the infection to their babies during childbirth if precautions are in place. The findings, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, suggest that more extensive measures like separating Covid-19-positive mothers from their newborns and avoiding direct breastfeeding may not be warranted.
"Our findings should reassure expectant mothers with Covid-19 that basic infection-control measures during and after childbirth-such as wearing a mask and engaging in breast and hand hygiene when holding or breastfeeding a baby-protected newborns from infection in this series," said study author Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman from Columbia University in the US.
The researchers examined outcomes in the first 101 newborns born to Covid-19-positive mothers at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. To reduce the risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to newborns after delivery, hospital staff practised social distancing, wore masks, and placed Covid-positive moms in private rooms.
The hospitals provided the mothers with educational materials about Covid-19 and shortened hospital stays for all mothers without complications from delivery. Most of the newborns roomed with their mothers, including during the first postpartum checkup. Infants who roomed with their moms were placed in protective cribs six feet away from the mothers' beds when resting.