Health Care

Mothers with COVID-19 unlikely to pass it to newborns, study shows

Mothers with COVID-19 unlikely to pass it to newborns, study shows”

She said: "More than 1,000 mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection have given birth in the United Kingdom, and only 1-2% of their babies have had a positive test for SARS-CoV-2".

The small observational study involved 120 babies born of 116 mothers who had the coronavirus.

The findings showed that none of the results were positive and none of the babies showed symptoms of Covid-19 at any time.

Advice for pregnant mothers has been in flux regarding SARS-CoV-2, since the virus is so new.

While in the hospital, almost all of the babies stayed in an enclosed incubator within the mother's room.

"Our data suggest that perinatal transmission of COVID-19 is unlikely to occur if correct hygiene precautions are undertaken, and that allowing neonates to room in with their mothers and direct breastfeeding are safe procedures when paired with effective parental education of infant protective strategies" the researchers stated.

There are incalculable benefits to prolonged close contact and breastfeeding for a mother and new baby.

"Babies born to asymptomatic mothers should be left with the mothers themselves as separation will lead to deprivation of breast milk, depression and psychological issues", she said.

Some of the mothers recovered from the coronavirus and were allowed home during the study, so only 79 babies were then tested again a week after birth.

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At 1 month of age, 53 babies had a virtual checkup and were well and growing normally, according to the study published July 23 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal.

Some experts had previously argued that babies with Covid-19 were catching it from their mothers after birth, or from an infected midwife or doctor in the hospital.

"This small U.S. study also indicates transmission of infection from mother to baby is uncommon with simple precautions such as the wearing of face masks by mums with Covid-19".

"However, larger studies are needed to better understand the risks of transmission from mother to child", said study co-leader Dr. Christine Salvatore. Whereas the American Academy of Pediatrics advises mothers infected should be temporarily separated at birth with their newborns, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend mothers should share a room with their newborns and breastfeed with appropriate precautions.

However, the researchers say it is not possible to draw firm conclusions as the sample size in the study is small and larger studies are needed.

"We know that skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are important both for mother-infant bonding and for long-term child health", Patricia DeLaMora, MD, study coauthor said.

The COVID-19 test used in the study relied on nasal swabs. It was conducted by researchers from Weill Cornell Medicine, New York Presbyterian-Komansky Children's Hospital, New York Presbyterian-Queens, and New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital. While she said the findings provide valuable safety data, key questions remain unanswered.

"Studies are also required to determine the effectiveness of infection prevention and control practices in the neonatal care setting", Medvedev said.

Doctors say infected children are far more likely to have no symptoms than they are to develop a severe case of COVID-19.



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