FRIDAY, July 24, 2020 (HealthDay News) – Mothers are unlikely to transmit COVID-19 to their newborns if they follow recommended precautions, a small study suggests.
“We hope our study will reassure new mothers that the risk of them passing COVID-19 to their babies is very low. However, larger studies are needed to better understand the risks of mother-to-child transmission, ”said co-leader Dr Christine Salvatore, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Weill Cornell Medicine-New York Presbyterian Komansky Children’s Hospital. At New York.
The research included 120 babies born to 116 mothers infected with COVID-19. The infants, born at three New York City hospitals between March 22 and May 17, were allowed to stay with their mothers and breastfeed, if the mothers were doing well enough.
The babies were in closed cribs, six feet from their mother, except during breastfeeding. Moms were required to wear masks when handling their babies and to frequently follow hand and breast washing guidelines.
There have been no cases of coronavirus transmission to babies during childbirth or after two weeks of breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact. At 1 month, 53 babies had a virtual check-up and were doing well and growing normally, according to the study published on July 23 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health newspaper.
The results suggest that it is safe for mothers with COVID-19 to breastfeed and room with their newborns – if they follow infection control procedures, the researchers concluded.
Study co-leader Dr. Patricia DeLaMora, another pediatric infectious disease specialist at Weill Cornell, noted that skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding are important for bonding mother and child. and for the long-term health of the baby.
“Our results suggest that babies born to mothers infected with COVID-19 can still safely benefit from it, if appropriate infection control measures are followed,” she said in a press release.
Dr Melissa Medvedev, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, wrote an editorial accompanying the study.
Although she said the findings provide valuable safety data, key questions remain unanswered.
“Strong population-based data are needed to quantify the incidence of complications in pregnant women and newborns, and to understand the rates and routes of vertical and horizontal transmission, including asymptomatic transmission,” wrote Medvedev. “Studies are also needed to determine the effectiveness of infection prevention and control practices in neonatal care.”
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