Risk of transmission of the virus to newborns is very low, says study

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Saccording to the results of a study published today in the scientific journal “JAMA Pediatrics“, the mothers infected as SARSCoV-2 rarely transmit the virus to the newborn if basic infection, such as wearing a mask and sanitation, are met.

The joint investigation between Columbia University Medical Center and Morgan Stanley Pediatric Hospital in New York analyzed the results of the first 101 babies of women with covid-19 born in two hospitals in the city between 13 March and 24 of April 2020.

“Our conclusions should reassure pregnant women with covid-19 because the basic measures of infection during and after childbirth protected newborns from infection“, underlined one of the researchers and specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at the medical center, Cynthia GyamfiBannerman, cited in a statement.

After delivery, these basic measures consisted, above all, in the use of a mask by the hospital team, who fulfilled social distances whenever possible.

The mothers were hospitalized for the shortest time necessary, if they had not had complications, and always in private rooms, which they shared with the babies, placed in baby cots. protection almost two meters awayncia mother’s bed.

Second Cynthia GyamfiBannerman , in both hospitals, breastfeeding direct and skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby was promoted, provided the use of a mask and sanitation were fulfilled.

“During a pandemic, we continue to do what we normally do to promote bonding and the development of healthy newborns, while taking some additional precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus, “he explained.

Despite this close contact, the risk of transmission of the new coronavirus among mothers and babies it was very low and only two of the 101 newborns tested positive, but without symptoms.

According to the researchers, promoting breastfeeding direct and contact in the two hospitals that were part of the study guidelines of various health and pediatric organizations.

Some of the guidelines recommend, for example, the separation of mothers and newborns during hospitalization, bathing the baby as early as possible (as opposed to doing it after the usual minimum period of 24 hours) and discourage breastfeeding direct.

“These recommendations were made in the absence of data on the rate of transmission from mothers to the newborn and are based on experience with the transmission of other infectious diseases,” explained pediatrician at the hospital Morgan Stanley Dani Dumitriu, who led the investigation.

On the other hand, he added, there is scientific evidence that points to the developmental benefits of babies from early breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with the mother and in light of the latest data on the risk of transmission, these restrictions are not necessary.

“We think it is particularly important that mothers with covid-19 have the opportunity to breastfeed directly the newborns “, added Cynthia GyamfiBannerman, also mentioning that breast milk can even protect newborns from various pathologies and against infection for the new coronavirus.

“Most studies did not find SARSCoV-2 in breast milk, but it has already been concluded that breast milk contains antibodies against the virus “, he stressed.

During the first two weeks of life, the 101 babies were followed up by doctors and all continued well, including the two newborns who tested positive.

A pandemic of covid-19 has already caused more than one million and seventy-seven thousand deaths and more than 37.5 million cases of infection around the world, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.

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