Moms infected with COVID-19 don't need to separate from their newborn after birth, study suggests

An additional study shows that even after positive testing for COVID-19, women can not be separated from their newborn babies.

According to an observational paper published on Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers at the Columbia University Irving Medical center have not found any proof of transmission from infected mothers to newborns.

The research featured 101 children and one hundred families, one woman getting twins.

Ninety-nine mothers tested for COVID-19 positive, and one tested for negative, but had disease-compatible symptoms.

Of 100 mothers, 91 decided to breastfeed and 76 decided to live in their newborn room.

A mask and breast and hand care were used by the women who nursed their newborn.

Those who slept with the newborn saw them in isolation, about six feet away, physically distanced.

"Our findings indicate that SarS-CoV-2 positive mothers may not be separated, including those with clinical symptoms," concluded the authors.

This was only true when implementing mitigation practices for transmission.

The United States in March

Pregnant women who become infected with COVID-19 could be removed from their newborn for up to one week or more to stop the potential spread of the virus from the mother to the child, were recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology.

Since then, however, both guidelines have been updated.

ACOG suggests that "a phase of collective decision making between the patient, his relatives and the clinical staff could be separating baby and mother after birth."

The association suggests rooming in with protective precautions including carrying gloves, hand hygiene, and technical containment walls, such that the infant is as much as possible six steps away from the baby.

ACOG claimed in a declaration that "rooming-in is a vital method to promote and endorse breast-feeding."

However, it also recognizes that certain special conditions may be appropriate for temporary separation.

The studies should be reassuring for all mothers who want to breastfeed regardless of their COVID-19 testing results, Dr Oluwatose Goje, a Cleveland Clinic-based obstetrician and gynecologist and infectious disease specialist.

The reduced rates of illnesses such as breast , ovarian and type 2 diabetes have long been associated with breast-feeding, Rebecca H. McCormick, President of La Leche League, USA, a non-profit advocate of breastfeeding.

Study authors also say in their test breast milk is able to prevent the infection as the protective effect of Immunoglobulin A, an antibody that can combat the coronavirus has been found to be known for protecting against numerous pathogens.

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"COVID- 19 is still a new infectious disease, and I am sure more data will change the guidelines for CDC, ACOG and hospitals," said Goje.

"I know we all would like to practice proof-based medicine."

On Twitter, follow Adrianna Rodriguez: @AdriannaUSAT.

A grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Creativity and Competitiveness in Healthcare is part of US health and safety coverage.

There is no editorial feedback from the Masimo Foundation.

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