Updates To Covid-19(CoronaVirus) Transmission as of July 2020
There is an abundance of information circulating regarding Covid-19(CoronaVirus) transmission, yet so much is still unknown about the risks of transmission during pregnancy. Pregnant women are at increased risk of severe illness(sepsis, cardiac injury, respiratory arrest, and organ failure) due to Covid-19(CoronaVirus) compared to non-pregnant women. They are also at increased risk of having a preterm birth. Pregnant women are encouraged to limit their interactions with other people as much as possible, to decrease risks of exposure to Covid-19(CoronaVirus), as well as practice social distancing(remain 6 feet apart from others) and wear a mask. It is of utmost importance that pregnant women keep all of their Prenatal Care appointments and keep in close contact with their doctors and health care providers.
Newborns can be infected with Covid-19(CoronaVirus) after being in close contact with an infected person.
At a recent virtual international medical conference, results of a recent study reported strong evidence of vertical transmission of Covid-19(CoronaVirus) from mother to child during pregnancy. According to Dr. Claudio Fenzia, MD, from the University of Milan in Italy, in a study of 31 pregnant women infected with Covid-19(CoronaVirus), 2 of their infants were born with the infection. This study shows that vertical transmission in utero from mother to child of Covid-19(CoronaVirus) is indeed possible. Numerous specimens from the pregnant women and their newborns were collected by researchers from the placenta, umbilical cord biopsies, maternal and umbilical cord blood, vaginal swabs, nasopharyngeal(nose and throat) swabs of newborns, mother’s breast milk, and amniotic fluid. In the 2 cases of infection in infants, placental specimens were (+)positive for Covid-19(CoronaVirus), baby’s nasal swabs taken immediately upon delivery were (+)positive, as well as the breast milk of the mom was (+)positive for evidence of the virus.
According to the WHO(World Health Organization) and the CDC( Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) the following are recommendations for breastfeeding moms:
- Follow standard recommendations during the Covid-19(CoronaVirus) Pandemic
- Practice social distancing, avoid crowds and gatherings
- Wear a mask
- Mothers and infants should be encouraged to remain together and practice skin-to-skin contact, kangaroo care, rooming-in, especially immediately after birth- during establishment of breast feeding, whether mom or infant have suspected, probable, or confirmed Covid-19(CoronaVirus)
- Mom can continue to breastfeed even if (+)positive for Covid-19(CoronaVirus). Baby is at more risk for illness if breast milk is restricted or interrupted.
If Mom has suspected Covid-19(CoronaVirus) or has mild symptoms:
- Wash hands
- Wear a mask
- Wash hands again/sanitize
If Mom has severe symptoms of Covid-19(CoronaVirus) and/or is separated from baby :
- Encourage and support Mom to continue to breastfeed with precautions or help Mom pump or express breast milk and feed to baby in a bottle(by well family member)
- Wash hands
- Wear mask
- Express Breast Milk/Pump
- Clean pump parts
Mom’s should encourage mental self-care as well as good postpartum care and contact an IBCLC for virtual consult if needed.
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