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Study shows mothers with COVID-19 may not need to be separated from newborns after birth

Posted at 3:02 PM, Oct 12, 2020

A recent study by researchers at Columbia University in New York found that mothers who give birth and are infected with COVID-19 might not need to be separated from their newborns.

The observational study, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Pediatrics on Monday, found no evidence of transmission from the 101 newborns (including a set of twins) born to a 100 mothers, who had or suspected of having the coronavirus, despite the babies rooming or breastfed directly.

The researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center said 91 moms chose to breastfeed, and 76 stayed in the same room with their baby. If they breastfed, the moms wore a mask and practiced breast and hand hygiene. The moms who roomed-in with their newborns, who were in isolettes, were distanced about 6 feet away from the mother's bed.

The study showed 99 women tested positive and one tested negative, but presented signs consistent with COVID-19, so she was treated as a presumptive positive.

Researchers said 55 babies were seen again two weeks after their birth, and they all remained healthy.

"Our findings suggest that mothers positive for SARS-CoV-2, including those with clinical symptoms, and their newborns may not need to be separated," the researchers said.