How are you doing during this quarantine period? Many people are locked up in their houses all over the world. Online interaction has become increasingly important to keep our sanity. Keep safe and we hope this shall pass soon.

The facts indicated here are from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) website.

Can COVID-19 be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus or newborn?

  • We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus that causes COVID-19 to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

If a pregnant woman has COVID-19 during pregnancy, will it hurt the baby?

  • We do not know at this time what if any risk is posed to infants of a pregnant woman who has COVID-19. There have been a small number of reported problems with pregnancy or delivery (e.g. preterm birth) in babies born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 during their pregnancy. However, it is not clear that these outcomes were related to maternal infection.

What precautions should be taken during breastfeeding?

  • The risks and benefits of temporary separation of the mother from her baby should be discussed with the mother by the healthcare team.
  • A separate isolation room should be available for the infant while they remain a Person under Investigation.
  • If colocation (sometimes referred to as “rooming in”) of the newborn with his/her ill mother in the same hospital room occurs in accordance with the mother’s wishes or is unavoidable due to facility limitations, facilities should consider implementing measures to reduce exposure of the newborn to the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • During temporary separation, mothers who intend to breastfeed should be encouraged to express their breast milk to establish and maintain milk supply. If possible, a dedicated breast pump should be provided. Prior to expressing breast milk, mothers should practice hand hygiene.1 After each pumping session, all parts that come into contact with breast milk should be thoroughly washed and the entire pump should be appropriately disinfected per the manufacturer’s instructions. This expressed breast milk should be fed to the newborn by a healthy caregiver.
  • If a mother and newborn do room-in and the mother wishes to feed at the breast, she should put on a face mask and practice hand hygiene before each feeding.
  • For infants with pending testing results or who test negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 upon hospital discharge, caretakers should take steps to reduce the risk of transmission to the infant.

Lots of love,

Ruguru Kimani