The fact that pregnant women with Covid-19 can transmit the virus to the foetus is now well documented: a few such cases have been reported from around the world. Now, a study has found that such transmission is uncommon.
Also, the rate of infection is no greater when the baby is born vaginally, breastfed or allowed contact with the mother. And babies that did test positive for Covid-19, were mostly asymptomatic.
The findings are published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The study was conducted by experts from the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, who undertook a review of 49 studies looking into this topic.
The studies reviewed included 666 neonates (newborn babies) and 655 women (as some women delivered twins). Of the women who delivered their babies vaginally, only eight out of 292 (2.7%) had a baby which tested positive for Covid-19. Of the 364 women who had a caesarean, 20 (5.3%) had a baby which tested positive for Covid-19.
The researchers referred to suggestions that it was safer to have a caesarean, to isolate the baby from the mother at birth and to formula feed, but found there was very little evidence to support these guidelines.
The findings show that neonatal Covid-19 infection is uncommon, and also commonly asymptomatic in those babies who are affected.
Source: University of Nottingham
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