COVID-19 Facts Not Fear

Can Mothers Pass COVID-19 To Their Newborn Babies

As the first case of a newborn dying from COVID-19 has been recorded in the US, pregnant women are likely to be worried about catching the virus and the risk of passing it on to their babies.

Early research in a small group of nine women who developed COVID-19 in late pregnancy in China did not find the virus in the amniotic fluid surrounding their babies in the womb or in the blood in the umbilical cord. Once born, the newborns didn’t have the virus on swab testing. The researchers did not find coronavirus in the women’s breastmilk either. These findings offer some reassurance that the virus doesn’t seem to be passed on in these ways, but larger studies are needed to confirm this.

Joint guidance from several UK national bodies and professional societies in the United states say that the main risk for babies being fed by mothers with COVID-19 is that the close contact could allow droplet transmission.

They outline steps that should be taken to reduce this risk, including hand washing before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles, and considering wearing a mask while breastfeeding if available. Read more