Characteristics of Newborns from Mothers with SARS-CoV-2 Infection in a Portuguese Hospital

Marta Ferreira, Catarina Garcia, Rosalina Barroso


Introduction: Guidance for pregnant women has been particularly problematic since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to describe the characteristics and outcomes of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection and their newborns.
Material and Methods: Case review of clinical records of pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2 infection admitted for delivery and their newborns from April to December 2020 at a hospital in the Lisbon metropolitan area.
Results: From 1755 births, 81 (4.6%) were from SARS-CoV-2 positive mothers. Most (83.9%) were term newborns. Almost 16% were preterm, while there was an overall prematurity rate of 9.9%. Most women (88.6%) were asymptomatic. Rooming-in occurred in 80.8% cases and 19.2% newborns were admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. From the total, 56.7% newborns were breastfed from birth and 43% had mixed feeding. None of the newborns had symptoms related to COVID-19 infection, and all had negative rt-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 at birth and at 48 hours of life. The majority (85.2%) was discharged home with their mothers.
Discussion: Pregnant women with COVID-19 have shown immune characteristics resembling healthy pregnancies, and it is not yet clear if SARS-CoV-2 can be vertically transmitted. Recent updates on neonatal guidance now recommend rooming-in and support the relative safety of breastfeeding.
Conclusion: This study supports other published articles regarding maternal and neonatal outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infected pregnant women, including the absence of short-term adverse outcomes with rooming-in and breastfeeding.


Breast Feeding; Infant, Newborn; Pregnancy; Rooming-in Care; SARS-CoV-2

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