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Women who have Covid-19 are less likely to pass on the infection to their babies during childbirth if precautions are in place. Unsplash

New research adds to the growing body of evidence that women who have Covid-19 are less likely to pass on the infection to their babies during childbirth if precautions are in place.

The findings, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, suggest that more extensive measures like separating Covid-19-positive mothers from their newborns and avoiding direct breastfeeding may not be warranted.


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“Our findings should reassure expectant mothers with Covid-19 that basic infection-control measures during and after childbirth–such as wearing a mask and engaging in breast and hand hygiene when holding or breastfeeding a baby–protected newborns from infection in this series,”

said study author Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman from Columbia University in the US.

The researchers examined outcomes in the first 101 newborns born to Covid-19-positive mothers at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital. To reduce the risk of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to newborns after delivery, hospital staff practised social distancing, wore masks, and placed Covid-positive moms in private rooms.


Direct breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with babies were strongly encouraged, provided the moms wore masks and washed hands and breasts with soap and water. Unsplash

The hospitals provided the mothers with educational materials about Covid-19 and shortened hospital stays for all mothers without complications from delivery.

Most of the newborns roomed with their mothers, including during the first postpartum checkup. Infants who roomed with their moms were placed in protective cribs six feet away from the mothers’ beds when resting.

Direct breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact with babies were strongly encouraged, provided the moms wore masks and washed hands and breasts with soap and water.

“During the pandemic, we continued to do what we normally do to promote bonding and development in healthy newborns, while taking a few extra precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus,”

Gyamfi-Bannerman said.

Only two of the newborns tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 but had no clinical evidence of illness. Physicians followed up with about half of the infants, including the two that tested positive for the virus, during the first two weeks of life, and all remained well.

A number of pediatric and health organizations have released interim guidelines for pregnant women with SARS-CoV-2, recommending the separation of mothers and newborns during their hospital stay, no direct breastfeeding, and bathing newborns as soon as possible.

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“These recommendations were made in the absence of data on rates of mother-to-newborn SARS-CoV-2 transmission and are based on experience with the mother-newborn transmission of other infectious diseases,”

said study lead author Dani Dumitriu.

“But some of the recommendations conflict with what we know about the developmental benefits of early breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact. Our study shows that these measures may not be necessary for healthy newborns with Covif-positive moms,” Dumitriu added. (IANS)


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IANS

The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


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