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Rooming-In, Breastfeeding Feasible With Maternal SARS-CoV-2

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2020 -- For women with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, rooming-in and breastfeeding are feasible for those who can care for their infants, with postnatal transmission occurring infrequently, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Andrea Ronchi, M.D., from the Fondazione IRCCS Ca'Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, and colleagues examined the risk for postnatal transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected mothers to their neonates following rooming-in and breastfeeding in a prospective, multicenter study involving mother-infant dyads followed up for 20 days of life. Participants included 62 neonates born to 61 mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection who were eligible for rooming-in based on their clinical condition and negative infant nasopharyngeal swab result at birth.

The researchers found that only one infant (1.6 percent) was diagnosed as having SARS-CoV-2 infection at postnatal checks. In that case, due to severe worsening of the mother's clinical condition, rooming-in was interrupted on day 5 of life. On day 7 of life, the neonate became positive for the virus and developed transient mild dyspnea. Almost all (95 percent) neonates were breastfed.

"We believe that SARS-CoV-2-infected mothers in good clinical condition and willing to take care of their babies should be encouraged to practice rooming-in and breastfeeding after being carefully instructed about the appropriate droplet and contact precautions," the authors write.

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Posted: December 2020

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