Multicentre Spanish study found no incidences of viral transmission in infants born to mothers with COVID-19

Acta Paediatr. 2020 Nov;109(11):2302-2308. doi: 10.1111/apa.15474. Epub 2020 Jul 28.


Aim: Our aim was to describe the clinical features of mothers infected with COVID-19 and examine any potential vertical mother to newborn transmission. We also assessed how effective the discharge recommendations were in preventing transmission during the first month of life.

Methods: This multicentre descriptive study involved 16 Spanish hospitals. We reviewed the medical records of 42 pregnant women diagnosed with COVID-19 from March 13, 2020, to March 29, 2020, when they were in their third trimester of pregnancy. They and their newborn infants were monitored until the infant was 1 month old.

Results: Over half (52.4%) of the women had a vaginal delivery. The initial clinical symptoms were coughing (66.6%) and fever (59.5%), and one mother died due to thrombo-embolic events. We admitted 37 newborn infants to the neonatal unit (88%), and 28 were then admitted to intermediate care for organisational virus-related reasons. No infants died, and no vertical transmission was detected during hospitalisation or follow-up. Only six were exclusively breastfed at discharge.

Conclusion: There was no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in any of the infants born to COVID-19 mothers, and the post-discharge advice seemed effective. The measures to avoid transmission appeared to reduce exclusive breastfeeding at discharge.

Keywords: COVID-19; Caesarean delivery; breastfeeding; horizontal transmission; newborn infant.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 / transmission*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Retrospective Studies