COVID-19: neonatal-perinatal perspectives

J Perinatol. 2021 May;41(5):940-951. doi: 10.1038/s41372-020-00874-x. Epub 2020 Dec 8.


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, resulting from infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused severe and widespread illness in adults, including pregnant women, while rarely infecting neonates. An incomplete understanding of disease pathogenesis and viral spread has resulted in evolving guidelines to reduce transmission from infected mothers to neonates. Fortunately, the risk of neonatal infection via perinatal/postnatal transmission is low when recommended precautions are followed. However, the psychosocial implications of these practices and racial/ethnic disparities highlighted by this pandemic must also be addressed when caring for mothers and their newborns. This review provides a comprehensive overview of neonatal-perinatal perspectives of COVID-19, ranging from the basic science of infection and recommendations for care of pregnant women and neonates to important psychosocial, ethical, and racial/ethnic topics emerging as a result of both the pandemic and the response of the healthcare community to the care of infected individuals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19 / drug therapy
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / transmission*
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones