Newborns at risk of Covid-19 - lessons from the last year

J Perinat Med. 2021 Jun 14;49(6):643-649. doi: 10.1515/jpm-2021-0258. Print 2021 Jul 27.


After more than 1 year of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, a great deal of knowledge on how this virus affects pregnant women, the fetus and the newborn has accumulated. The gap between different guidelines how to handle newborn infants during this pandemic has been minimized, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)'s recommendations are now more in accordance with those of the World Health Organization (WHO). In this article we summarize present knowledge regarding transmission from mother to the fetus/newborn. Although both vertical and horizontal transmission are rare, SARS-CoV-2 positivity is associated with an increased risk of premature delivery and higher neonatal mortality and morbidity. Mode of delivery and cord clamping routines should not be affected by the mother's SARS-CoV-2 status. Skin to skin contact, rooming in and breastfeeding are recommended with necessary hygiene precautions. Antibodies of infected or vaccinated women seem to cross both the placenta and into breast milk and likely provide protection for the newborn.

Keywords: COVID-19; guidelines; newborn.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control
  • COVID-19 / transmission*
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal
  • Milk, Human / immunology
  • Neonatal Screening
  • Patient Discharge
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / immunology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • Resuscitation
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology