ORLANDO, Fla. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending hospitals temporarily separate moms who have a confirmed or suspected case of coronavirus from their newborns after birth.
The CDC issued the new guidelines, suggesting that hospitals consider the option to limit the risk of the baby contracting Covid-19. The organization is concerned the newborn could contract the virus after birth from infectious respiratory secretions.
The CDC said it does not know if pregnant woman have a greater risk of getting sick from Covid-19 than the general population but there is no evidence to suggest it.It is up to each hospital system whether or not they implement the recommendations.
FOX 35 is reaching out to hospitals in Central Florida to see if they plan on implementing the new guidelines.
The CDC said the decision to separate mom and baby should be made on a case-by-case basis and they should only be separated until the mom’s transmission-based precautions are discontinued.
Hospital staff should also discuss the risks and benefits of a temporary separation with mom beforehand and consult infection and prevention specialists, and public health officials. The decision should also take into account the severity of the disease, illness signs and symptoms and COVID-19 test results.
The CDC also said a separate isolation room should be available for the infant until doctors can confirm the baby did not contract the virus and visitors should wear a gown, gloves, face mask and eye protection when caring for the baby.The CDC said it does not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass it on to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery.
No infants born to mothers with COVID-19 have tested positive for coronavirus. The CDC said, “In these cases, which are a small number, the virus was not found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.”
A second option, according to the CDC, would be to keep the infected mother and baby in the same room but erect physical barriers between the two, like a curtain, and keep the baby at least six feet from the mom.
During the temporary separation, mothers who want to breastfeed are encouraged to practice good hand hygiene and express their breast milk to establish and maintain milk supply. Moms should use a dedicated breast pump, if possible.
The CDC also recommends that hospitals limit visitors for new moms to one person. Orlando Health and Advent Health already announced decisions to limit hospital visitors for new moms to one per person during the mom's entire hospital stay.