How Should Newborns Be Protected Against Covid-19 Risk?

The experts, stating that the first 28 days after birth is called the neonatal period, point out that the newborns are susceptible to infections due to the lack of development of their immune systems in this period.


Experts warned that newborns may become sick not only in the hospital but also during the home care process by getting a virus from the surrounding individuals and said, “In order to prevent this, the mother and baby should contact with as few people as possible. The baby and the mother's bed should be in the same room and nobody else should enter that room, the baby should only have contact with the mother, no guests should be accepted in the house, the mother should obey the mask and hygiene rules, and the room should be ventilated every 2-3 hours. ”Üsküdar University Faculty of Health Sciences. Head of Midwifery Department Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete pointed out the importance of the neonatal period and made evaluations regarding the measures to be taken against the risk of Covid -19.

Attention to newborns in the high risk group!

Stating that the neonatal period includes the first 28 days after birth, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “Although the physical structures of newborn babies have been formed, they have functional limitations. For this reason, they are in a risky period in terms of their health and life in the process of adaptation to external life after the mother's womb. Especially preterms born before 37 weeks of gestation, babies with low birth weight, babies of diabetic mothers and babies with congenital anomalies and various infections constitute the high risk group. This requires very careful and meticulous care. " said.

High susceptibility to infections

Drawing attention to risk factors originating from the external environment during this period, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “Infection agents are the leading risk factors originating from the external environment. Since the immune systems of newborns are not well developed, they have a high susceptibility to infections. Babies can be exposed to infections in the womb, during the birth and the postnatal period. It is beneficial for newborn babies to be contacted with as few people as possible, careful care of eyes, belly, mouth and nose, washing hands before touching the baby, taking a shower and wearing clean clothes every day, and airing the environment at frequent intervals will be beneficial in terms of protecting the baby from infections. he spoke.

It is recommended to bathe or wipe babies after birth.

Emphasizing that there is no transmission from mothers who had Covid-19 infection during pregnancy to the fetus in the studies conducted to date, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “However, there is not enough data to reach a complete conclusion on the subject. Again, in normal vaginal deliveries, although there is no data showing that the baby is contaminated by secretions that are contacted during the passage through the birth canal, it is recommended that babies are wiped or washed after birth, as they may be contaminated by the mother's urine and stool. Since Covid-positive pregnant women can be transmitted to the baby with their feces, their cesarean delivery preferences are high. " he spoke.

In case of Covid-19 suspicion, delivery should be done in a negative pressure infection room.

"Infection of newborns with Covid-19 occurs if adequate precautions are not taken in the postpartum period." said Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “In order to prevent babies from becoming infected after birth, the delivery of infected or suspected pregnant women in negative pressure isolation rooms, immediate clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord, placing the baby in the incubator quickly, healthcare professionals taking all protective measures, including wearing a N95 mask, Approaches such as wearing a mask should be applied. " said.

Can infect the baby during breastfeeding

Noting that Covid-19 virus was not detected in breast milk, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, "However, during breastfeeding, the agent can be transmitted from the infected mother to the baby through respiratory tract and skin contact." warned.

Stating that the World Health Organization recommended breastfeeding by providing conditions preventing the transmission of infection, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “The Turkish Neonatal Society recommends that each mother and baby be evaluated on an individual basis and decided on breastfeeding and that this decision be left to the families predominantly. Covid-19 positive mothers can breastfeed their babies by wearing a surgical mask, washing their hands meticulously and cleaning their breasts. Again, in cases where the baby will be kept apart from the mother temporarily in order to prevent contamination, the milk that the mother will express by paying attention to mask, hand hygiene, bottle and pump cleaning can be given to the baby with a bottle or spoon by a healthy individual who has taken protective measures. " He advised.

Pay attention to the home care process!

Warning that newborns can get sick not only in the hospital but also during the home care process by getting a virus from the surrounding individuals, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said the following:

“In order to prevent this, the mother and baby should have contact with as few people as possible. In the postpartum period, the mother may need help. It would be beneficial to choose the person who will help, if possible, from those who have contact with very few people, this person does not show symptoms of the disease and have a PCR test.

The mother should use a mask, the room should be ventilated

The baby and the mother's bed should be in the same room and no one else enters that room, the baby should only have contact with the mother, no guests should be accepted in the house, the mother should comply with the mask and hygiene rules, and the room should be ventilated every 2-3 hours. For the development of mother-infant attachment, approaches such as eye-to-eye contact with the baby, bare skin contact and singing-lullaby are necessary. It is beneficial to perform these while breastfeeding the baby and to reduce the risk of infection by having as little contact with the baby as possible.

The contact of the father with out-of-home contact with the baby should be limited

Since the neonatal period is the most susceptible to infections, even fathers who have contact with the environment outside the home should be limited to contact their babies. In the babies of pregnant women with Covid-19, the infection status should be determined by performing the nasopharynx RT-PCR virus test within 24 hours. "

Antibody transmission from mother to baby is limited

Stating that there are studies showing that there are antibody transmission to the babies of mothers who have been positive for Covid-19 during pregnancy and to the babies of mothers who have received Covid-19 vaccine. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “However, there are studies showing that the transmission of antibodies to the baby through the placenta is limited, and this transition is slightly more in mothers who have the disease in the early stages of pregnancy and mothers who have the disease in the early stages of pregnancy. Information on the amount and effects of antibodies passed on to the baby from mothers who were vaccinated during pregnancy and mothers who had the disease agent are also limited. " said.

Covid-19 is not common in newborns

Noting that Covid-19 is not common in newborns, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “When babies are infected, the disease is mostly mild or moderate, and severe cases requiring respiratory support are rarely encountered. Severe cases are usually babies with other health problems or preterms. Suspicious Covid-19, babies born from mothers with a history of Covid-14 infection in the period 28 days before or 19 days after birth, and newborns with a Covid-19 infection in the family, caregivers, visitors, healthcare personnel caring for the baby are suspicious even if they do not show any signs of illness. cases, newborns with causative agents found in the respiratory tract or blood sample are considered as definite cases. " said.

Watch out for these symptoms!

Touching on the symptoms of the disease in newborns, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete said, “Symptoms such as variability in body temperature, fever, increase in heart rate and respiratory rate, nasal congestion, runny nose, wheezing, nasal wing breathing, apnea, cough, cyanosis, vomiting, diarrhea, distention, abdominal pain can be seen. Whether babies with such symptoms have Covid-19 should be evaluated by the neonatal physician. " said.

Covid19 positive newborns and infants can infect the environment

Noting that Covid19 positive newborns and babies can also infect the environment, Prof. Dr. Güler Cimete listed his advice as follows:

“Babies with Covid-19 have viruses in their mouth, nasal secretions and feces. This means they can spread the virus into the environment through their coughing, sneezing, drooling, and feces. Although there is not enough work on infant-borne adult infections, family members and healthcare professionals who care for infected babies should take protective measures.


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