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Flannery DD, Puopolo KM. Perinatal COVID-19: guideline development, implementation, and challenges. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2021 Apr 1;33(2):188-194. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000000997. PMID: 33534424.

Purpose of review: The aim of this review was to describe the process of and challenges in developing national guidance for management of infants born to mothers with COVID-19.

Recent findings: Beginning in January 2020, infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 spread across the USA, causing the illness COVID-19. As pregnant women began to present for delivery while sick with COVID-19, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) convened a writing group in March 2020 to develop guidance for the management of their newborns. The initial guidance was developed emergently and was forced to rely on extremely limited data from China. The initial guidance advocated for a conservative approach that included temporary physical separation of infected mother and newborn. To address the knowledge deficit, the AAP sponsored a volunteer registry to collect data on perinatal infection and management. As data have emerged informing the natural history of COVID-19, the performance of PCR-based diagnostics, the value of infection control measures and the risk of infant disease, AAP has issued serial updates to newborn guidance.

Summary: Evolving knowledge on the epidemiology of perinatal COVID-19 has informed newborn guidance. The most recent guidance focuses on the use of infection control measures to support maternal-newborn contact and breastfeeding.

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