Background: Lately, one of the major clinical and public health issues has been represented by Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) during pregnancy and the risk of transmission of the infection from mother to child. Debate on perinatal management and postnatal care is still ongoing, principally questioning the option of the joint management of mother and child after birth and the safety of breastfeeding. According to the available reports, neonatal COVID-19 appears to have a horizontal transmission and seems to be paucisymptomatic or asymptomatic, compared to older age groups. The aim of this work is to describe a cluster of neonatal COVID-19 and discuss our experience, with reference to current evidence on postnatal care and perinatal management.
Methods: This is a retrospective observational case series of five mother-child dyads, who attended the Labor and Delivery Unit of a first-level hospital in Italy, in March 2020. Descriptive statistics for continuous variables consisted of number of observations, mean and the range of the minimum and maximum values.
Results: Five women and four neonates tested positive for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In one case, the mother-child dyad was separated and the neonate remained negative on two consecutive tests. Two positive neonates developed symptoms, with a predominant involvement of the gastrointestinal tract. Blood tests were unremarkable, except for a single patient who developed mild neutropenia. No complications occurred.
Conclusions: We agree that the decision on whether or not to separate a positive/suspected mother from her child should be made on an individual basis, taking into account the parent’s will, clinical condition, hospital logistics and the local epidemiological situation. In conformity with literature, in our study, affected neonates were asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic. Despite these reassuring findings, a few cases of severe presentation in the neonatal population have been reported. Therefore, we agree on encouraging clinicians to monitor the neonates with a suspected or confirmed infection.