Objectives: To describe neonatal and maternal characteristics of the largest prospective cohort of newborns from mothers with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the data of which were prospectively collected from the nationwide registry of the Spanish Society of Neonatology.
Methods: Between March 8, 2020, and May 26, 2020, the data of 503 neonates born to 497 mothers diagnosed with COVID-19 during pregnancy or at the time of delivery were collected by 79 hospitals throughout Spain.
Results: Maternal symptoms were similar to that of the general population, with 5% of severe forms. In 45.8% of asymptomatic women at the time of delivery, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection was detected because of recommendations established in Spain to perform COVID-19 screening in all women admitted to the hospital for labor. The rate of preterm deliveries was 15.7% and of cesarean deliveries, 33%. The most common diagnostic test was detection of viral RNA by polymerase chain reaction of nasopharyngeal swabs at a median age of 3 hours after delivery (1-12 hours). Almost one-half of neonates were left skin-to-skin after delivery, and delayed clamping of umbilical cords was performed in 43% of neonates. Also, 62.3% of asymptomatic neonates were managed with rooming-in. Maternal milk was received by 76.5% of neonates, 204 of them as exclusive breastfeeding.
Conclusions: The current study indicates that there is no need for separation of mothers from neonates, allowing delayed cord clamping and skin-to-skin contact along with maintenance of breastfeeding in a high percentage of newborns from mothers with COVID-19.