Current evidence suggests that the chance of a newborn getting COVID-19 from their birth parent is low, especially when the parent takes steps (such as wearing a mask and washing hands) to prevent spread before and during care of the newborn.
The mother should talk to her healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of having her newborn stay in the same room with her. Having her newborn stay in the room with her has the benefit of making breastfeeding easier, and it helps with parent-newborn bonding.
She should take precautions if her newborn is rooming in with her in the hospital.
If she is in isolation for COVID-19 and is sharing a room with her newborn she should take the following steps to reduce the chance of spreading the virus to her newborn. She should:
- Wash her hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before holding or caring for her newborn. If soap and water are not available, she should use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Wear a mask whenever she is within 6 feet of her newborn.
- Keep her newborn more than 6 feet away from her as much as possible.
- Talk to her healthcare provider about how she can protect her newborn, such as using a physical barrier (for example, placing the newborn in an incubator) while in the hospital.
When her isolation period has ended, she should still wash her hands before caring for her newborn, but she does not need to take the other precautions. She most likely will not pass the virus to her newborn or any other close contact after her isolation period has ended.
- If she has had symptoms, her isolation period ends after:
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared, and
- 24 hours with no fever, without fever-reducing medicine, and
- Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving.
If she never had symptoms, her isolation period ends after
- 10 days have passed since she tested positive for COVID-19.
- These time frames do not apply if she has a severely weakened immune system or was severely ill with COVID-19.
All information is taken from cdc.gov. Please visit that site for more information.