A recent study on COVID-19 has established the link between an infected mother and her baby. According to the research, coronavirus can be transmitted from a COVID-positive mother to her baby during the perinatal stage.

Perinatal transmission is when a newborn tests positive in the RT-PCR test for COVID in the first 72 hours after birth. These include a transmission that may have occurred in the uterus or during birth.

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The study also noted increased morbidity in corona infected infants with a significant correlation between the infection with premature births. The study also suggested the possibility of increased risk of premature labour in COVID-positive pregnant women.

The researchers also found that the newborns infected with coronavirus are more likely to be symptomatic, and experience respiratory and oxygen-related symptoms. The study was published in the journal Indian Pediatrics.

For the purpose of analysis, the researchers collected data of newborns from 20 hospitals across India voluntarily enrolled in the National Neonatology Forum (NNF) of the India COVID-19 registry.

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Among the 20 hospitals were Arpan Newborn Care Centre in Ahmedabad and Shree Navajivan Children Hospital in Rajkot.

The study group included extramural neonates and intramural neonates. Extramural neonates are babies not born within premises of the treating centre while intramural neonates are babies born within premises of the treating centre.

Among these neonates, 106 (8%) tested positive for COVID within 72 hours of birth, confirming perinatal transmission, and 21 (1.5%) beyond 72 hours of birth, indicating horizontal transmission. Among the extramural infants, 39 tested positive for coronavirus

The World Health Organization (WHO), however, recommends that neonates should be roomed-in with mothers and exclusively breastfed while following precautions to limit the spread of infection to neonates.

Recently, the health ministry on the recommendations of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) gave a go-ahead for pregnant women to be vaccinated against coronavirus.

The question of pregnant women‘s eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine in India has been under question ever since the vaccination drive began in India. There have been confusions on whether or not pregnant women should take the vaccine dose and what are the dos and don’ts of the process.