Dr. Alexander Kenton, Pediatrix-affiliated neonatologist, is treating babies born to COVID-19-positive moms in a special Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Methodist Children’s Hospital in San Antonio. “There are cases of babies getting infected after birth if they’re born to mothers who are positive for the COVID-19 virus,” Kenton said, noting that “it does appear to be rare.” Moms have the option to have baby cared for by the NICU or keep baby in the room with her while practicing distancing and safe handling. Dr. Kenton says discharge is a particularly stressful time for the family. “It is psychologically quite difficult for new mothers – and fathers, for that matter – who are now faced with a situation where they’re positive,” Kenton said. The recommendation is to separate, but at some point the baby needs to be cared for by the parents. If mom is still infected, she must take certain precautions and is advised to bottle feed baby with expressed breast milk until her symptoms have cleared.

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