Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública/Pan American Journal of Public Health (RPSP/PAJPH)
Perinatal COVID-19 in Latin America
Sola et al. 31 Jul 2020
To evaluate and report the clinical characteristics and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnant women and newborns in Latin America.
Descriptive study based on the prospective report of the units of the Ibero-American Society of Neonatology Network.
Of 86 pregnant women with COVID-19 confirmed by RT-PCR in seven countries (6 from Latin America, and Equatorial Guinea) 68% (59) were asymptomatic. Of 32% of symptomatic women, 89% (24) had mild symptoms and 3.5% (3) had severe respiratory symptoms. No women died. The cesarean section rate was 38%; gestational age was < 37 weeks in 6% of cases. RT-PCR was performed on all newborns between 16 and 36 hours of age; 6 (7%) were positive. All of them presented mild and transient respiratory distress; none died. Two newborns with negative RT-PCR died from other causes. Breastfeeding was authorized in only 24% of mothers; in 13% milk was expressed and 63% of newborns were fed with formula. In 76% of cases the motherchild pair was separated, and in 95% of cases the mother could not be accompanied at delivery or during the postpartum period.
The lack of maternal accompaniment, the low rate of breastfeeding and the frequent separation of the mother-child dyad are of concern. The health care team must reflect on the need to defend humanized and family-centered care during this pandemic.