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Curr Opin Pediatr. 2021 Sep 24. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000001063. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To evaluate the available literature regarding effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on newborns, ranging from effects related to in utero and perinatal exposure to maternal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, to pandemic-related stress and socioeconomic changes.
RECENT FINDINGS: Several large studies and national registries have shown that the risk of vertical transmission from SARS-CoV-2-infected mothers to newborns is rare and does not appear to be related to postnatal care policies such as mother-newborn separation and breastfeeding. Newborns exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in utero are at higher risk for preterm delivery for reasons still under investigation. When newborns do acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection, their disease course is usually mild. Long-term follow-up data are lacking, but preliminary reports indicate that, similarly to prior natural disasters, being born during the pandemic may be associated with developmental risk.
SUMMARY: Although risk of vertical or perinatal transmission is low across a range of postnatal care practices, early indicators suggest developmental risk to the generation born during the pandemic. Long-term follow-up data are critically needed to determine the developmental impact of in utero and early life exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 pandemic.