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Small and sick newborn care during the COVID-19 pandemic: global survey and thematic analysis of healthcare providers’ voices and experiences
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    We strongly strongly advocate unrestricted access of parents to their infants and to skin to skin care
    • Aniko Deierl, Neonatologist Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK; Global Newborn Society
    • Other Contributors:
      • Nadia Leake, Patient and Public Involvement Representative
      • Jayanta Banerjee, Neonatologist
      • Akhil Maheshwari, Neonatologist
      • Minesh Khashu, Neonatologist & Prof of Perinatal Health

    We would like to congratulate Suman PN Rao et al on this very important and useful work.
    On behalf of the Global Newborn Society would strongly advocate unrestricted access of parents to their infants and to skin to skin care.

    Current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic-related restrictions on skin-to-skin contact (SSC) and parental involvement in neonatal care, in place in many parts of the world, are not based on clinical evidence. Hospitals and neonatal units have, to varying degrees, restricted parental access and SSC without due consideration of the harms this might cause on multiple fronts (1). Based on current evidence a ‘blanket ban’ on SSC by various maternity and neonatal services across the globe is unfortunate, not evidence based and needs to be reviewed on an urgent basis.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends skin-to-skin contact (SSC) following delivery in babies weighing 2000 grams or less at birth, as soon as they are clinically stable to prevent hypothermia (2). In low resource settings lack of initiation of early SSC is an independent predictor of hypothermia, contributing to neonatal mortality and morbidity (3). The United Nations Children’s Fund Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative recommends immediate SSC after birth based on physiological, social, and psychological benefits for both mother and baby (4).

    The risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in neonates both vertical and horizontal is relatively low with no significant mortality (5), how...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.