Heartwarming Tale of Care of Preterm Baby from COVID Mother in Manipal Hospital

Doctors ensured baby’s health with breast milk coming from quarantined mother

New Delhi: It is a unique and heartwarming tale of care of a preterm baby in Manipal Hospital @Dwarka wherein mother was COVID and baby preterm.

Despite being deprived of Kangaroo Mother Care, Neonatology Department of HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Delhi took complete care of the baby for 21 days. The beauty is baby was fed on breast milk coming from quarantined mother.

Needless to say, taking care of a 31-week preterm baby from a Covid infected mother presented an exceedingly difficult challenge but Manipal doctors did it with immaculate clinical precision. Disha Sakshi (name changed) is mighty happy to see her bundle of joy alive and kicking.  This was accomplished by the Neonatology – Pediatrics unit under the guidance of Dr Vinay Kumar Rai, Consultant – Neonatology, HCMCT Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka.

In this Pandemic situation, doctors took extra precautions like PPE kits, briefed the case before and tried non-verbal communications for better understanding during delivery. Dr Vinay Rai said, “Mother was a COVID positive before delivery and there were certain complications during the pregnancy and the water bag was ruptured. Due to these complications, the baby was delivered prematurely.”

Mother was safe and discharged but kept in quarantined away from the baby as the infant was not infected with COVID. In such a situation, doctors and family kept mother motivated and tried to nurture her baby from video calls with bottled breast milk. The baby was kept for 21 days in the Hospital. Foetal to neonatal transition occurs smoothly in most of the cases but some full-term and most of the preterm babies need assistance immediately after birth.

“As a standard of care, after few days of birth, preterm low birth weight babies receive Skin-to-skin care called Kangaroo Mother Care in NICU to improve both neonatal and maternal outcomes but in a COVID positive mother, this could not be practiced due to risk of infection in the baby. For healthy development, we wanted to give breast milk to the baby and it is proven that breastfeeding does not transmit the infection unless done very carelessly and unhygienic way,” Dr Rai said.  

 “We used to connect with the mother twice through IMO and Whatsapp video calling and motivated her to express breast milk regularly. Taking standards precautions during milk expression, she provided her breast milk for the baby. After 21 days the baby was handed over to the parents in good health without any complication,” he concluded.

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