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March 27, 2020 -- The CDC has heartbreaking advice for moms in maternity wards: Stay away from your newborn if you have COVID-19.

The recommendation also applies to new moms in the hospital who doctors suspect may have the disease.

The CDC says experts don't know yet whether newborns who get COVID-19 have a greater chance of health complications. But to play it safe, it suggests hospitals temporarily put babies in a separate room if their mother has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

CDC officials say doctors should first talk to mothers about the risks and benefits of separating from their babies.

The CDC says if mothers don't want to stay in a different room than their newborn -- or if hospitals don't have space for separate rooms -- moms and babies can do a type of "social distancing." In those cases, they can remain in the same room, but stay 6 feet apart. Another option is for hospital staff to place a curtain between mom and baby.

If a mom who has or may have COVID-19 is in the same hospital room as her newborn, and would like to breastfeed her baby, the CDC says she should put on a face mask and practice good hand hygiene

Show Sources

CDC: "Interim Considerations for Infection Prevention and Control of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Inpatient Obstetric Healthcare Settings."

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