Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s (NGMC) Women and Children’s Services has joined a national registry to track COVID-19 in mothers and infants. The information gathered through this registry will be used to improve the counseling of pregnant women with COVID-19, update infection control practices and aid neonatal care teams in predicting infant risks and how the disease impacts both mother and baby.

“Because COVID-19 is new, we know very little about the risk of transmission and the severity of this virus in pregnant moms and new babies,” said Bridgette Schulman, clinical practice specialist for NGMC’s Women and Children’s Services. “We do know the mother-infant connection is a special bond which leads to very close contact, increasing the likelihood of transmission.”

The national registry, which is an initiative of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, is a non-interventional study focused on gathering data from hospitals across the country. There are currently 176 facilities in the registry that represent 39 states and the District of Columbia. It provides data on the relationship between mothers who deliver — and test positive for COVID-19 — and their infants.

“Our hope in participating in this registry is to learn more about the transmission of COVID-19 here at NGMC,” Schulman said. “The knowledge gained from this research will help us protect this vulnerable population and the staff that care for them.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are decisions about the separation of mothers and infants, whether to breastfeed or not and myriad others that are being made as mothers deliver. These decisions are not taken lightly, and the data being collected through the national registry will help inform hospitals on how to handle them.

“At the end of the day, we simply hope this research will help us provide the best care possible for mothers and babies who may be dealing with this virus,” Schulman said.

For more information about Women and Children’s Services, please visit nghs.com/women-children or call 770-219-1495.

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