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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter December 10, 2021

Outcomes from birth to 6 months of publicly insured infants born to mothers with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection in the United States

Tina L. Schuh ORCID logo, Leena B. Mithal ORCID logo, Sara Naureckas, Emily S. Miller ORCID logo, Craig F. Garfield ORCID logo and Malika D. Shah ORCID logo



We evaluated inpatient management, transition to home, breastfeeding, growth, and clinical outcomes of infants born to mothers diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy and followed in a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), that serves a diverse and low-income patient population, from birth through 6 months of life.


Infants born between 4/3/20 and 7/26/20 at Prentice Women’s Hospital with mothers who received prenatal care at Erie Family Health Center (Erie), the second largest FQHC in Illinois, and had confirmed SARS-CoV-2 during pregnancy were included. Data were abstracted from delivery hospital admission and outpatient follow-up appointments between 4/8/20 and 2/4/21.


Thirty-three infants met inclusion criteria. Average gestational age was 38.9 weeks (IQR 37.6–40.4), 3 (10%) were premature and 5 (15%) required NICU admission. Nearly all (97%) mothers expressed intent to breastfeed. Outpatient follow-up rates were similar to historical cohorts and 82% (23/28) of infants were vaccination compliant. Growth parameters showed normal distributions at all time points. At 6 months, any and exclusive breast milk feeding rates were lower compared to historic cohorts (18 vs. 36%, p<0.05, 0 vs. 21%, p<0.01). Three infants (10%) received development-related referrals, one carried an underlying genetic diagnosis. Outpatient visits were predominantly face-to-face with telemedicine use comprising only 6% of visits (11/182).


Longitudinal follow-up of 33 publicly insured infants born to mothers with SARS-CoV-2 infection in pregnancy followed in an FQHC showed high rates of follow-up and vaccination compliance, normal growth patterns and reassuring clinical status, and lower than expected rates of breastfeeding.

Corresponding author: Malika D. Shah, MD, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, 250 E Superior Avenue, Suite 10-2108, Chicago, 60611, IL, USA; and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA, Phone: 312 472 3776, Fax: 312 472 4099, E-mail:

Funding source: National Institutes of Health

Award Identifier / Grant number: UL1TR001422

Award Identifier / Grant number: K23 AI13933


Authors would like to acknowledge Stephanie Bararth and Laura Hurley for support in data abstraction, Erie’s Infection control team for keeping everyone safe, and the Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute for funding.

  1. Research funding: This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (UL1TR001422 and K23 AI13933).

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.

  4. Informed consent: Not Applicable.

  5. Ethical approval: The local Institutional Review Board approved the study.


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Received: 2021-05-18
Accepted: 2021-11-29
Published Online: 2021-12-10

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