NYMC Faculty Publications

Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Well-Baby Nursery

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American Journal of Perinatology

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BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is associated with fewer deliveries and premature births; however, the impact of this pandemic on the well-baby nursery (WBN) is unknown. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on infants admitted to the WBN by comparing pandemic and pre-pandemic cohorts. STUDY DESIGN: We performed a retrospective study of infants admitted to a WBN during the pandemic period (March 18, 2020 to March 17, 2021) and compared them to those during the pre-pandemic period (March 18, 2019 to March 17, 2020). Maternal (age, parity, gestation, method of delivery, and COVID-19 status) and neonatal (sex, weight, Apgar score, feeding pattern, urine toxicology, and neonatal intensive care unit [NICU] admission) data were collected and compared between the two periods. The results were statistically analyzed, and significance was set at <0.05. RESULTS: There were 824 and 859 WBN admissions during the pandemic and pre-pandemic periods, respectively, a 4% decrease in WBN admissions during the pandemic period. During the pandemic period, the number of deliveries among nulliparous women increased (From 40.3% to 45.1%  = 0.01), and deliveries among multiparous women decreased (From 59.2% to 53.1%  = 0.01). The number of infants exposed to marijuana in utero increased (From 8.2% to 16.1%  = 0.035), and transfers from WBN to NICU decreased (From 9% to 6.3%  = 0.044) during the pandemic period. CONCLUSION: Compared with the pre-pandemic period, the number of WBN admissions, multiparous deliveries, and NICU admissions decreased, while the number of nulliparous deliveries and infants exposed to marijuana in-utero increased during the pandemic period. KEY POINTS: · COVID-19 Pandemic is associated with decreased number of deliveries, preterm births, and NICU admissions.. · We observed decreased admissions to WBN, deliveries by multiparous women, and transfers from WBN.. · More nulliparous women delivered, and more infants were exposed to marijuana in-utero during the Pandemic..