Dr. Moore authors statement on COVID-19 in NICU

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC strategic communications | October 14, 2020

Tiffany Moore, PhD, has a passion for mothers and their newborns. She's worked in the neonatal intensive care unit for years.

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Tiffany Moore, PhD

Dr. Moore, an associate professor in the UNMC College of Nursing, is lead author on a joint position statement from the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and National Perinatal Association. The paper, titled "Mothers with COVID-19 and their Newborn Infants," aims to provide advice to new moms with COVID-19.

The statement encourages keeping the mother and newborn together while respecting the unique challenges individual institutions may encounter.

Dr. Moore said some hospitals in major hotspots have been separating mom and baby if mom is COVID-19 positive.

"With the pandemic, there are a lot of unknowns, so the nurse scientist in me said, 'Let's look at all the information and see what the literature says,'" Dr. Moore said. "We found studies, but there are a lot of unknowns about what to do in this vulnerable population. We don't have enough science to have all the facts."

Her research is on the effects of chronic stress on moms and babies. She said the first hour after birth, as well as the first few days and weeks, is critical for bonding, development and ultimately on emotional and physical development.

She and colleagues set out to provide some guidance to parents and caregivers on the front lines in hospitals. They created a shared decision-making model that would give the facts on COVID-19 transmission to help parents decide what is best for their family.

"Very few newborns have gotten sick with COVID-19," Dr. Moore said. "We still don't know but are staying up to date on what we do know. We hope our guidance will start conversations and provide parents and providers with knowledge and the ability to have that important conversation."

She said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics originally suggested separating mom and baby because little was known about COVID-19. The World Health Organization recommended keeping them together based on the importance of mother-infant bonding and low risk of transmission.

Dr. Moore said it's wise for COVID-19-positive moms to use masks and good hygiene. She added that there are no studies that suggest moms with COVID-19 should not breastfeed.


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Jen Bredehoft
October 15, 2020 at 11:43 AM

Nice work, Dr. Moore! Thank you for your contributions.

Sheri Rowland
October 14, 2020 at 9:08 PM

Nice work - cutting edge mother/baby nursing science!

Kim Latacha
October 14, 2020 at 8:53 AM

Congrats, Dr. Moore!

Kristen Cook
October 14, 2020 at 8:17 AM

Great job Tiffany!