Improving Care for Low Birth Weight Infants in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Literature Review

  • Resti Utami Universitas Muhammadiyah Jember, Indonesia


Background: Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) acute respiratory syndrome, also known as COVID-19, has spread exponentially around the world. COVID-19 attacks all age groups including the neonatal group because of the very high infection rate. Low birth weight (LBW) babies are a population that is susceptible to contracting COVID-19 because of their immature immune system. LBW is at risk of experiencing vertical and horizontal transmission due to COVID-19 with the controversial management of LBW care. Therefore, improving evidence-based LBW care in the era COVID-19 pandemic with infection control measures is needed to prevent the risk of transmitting LBW due to COVID-19. Purpose: This study aims to provide understanding and evidence on caring related to COVID-19 infection in LBW which is considered to reduce the threat of COVID-19 in LBW. Methods: A systematic literature review was carried out by following the Update Preferred Reporting Item for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) to gain insight into LBW care in the era COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Scopus, PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and ProQuest databases were searched to identify relevant articles. Of the 274 research articles produced, 14 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Results: LBW care in the era Covid-19 pandemic such as breastfeeding, kangaroo method care, and living with mothers in accordance with infection control measures are important to increase scientific awareness about LBW care to prevent LBW contracting Covid-19. Conclusion: The risk of LBW infection around the time of birth is low when precautions to protect the baby are taken. The risk of short-term and long-term impact of LBW care if mother breastfeed and rooming-in are using infection control measures appears to be smaller than the physical separation of infants and not breastfeeding in this pandemic era.


Abasse, S. et al. (2020) ‘Neonatal COVID-19 Pneumonia: Report of the First Case in a Preterm Neonate in Mayotte, an Overseas Department of France’, Children, 7(8), p. 87. doi: 10.3390/children7080087.
Abdollahpour, S. and Khadivzadeh, T. (2020) ‘Improving the quality of care in pregnancy and childbirth with coronavirus (COVID-19): a systematic review’, Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. Taylor & Francis, 0(0), pp. 1–9. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2020.1759540.
Anand, P. et al. (2020) ‘Clinical profile, viral load, management and outcome of neonates born to COVID 19 positive mothers: a tertiary care centre experience from India’, European Journal of Pediatrics. European Journal of Pediatrics. doi: 10.1007/s00431-020-03800-7.
Ashraf, M. A. et al. (2020) ‘Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A systematic review of pregnancy and the possibility of vertical transmission’, Journal of Reproduction and Infertility, 21(3), pp. 157–168.
Auriti, C. et al. (2020) ‘Vertical Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19): Are Hypotheses More than Evidences?’, American Journal of Perinatology, 2. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1714346.
Blauvelt, C. A. et al. (2020) ‘Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in a Preterm Pregnant Patient With Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)’, Obstetrics and gynecology, 136(1), pp. 46–51. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003949.
Boscia, C. (2020) ‘Skin-to-Skin Care and COVID-19’, 146(2).
Calil, V. M. L. T., Krebs, V. L. J. and De Carvalho, W. B. (2020) ‘Guidance on breastfeeding during the Covid-19 pandemic’, Revista da Associacao Medica Brasileira, 66(4), pp. 541–546. doi: 10.1590/1806-9282.66.4.541.
Cavicchiolo, M. E., Lolli, E., et al. (2020) ‘Managing a tertiary-level NICU in the time of COVID-19: Lessons learned from a high-risk zone’, Pediatric Pulmonology, 55(6), pp. 1308–1310. doi: 10.1002/ppul.24788.
Cavicchiolo, M. E., Trevisanuto, D., et al. (2020) ‘Universal screening of high-risk neonates, parents, and staff at a neonatal intensive care unit during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic’, European Journal of Pediatrics. European Journal of Pediatrics. doi: 10.1007/s00431-020-03765-7.
Choi, S. H. (2020) ‘What are considerations for neonates at risk for COVID-19?’, Korean Journal of Pediatrics, 63(9), pp. 359–360. doi: 10.3345/cep.2020.01074.
Concei, K. and Machado, G. (2020) ‘COVID-19 infection in pregnant women , preterm delivery , birth weight , and vertical transmission : a systematic review and ao nascer e transmissão vertical : uma revisão sistemática e metanálise Infección por COVID-19 en mujeres embarazadas , parto pret’, 36(7). doi: 10.1590/0102-311X00087320.
Davanzo, R., Merewood, A. and Manzoni, P. (2020) ‘Skin-to-Skin Contact at Birth in the COVID-19 Era: In Need of Help!’, American Journal of Perinatology, 1(212), pp. 8–11. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1714255.
Dong, L. et al. (2020) ‘Possible Vertical Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from an Infected Mother to Her Newborn’, JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, 323(18), pp. 1846–1848. doi: 10.1001/jama.2020.4621.
Dong, Y. et al. (2020) ‘Antibodies in the breast milk of a maternal woman with COVID-19’, Emerging Microbes and Infections. Taylor & Francis, 9(1), pp. 1467–1469. doi: 10.1080/22221751.2020.1780952.
Gagneur, A. et al. (2008) ‘Outbreaks of human coronavirus in a paediatric and neonatal intensive care unit’, European Journal of Pediatrics, 167(12), pp. 1427–1434. doi: 10.1007/s00431-008-0687-0.
Gale, C. et al. (2020) ‘National Active Surveillance to Understand and Inform Neonatal Care in COVID-19’, Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal, 105, p. 4. doi: 10.1136/fetalneonatal-2020-319372.
Hu, X. et al. (2020) ‘Managing Preterm Infants Born to COVID-19 Mothers: Evidence from a Retrospective Cohort Study in Wuhan, China’, Neonatology. doi: 10.1159/000509141.
Koenraads, M. et al. (2017) ‘Understanding the challenges to caring for low birthweight babies in rural southern Malawi: A qualitative study exploring caregiver and health worker perceptions and experiences’, BMJ Global Health, 2(3), pp. 1–9. doi: 10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000301.
Mascarenhas, V. H. A. et al. (2020) ‘Care recommendations for parturient and postpartum women and newborns during the covid-19 pandemic: A scoping review’, Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 28, pp. 1–12. doi: 10.1590/1518-8345.4596.3359.
Pereira, A. et al. (2020) ‘Breastfeeding mothers with COVID-19 infection: A case series’, International Breastfeeding Journal. International Breastfeeding Journal, 15(1), pp. 1–8. doi: 10.1186/s13006-020-00314-8.
Pissarra, S. et al. (2020) ‘Perinatal management of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a level III University Hospital’, Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. Taylor & Francis, 0(0), pp. 1–4. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2020.1786526.
Prabhakaran, H. and Arulappan, J. (2020) ‘Effectiveness of Nurse led structured teaching programme on knowledge and practice of postnatal mothers on low birth weight care’, Journal of Neonatal Nursing. Elsevier Ltd, (June). doi: 10.1016/j.jnn.2020.09.004.
Renfrew, M. J. et al. (2020) ‘Optimising mother-baby contact and infant feeding in a pandemic Rapid review Other members of the RCM Professors Advisory Group ; Soo Downe , Billie Hunter , Tina’, (June), pp. 1–47.
Salvatore, C. M. et al. (2020) ‘Neonatal management and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic: an observation cohort study’, The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health. Elsevier Ltd, 4(10), pp. 721–727. doi: 10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30235-2.
Tanner, T. and Wahezi, D. M. (2020) ‘Hyperinflammation and the utility of immunomodulatory medications in children with COVID-19’, Paediatric Respiratory Reviews. Elsevier Ltd, (xxxx). doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2020.07.003.
Tran, H. T. et al. (2020) ‘Appropriate care for neonates born to mothers with COVID-19 disease’, Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics, 109(9), pp. 1713–1716. doi: 10.1111/apa.15413.
Trevisanuto, D. et al. (2020) ‘Management of mothers and neonates in low resources setting during covid-19 pandemia’, Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine. Taylor & Francis, 0(0), pp. 1–12. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2020.1784873.
Tscherning, C., Sizun, J. and Kuhn, P. (2020) ‘Promoting attachment between parents and neonates despite the COVID-19 pandemic’, Acta Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics, 109(10), pp. 1937–1943. doi: 10.1111/apa.15455.
World Health Organization (2020a) ‘Breastfeeding and COVID-19’, Scientific brief, (June), pp. 1–3.
World Health Organization (2020b) ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019’, A & A Practice, 14(6), p. e01218. doi: 10.1213/xaa.0000000000001218.
Zeng, Hua, Chen Xu, J. F. (2020) ‘Antibodies in Infants Born to Mothers With COVID-19 Pneumonia’, JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association, pp. 2–3. doi: 10.1038/2101070a0.
Zeng, L. et al. (2020) ‘Neonatal Early-Onset Infection with SARS-CoV-2 in 33 Neonates Born to Mothers with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China’, JAMA Pediatrics, 174(7), pp. 722–725. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.0878.
How to Cite
UTAMI, Resti. Improving Care for Low Birth Weight Infants in the Era of Covid-19 Pandemic: A Systematic Literature Review. NurseLine Journal, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 123-129, nov. 2021. ISSN 2541-464X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 30 june 2022. doi:

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.