Express News Service
Name of study: Babies born during the pandemic’s first year score lower on development
By who and where: Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York
What does it say?
✥ The study points out that pandemic babies, when compared to babies born just before the pandemic, showed lower social and motor skills.
✥ Babies demonstrated things such as facial movements, focus of the eyes, raising their head, jumping at loud noises, smiling back, and other gestures, but these were found to be lacking in them at six months of age.
✥ Researchers think this could be because of underlying stress, health issues, among other things.
Small changes were noticed
Dr Sagar Sharma
Consultant Neonatologist and Paediatrician, Manipal Hospital, Sarjapur Road, Bengaluru
We have seen the motor and social milestones in infants getting mildly delayed. It doesn’t matter whether or not the mother had the Covid infection. We assume that factors such as the stress of delivering during the pandemic, uncertainty and despair of not having enough family support because of the pandemic restrictions, lack of movement etc. may have played a role. For some women, it could have been financial limitations they faced during the pandemic that could have led to malnutrition and deficiencies of important minerals such as iron, calcium, Vitamin D and others.
There is no association
Dr Megha Principal Consultant, Paediatrics, Max Hospital, Gurugram
There is no association between maternal SARS-CoV-2 infection status, timing, or severity, and infant neurodevelopment at six months, as measured using a standardised screener. Furthermore, babies were not examined, instead, parental reporting was relied upon, perhaps leading to the bias of parental perception rather than objectivity. Also, most of the participants had asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infection, therefore, infants exposed to greater levels of maternal immune activation may not be represented in the data.
Anu Jain Rohatgi