Mothers around the world are giving birth in extraordinary circumstances, with their babies entering a strange and frightening new reality. This week, it was reported that some hospitals in Thailand are putting plastic face shields on newborns to help protect them against the coronavirus. The above image was taken through a through a glass window at the Praram 9 Hospital maternity ward in Bangkok on April 9.
BBC Thailand reported that Praram 9 Hospital hoped to give mothers “peace of mind.” They suggested that these face masks should be worn only for “a short time, or only when necessary.”
There’s still a lot that experts don’t know about how COVID-19 affects pregnant women and infants. As of now, the CDC website says that a “very small number” of newborns have tested positive for the virus, adding, however, that “it is unknown if these babies got the virus before or after birth.” The CDC also says it does not currently know if pregnant people have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public. In the meantime, hospitals in America, many of which lack face shields and other personal protective equipment for adult medical workers on the front lines, have been separating some newborns from their parents over coronavirus fears.