Being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic
Pregnancy can be a stressful time for every woman. Being pregnant can be even more stressful during a pandemic. These are answers to questions you may have about COVID-19 and pregnancy. These are sound, medical facts. Please keep in mind that data about COVID-19 and pregnancy is changing quickly.
General information and protection
Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you should get the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, a conversation with your healthcare provider might help, but is not required for vaccination.
Learn more from the CDC on COVID-19 vaccines while pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you.
- It’s best to wash your hands often with soap and water. You must wash for at least 20 seconds.
- It’s good to use hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.
- Don't touch your face. Mainly your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wipe down all surfaces that are touch the most in your home. Use a cleaner that kills viruses. You can use 5 tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Wipe down things like:
- bathroom sinks
- door knobs
- light switches
- Don't be around people who are sick.
- Wear a mask when you go outside of your home. Wearing a mask will remind you not to touch your face. It will also protect others in case you have the virus.
Symptoms can be different for different people. They can include:
- Fever of 100.4° or higher
- Sore throat
- Congestion and runny nose
- Feeling very tired or worn out
- Body aches
- Hard to breathe
- Loss of taste and smell
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loose stools
- Get tested for COVID-19. Find testing sites here.
- Call your provider that is caring for your pregnancy. This can be an OB, Midwife, Nurse Practitioner, or Family Medicine doctor.
- Stay home! Stay away from other people in your household. Sleep and eat in your own room, use your own bathroom.
- Rest and drink plenty of water
- Pay attention to your symptoms carefully: check for a fever at least twice a day
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for body aches or fever. Do NOT take ibuprofen. This is not safe to use in pregnancy and may cause COVID-19 to worsen.
- Seek care right away. Call 911 if you have:
- Fever of 101° or higher
- Have trouble breathing
- Have pain or pressure in your chest
- Have bluish lips or face
- Are not feeling normal fetal movement
- Are having more than 5 contractions per hour
- Have leaking of fluid or blood from your vagina
- Wear a face mask if you must leave your home
- Get tested for COVID-19. Find testing sites here.
- Call their doctor for any special guidance.
- The sick person must stay away from everyone. They should sleep and eat in their own room and use their own bathroom.
- Have them wear a face mask when they are in the same space as others
- Right away, wipe off any surfaces that they touched
- Do not share any household items such as dishes, towels and sheets.
- Use gloves to handle any clothing, bedding and towels. Wash in hot water. If you touch these items, wash your hands for 20 seconds.
- Keep pets away from sick persons. This is to avoid the pet spreading the virus on its fur.
- Pay attention to their symptoms closely.
- Treat fever or body aches with acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Do NOT take ibuprofen. This may cause COVID-19 to worsen.
- Seek care right away. Call 911 if they have:
- trouble breathing
- pain or pressure in their chest
- bluish lips or face
- become confused or can’t wake them up
Yes, pregnant women are at higher risk for having severe COVID infection. There are many changes in our bodies during pregnancy. There are some that can make it harder to fight infection. Many breathing illnesses can be worse for pregnant women.
Passing COVID-19 from a mother to her baby can happen before, during, or right after having the baby. The good news is most babies have healthy outcomes.
Delivering my baby
Healthy newborns born to mothers with COVID-19 will stay in the same room as their mother. We will teach you how to safely care for your baby.
If your baby needs to go to the neonatal intensive care unit, you will not be able to visit if you have an active COVID-19 infection. We have technology that will allow you to see your baby and interact with his/her care team.
If you are too sick to care for your baby, we will make sure your baby is cared for well while you cannot.
It is safe with precautions and breastfeeding is still recommended. Use the same precautions when pumping breastmilk or feeding with a bottle. We will teach you how to safely breast feed.
Our Birth Center is doing everything we can to lower the risks for you and your baby. This involves both how we provide prenatal care and how we care for you and your baby in the hospital.
We have limits on the number of people who can be present when you are in labor. Only healthy, adult visitors are allowed in the Birth Center.
Resources for managing stress and anxiety
- Brains On! podcast - Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread
- National Public Radio - A comic exploring the new coronavirus
- The New York Times - Talking to teens and tweens about coronavirus
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration - Tips for caregivers, parents, and teachers during infectious disease outbreaks
- Redleaf Center for Family Healing
- Postpartum Support International - Free, online support for postpartum mothers and families
Other resources we recommend
This information about COVID-19 and pregnancy was jointly developed with the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. They are a national organization of high risk pregnancy specialists.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
ACOG is the largest national organization for doctors that are trained in Obstetrics & Gynecology in the US.