COVID and pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a stressful time for every woman. Being pregnant can be even more stressful when you are dealing with illness. These are answers to questions you may have about COVID and pregnancy. These are sound, medical facts.
General information and protection
Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you should get the COVID vaccine. Getting a COVID vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID and protect your infant for the first few months of life. 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 vaccines while pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Hand hygiene is important!
- You can wash your hands often with soap and water. You must wash for at least 20 seconds.
- You can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean surfaces that are touched the most in your home, including:
- bathroom sinks
- door knobs
- light switches
- Don't be around people who are sick.
- Consider wearing a mask if you are ill, are concerned with being around many people, or if advised by your provider.
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
- Use an at-home COVID test or make an appointment with your clinic to get tested.
- Call your provider that is caring for your pregnancy. This can be an OB, Midwife, Nurse Practitioner, or Family Medicine doctor.
- Plan to stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days.
- 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.
- Seek care right away 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.
- Call their doctor for any special guidance.
- The sick person should try to stay away from others.
- Have them wear a face mask when they are in the same space as others
- Do your best to prevent the spread of COVID:
- Wipe off any surfaces that they touched
- Try not to share household items such as dishes, towels and sheets.
- Wash any clothing, bedding and towels before the next use
- 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®) or ibuprofen.
- Seek care right away 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 from a mother to her baby is possible and occurs in a small percentage before you deliver your baby. After the baby is born, COVID can be passed through the air. Mothers who are sick should mask. The good news is most babies have healthy outcomes.
Delivering my baby
No, healthy newborns born to mothers with COVID 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 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.
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.
Yes, you can have visitors. We can only accommodate one overnight visitor during after you've delivered your baby.
Resources for managing stress and anxiety
- Brains On! podcast - Understanding coronavirus and how germs spread
- 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 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.