COVID-19: Pregnancy

Based on what is known at this time, pregnant people are not more likely to be infected by COVID-19. However, they may be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people.

There may be a bigger risk of negative pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, for pregnant people with COVID-19. There have been a small number of reports of babies who may have been infected before birth. The full scope is not known, and it is still rare.

If you are a health care provider, see our COVID-19: Information for Providers page under “Perinatal and Pediatric Care.”

Pregnancy and Postpartum

The number of in-person visits you need to attend for prenatal care may change. If you are sick, do not go to your in-person appointment. Contact them before you go to their office to let them know of your symptoms even if you already have a scheduled appointment.

It is important for pregnant people to follow public health guidance on how to protect themselves from illnesses, including COVID-19:

During Birth

Some health care providers may recommend separating the baby from a parent who has COVID-19 or is being tested for COVID-19 while the parent is in the hospital for the birth. This is to reduce the risk of the newborn becoming infected with COVID-19 and should be done on a case-by-case basis.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is even more important during a pandemic. Infants and children are most at risk during emergencies when infant formula and feeding supplies are limited. People with COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 can breastfeed while taking precautions to avoid spreading the virus to their infant.

Breast milk provides perfect nutrition tailored specifically to your baby. It contains virtually all the protein, sugar, fat, vitamins and minerals that babies need to grow. It is easily digestible and adapts to the nutritional needs of your baby.

If you and your baby must be separated due to illness or you are unable to provide milk to your baby, it is still important to express your milk regularly to establish and maintain your milk supply.

If you are interested in receiving doula support, programs offering free doulas are listed on the Doula Care page under “Programs Offering Free Doulas.” Doula support can help families handle the physical, emotional and practical issues that surround childbirth. Doulas are currently providing virtual or in-person support due to COVID-19.

Doulas

This guidance is intended for doulas. It offers health and informational guidance on providing virtual and in-person support during COVID-19.

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