Research is currently underway to understand the impacts of COVID-19 infection on pregnant women. Data are limited, but at present there is no evidence that they are at higher risk of severe illness than the general population.
However, due to changes in their bodies and immune systems, we know that pregnant women can be badly affected by some respiratory infections. It is therefore important that they take precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19, and report possible symptoms (including fever, cough or difficulty breathing) to their healthcare provider.
Pregnant women should take the same precautions to avoid COVID-19 infection as other people. You can help protect yourself by:
If you have fever, cough or difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Call before going to a health facility and follow the directions of your local health authority.
Pregnant women and women who have recently delivered – including those affected by COVID-19 - should attend their routine care appointments.
Yes. Close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding helps a baby to thrive. You should be supported to.
You should wash your hands before and after touching your baby, and keep all surfaces clean.
We still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. To date, the virus has not been found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.
Yes. WHO advice is that caesarean sections should only be performed when medically justified.
The mode of birth should be individualized and based on a woman’s preferences alongside obstetric indications.
If you are too unwell to breastfeed your baby due to COVID-19 or other complications, you should be supported to safely provide your baby with breastmilk in a way possible, available, and acceptable to you. This could include:
Yes. Women with COVID-19 can breastfeed reast feed if they wish to do so. They should: