COVID-19: Advice if You're Pregnant or Breastfeeding

Overview

There are things you can do to protect your health and the health of your baby.

If you're pregnant

While pregnant, you are at higher risk for getting seriously ill from COVID-19. That's because pregnancy causes changes in the body that may raise the risk for some infections. So it's important to try to avoid infections. The same steps that can help prevent COVID-19 will also help prevent other viral infections, like colds and the flu.

  • Wear a mask.
  • Practice social distancing. When you're out, keep a space of at least 6 feet (2 meters) between yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Scrub for 20 seconds, rinse, and dry. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay home as much as you can. Avoid having visitors. If you have to have visitors, they need to wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from you. And keep the visit as short as possible.
  • Stay away from people who seem sick or are coughing or sneezing.

If you're breastfeeding

Talk to your doctor if you're concerned about your baby's risk of infection.

If you have COVID-19 or have symptoms, like a fever or a cough:

  • Take extra care to avoid passing the infection to your baby.
    • Wear a mask. Wear it anytime you hold or are near your baby.
    • Wash your hands well before you touch your baby.
  • Take precautions if you pump breast milk.
    • Wash your hands well before you touch the pump or bottle.
    • Wear a mask while you pump or express your milk.
    • Clean the pump well when you're finished.

When a COVID-19 vaccine is available to you

  • Talk with your doctor when the COVID-19 vaccine is available to you. It hasn't yet been studied in pregnant or breastfeeding women, but you have the option to get it.
    • The vaccine is safe and effective for almost everyone, and it's unlikely to harm you or your baby. Other vaccines, like the flu vaccine, are safely given in pregnancy. And almost all other current vaccines are safe with breastfeeding. The risk of problems from the COVID-19 vaccine should be far smaller than the risks to you and your baby from having the infection.
  • Encourage people close to you to get protected with the vaccine when it's available to them.

Call if you become sick

Call your doctor if you have any symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19, like a fever, a cough, or shortness of breath.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: March 26, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine