There are many things we don't yet know about coronavirus (COVID-19), but we're learning more each day. Here are some answers to questions about coronavirus and pregnancy.

Do Pregnant Women Have a Higher Chance of Getting Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Experts don't know if pregnant women are more likely to get coronavirus than other people. But because of the changes women go through during pregnancy, they might be more likely to get some infections.

Pregnant women who do get infected with coronavirus are more likely to have a severe illness than women who aren't pregnant. So it's important to protect yourself by following all recommended pregnancy precautions.

How Can Pregnant Women Protect Themselves From Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

To protect themselves from coronavirus and other infections, pregnant women should:

  • Wear a mask when out in public and around other people.
  • Wash their hands well and often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Try not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay away from sick people.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away (2 meters) from people they don't live with.
  • Clean and disinfect things that people touch a lot, like phones, doorknobs, and counters.

Can Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cause Problems for a Woman's Pregnancy or Her Baby?

Experts are still studying how coronavirus infection might affect a woman's pregnancy and her unborn baby. It seems that pregnant women with coronavirus are more likely to deliver their babies early. But so far, no link has been shown between COVID-19 in a pregnant woman and problems with her baby.

If I Get Coronavirus (COVID-19) While I'm Pregnant, Can I Pass it to My Baby?

There's not enough research yet to know if coronavirus can spread to babies during pregnancy or birth. The virus has not been found in amniotic fluid or breast milk, but some babies born to mothers with coronavirus have tested positive for the virus. Doctors recommend testing healthy babies born to mothers with coronavirus, if tests are available. This will help with plans to care for the baby in the hospital and when the baby is home.

Newborns can catch the virus from an infected parent. But doctors do not recommend separating an infected mother from her newborn unless she is too sick to care for the baby. If the mother feels well enough, she can care for and feed her baby while wearing a mask and washing her hands well and often. When not providing care, it's best for the mother to keep 6 feet away from her baby, when possible, until the recommended isolation period is over.

What Should I Do if I'm Pregnant and Get Sick?

The symptoms of COVID-19 can be like those of other viruses, like colds and the flu. So chances are, unless you get tested, you won't know if you have COVID-19. Call your health care provider right away if you have symptoms that include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • trouble breathing
  • cold symptoms such as a sore throat, congestion, or a runny nose
  • chills
  • muscle pain
  • headache
  • a loss of taste or smell
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • tiredness

Most people who get sick can be cared for at home with fluids and rest. But if you need to see a health care provider, call the office or hospital before going in. For emergencies, call 911.

Is it Safe to Deliver My Baby in a Hospital Now?

Yes. Hospitals and birth centers are taking every precaution to make sure moms and babies are safe from germs. Most health care facilities keep patients with COVID-19 or symptoms of the virus away from others.

Some hospitals are limiting the number of people allowed in the delivery room. When your baby is born, visitors may not be allowed in the hospital. If they are, they may be checked for coronavirus symptoms before going in the building.

Is it OK to Let Visitors Meet My New Baby at Home?

Because newborns' immune systems are still developing, they have a harder time fighting illnesses. So it's important to stay away from other people when your baby comes home from the hospital.

To protect your baby:

  • Keep your baby at home and away from others as much as possible. Don't have friends and family over to meet the baby, and don't take the baby to other people's homes.
  • If you have to take your baby out — for instance, to a doctor's visit — keep yourself and your baby at least 6 feet away from other people. You should wear a mask or cloth face covering, but do not put anything over your baby's face.
  • If someone in your home is sick, take all recommended precautions. Keep your baby away from anyone who is sick.
  • At home, all caregivers should wash their hands before and after touching your baby. Keep all surfaces clean.

Where Can I Get Updated Information on Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) websites for up-to-date, reliable information about coronavirus.

Back to Articles


Related Articles

Medical Care During Pregnancy

The sooner in pregnancy good care begins, the better for the health of both moms and their babies. Here's what to expect.

Read More

Pregnancy Precautions: FAQs

Moms-to-be have a lot of questions about what's safe during pregnancy. Keep your sanity by knowing what you can - and can't - do before your baby arrives.

Read More

Is it Safe to Breastfeed if I Have Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Mothers with coronavirus (COVID-19) can still breastfeed their babies or give expressed breast milk. Here's what else the experts say.

Read More

Staying Healthy During Pregnancy

During your pregnancy, you'll probably get advice from everyone. But staying healthy depends on you - read about the many ways to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible.

Read More

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings a mix of feelings, and not all of them are good. It can be even harder if you're dealing with depression or anxiety.

Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is making people sick with flu-like symptoms. Read this article to learn how to protect your family, and to know when to call your doctor.

Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Calming Anxiety

Many people - kids and adults - are worried about coronavirus (COVID-19). But anxiety about it doesn't have to get the upper hand. Here's how to calm fears and focus on good things.

Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Home Care & Precautions

Anyone who is sick — even if they don't know for sure they have coronavirus (COVID-19) — should stay home unless they need medical care. This helps prevent the illness from spreading to others.

Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Your Questions Answered

We're learning more about coronavirus (COVID-19) every day. Here are answers to some questions you may have about symptoms, care, and protecting your family.

Read More

Understanding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Looking for information about coronavirus (COVID-19)? Our articles and videos explain what the virus is, ways to prevent it from spreading, what it means for school and learning, and much more.

Read More

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: What to Do if Your Child Is Sick

There's still much to learn about COVID-19. Still, parents wonder what to do if their child gets sick during the pandemic. Here's what doctors say to do if your child has coronavirus symptoms.

Read More

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.

Search our entire site.