What you need to know about your Pregnancy during the Pandemic
Protect yourself and your family from COVID-19
Based on what we know at this time,
might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased
risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant
people with COVID-19. Therefore, if you are pregnant, be mindful about
reducing your risk of getting sick. If you are caring for children, you
can teach them
everyday steps (such as proper
handwashing) to help them stay healthy and, in turn, help protect yourself and your family.
Reduce your risk of getting COVID-19.
It is especially important for people at increased risk for severe illness
from COVID-19, and those who live with them, to protect themselves from
The best ways to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of the
virus that causes COVID-19 are to:
If you start feeling sick and think you may have COVID-19, call your healthcare
provider within 24 hours.
Venturing out into a public setting? What to consider before you go.
As communities and businesses across the United States are opening, you
may be thinking about
resuming some activities,
running errands, and attending
events and gatherings.
There is no way to ensure you have zero risk of infection, so it is important to understand the risks and know how to be as safe as possible.
People who are pregnant, and those who live with them, should consider
their level of risk before
deciding to go out and ensure they are taking steps to
protect themselves and others. Consider avoiding activities where taking protective measures may be
difficult, such as activities where
social distancing can’t be maintained.
Everyone should take steps to prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 to protect themselves, their communities, and
people who are at increased risk of severe illness.
the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them,
and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading
If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by
practicing everyday preventive actions.
- Keep these items on hand and use them when venturing out: a mask, tissues,
and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible.
If possible, avoid others who are not wearing
masks or ask others around you to wear masks.
How to Protect Yourself & Others
COVID-19 and pregnancy considerations
Based on what we know at this time,
might be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally,
there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as
preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19.
Actions to take if you are pregnant
- Do not skip your prenatal care appointments.
- Limit your interactions with other people as much as possible.
Take precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when you do interact with others.
- Make sure that you have at least a 30-day supply of your medicines.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about how to stay healthy and take care
of yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you don’t have a healthcare provider, contact your nearest
community health centerexternal icon or
- Call your healthcare provider if you have any questions related to your health.
- Seek care immediately if you have a medical emergency.
You may feel increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can
be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Learn about
stress and coping.
Learn more about how to
reduce your risk of getting COVID-19.
Vaccines during pregnancy
Although there is no vaccine available to protect against the virus that
causes COVID-19, routine vaccines are an important part of protecting
your health. Receiving some vaccines during pregnancy, such as the influenza
(flu) and Tdap vaccines, can help protect you and your baby. If you are
pregnant, you should continue to receive your recommended vaccines. Talk
with your healthcare provider about visits for vaccines during pregnancy.
Prenatal and postpartum care
It is important to take care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy
and after delivery.
Do not skip your prenatal care appointments or postpartum appointments. If you are concerned about attending your appointment due to COVID-19,
talk to your healthcare provider.
- Ask your healthcare provider how they are taking steps to separate healthy
patients from those who may be sick.
- Some healthcare providers might choose to cancel or postpone some visits.
Others may switch certain appointments to telemedicine visits, which are
appointments over the phone or video. These decisions will be based on
the circumstances in your community as well as your individual care plan.
- Call your healthcare provider if you have an urgent medical question.
In case of emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency department.
If you are not driving, call the emergency department on the way to explain
that you are pregnant and have an emergency. They should have an infection
prevention plan to protect you from getting COVID-19 if you need emergency care.
Do not delay getting emergency care because of COVID-19.
Delivery locations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Delivering your baby is always safest under the supervision of trained
healthcare professionals. If you have questions about the best place to
deliver your baby, discuss them with your healthcare provider.
Newborns born to mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
Much is still unknown about the risks of COVID-19 to newborns.
- Newborns can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 after being
in close contact with an infected person.
- Some babies have tested positive for the virus shortly after birth. It
is unknown if these babies got the virus before, during, or after birth.
- Most newborns who have tested positive for COVID-19 had mild or no symptoms
and have recovered fully. However, there are a few reports of newborns
with severe illness.
- A small number of other problems, such as preterm (early) birth and other
problems with pregnancy and birth, have been reported in babies born to
mothers who tested positive for COVID-19. We do not know if these problems
were related to the virus.
CDC recognizes that the ideal setting for the care of a healthy, full-term
newborn during the birth hospitalization is within the mother’s
room. Temporary separation of the newborn from a mother with suspected
or confirmed COVID-19 should be considered to reduce the risk of spreading
the virus to the newborn. The risks and benefits of temporary separation
of the mother from her newborn should be discussed with the mother by
her healthcare team. Decisions about temporary separation should be made
with respect to the mother’s wishes. If the mother chooses a temporary
separation to reduce risk of spreading the virus and would like to breastfeed,
she should express breast milk and have a healthy caregiver who is not at
high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 bottle feed the newborn the expressed breast milk if possible.
If the mother with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 does not choose temporary
separation in the hospital, she should take precautions to avoid spreading
the virus to the newborn, including washing her hands and wearing a mask
when within 6 feet of her newborn. The newborn should be kept ≥6 feet
away from the mother, as much as possible, including the use of physical
barriers (e.g., placing the newborn in an incubator).
Mothers who are discharged from the hospital but have not met
criteria to discontinue isolation may choose to continue to separate from the newborn at home to reduce
the risk of spreading the virus, if a healthy caregiver is available.
If a healthy caregiver is not available, a mother with COVID-19 can still
care for her infant if she is well enough while using precautions (for
example, hand washing, wearing a mask).
Separation from the newborn may make it harder for some new mothers to
start or continue breastfeeding. Frequent hand expression or pumping,
ideally with a hospital-grade pump, is necessary to establish and build
milk supply during temporary separation. Pumping every 2-3 hours (at least
8-10 times in 24 hours, including at night), especially in the first few
days, signals the breasts to produce milk and prevents blocked milk ducts
and breast infections. Mothers who are unable to establish milk production
in the hospital after birth, or who have to temporarily stop breastfeeding,
can relactate with skilled assistance from a lactation support provider.
Additional information on
relactation is available.
COVID-19 and breastfeeding
Mothers who choose to breastfeed:
Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best
source of nutrition for most infants. Learn
more about breastfeeding.
- You, along with your family and healthcare providers, should decide whether
and how to start or continue breastfeeding.
- We do not know for sure if mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus to
babies in their breast milk, but the limited data available suggest this
is not likely.
If you have COVID-19 and choose to breastfeed:
- Wear a mask while breastfeeding and wash your hands with soap and water
for at least 20 seconds before each feeding.
If you have COVID-19 and choose to express breast milk:
- Use a dedicated breast pump (not shared).
Wear a mask during expression and
wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before touching any pump or
bottle parts and before expressing breast milk.
recommendations for proper pump cleaning [Español] after each use, cleaning all parts that come into contact with breast milk.
If possible, expressed breast milk should be fed to the infant by a healthy
caregiver who does not have COVID-19, is not at
high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and is living in the same home.
Parents and other caregivers should follow recommendations described in the
Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings.
Additional CDC resources to support infant nutrition include:
Other Important Information for New Parents:
COVID-19 and children
There is much more to be learned about how this disease affects children.
While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, most illnesses
have been among adults. Some reports suggest that infants under 1 year
old and those with
underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 than other children.
- Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as
fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported
in some children.
certain underlying medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart
conditions, or weak immune systems, might be at higher risk for severe
illness from COVID-19. Call your child’s healthcare provider if
you are worried about your child’s health or if your child has symptoms
In case of emergency, call 911 or go to your local emergency department.
Emergency departments have infection prevention plans to protect you and
your child from getting COVID-19 if your child needs emergency care.Do not delay getting emergency care for your child because of COVID-19.
Children and youth with special healthcare needs.
Face shields for newborns and infants
Plastic face shields for newborns and infants are NOT recommended. There are no data supporting the use of infant face shields for protection
against COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses. An infant face shield
could increase the risk of
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or accidental suffocation and strangulation. Infants, including newborns,
move frequently, which could increase the possibility of their nose and
mouth becoming blocked by the plastic face shield or foam components.
The baby’s movement could also cause the face shield to become displaced,
resulting in strangulation from the strap.
Information for how to protect newborns from becoming sick with COVID-19
while in the hospital can be found in CDC’s
Considerations for Inpatient Obstetrics Healthcare Settings. Additional information on
how to protect yourself and others, including newborns and infants, from COVID-19 illness is also available.
Masks for children, parents, and other caregivers
CDC recommends that everyone 2 years and older wear a mask that covers
their nose and mouth when they are out in the community.
Because of the danger of suffocation, do NOT put masks on babies or children
younger than 2 years. Masks should also not be worn by anyone who has trouble breathing, is
unconscious, can’t move, or is otherwise unable to remove the mask
Parents and other caregivers should keep in mind that wearing a mask is
not a substitute for social distancing, frequent hand washing, or other
everyday preventive actions – please wear your mask in addition
to practicing other prevention steps. A mask is not intended to protect
you, the wearer, but it may prevent you from spreading the virus to others.
This would be especially important if you are infected but do not have
symptoms of COVID-19. Please remember that medical facemasks and N95 respirators
are reserved for healthcare personnel and other first responders.
Learn more about
Safe sleep for infants during the COVID-19 pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents of infants may experience increased
stress and fatigue that could affect their infants’ sleep practices.
Safe sleep is an important part of keeping infants healthy, including
during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have an infant, you can help reduce
your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other
sleep-related deaths by doing the following:
- Place your baby on his or her back for all sleep times – naps and at night.
- Use a firm, flat sleep surface, such as a mattress in a crib, covered by
a fitted sheet.
- Have the baby share your room but not your bed. Your baby should not sleep
on an adult bed, cot, air mattress, or couch, or on a chair alone, with
you, or with anyone else.
- Keep soft bedding such as blankets, pillows, bumper pads, and soft toys
out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Do not cover your baby’s head or allow your baby to get too hot.
Signs your baby may be getting too hot include if he or she is sweating
or if his or her chest feels hot.
- Do not smoke or allow anyone to smoke around your baby.
Learn more about
how to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Well visits and routine vaccine visits for children during the COVID-19 pandemic
Routine well child visits and vaccine visits are still important during
the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newborn visits. Ideally, newborn visits should be done in person so that your pediatric
healthcare provider can check your baby’s growth and feeding, check
your baby for jaundice, make sure your baby’s newborn screening
tests were done, and get any repeat or follow-up testing, if necessary.
At the newborn visit, your pediatric healthcare provider will also check
how you and your baby are doing overall. Newborn screening tests include
a bloodspot, hearing test, and test for
critical congenital heart defects. Learn more about
newborn screening tests.
Well child visits. Your pediatric healthcare provider will check your child’s development
at well child visits. You can track your child’s developmental milestones
with CDC’s free
Milestone Tracker app.
Vaccine visits. Vaccines are an important part of keeping your child healthy, especially
if your child is under 2 years old. Vaccines help provide immunity before
being exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Although there
is not yet a vaccine to help protect against COVID-19, vaccines for illnesses
such as measles, influenza (flu), whooping cough (pertussis), and other
infectious diseases are important for your child’s health. This
will help to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases among young
children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ask your healthcare provider how they are taking steps to separate healthy
patients from those who may be sick. Some health care providers may choose
to delay visits like well child checks and routine vaccine visits. These
decisions will be based on circumstances in your community and your child’s
individual care plan. Call your provider’s office to ask about any
upcoming appointments or about when your child’s vaccinations are due.
Coping with stress
Pandemics can be stressful for everyone. Fear and anxiety about a disease
can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children.
Coping successfully with stress will make you, the people you care about,
and your community stronger.
Talk with your children about the pandemic. It is important to try to stay
calm and to give children information that is truthful and appropriate
for their ages and developmental levels.
Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults. CDC offers
resources to help you talk with your children about COVID-19.
Depression during and after pregnancy is common and can be treated. Postpartum
depression is depression that can happen after having a baby. If you think
you may be experiencing depression, seek treatment from your health care
provider as soon as possible. Find more information on
depression during and after pregnancy.
Pregnant people and parents caring for young children may be experiencing
increased stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CDC offers resources to
Stress and Coping.
National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD),
Division of Viral Diseases
March of Dimes Birthplan Sheet
March of Dimes Birthplan Sheet - Spanish