Ø Are pregnant women at higher risk from COVID-19?
According to the available data there is no
evidence that pregnant women are at higher risk than the general population.
However, due to changes of immune system in their
bodies, we know that pregnant women are vulnerable to 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 doctor.
World Health Organization will continue to analyze and monitor data; the
recommendations will be updated in line with new evidence.
Ø I’m pregnant. How can I protect myself against
Pregnant women should take the
same precautions to avoid COVID-19 infection as other part of population,
- Washing your hands frequently with
soap and water or an alcohol-based solution;
- Keeping 2 meter space between yourselves and
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
- Practicing respiratory hygiene.
This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or disposable
tissue when you cough or sneeze; 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.
Ø Should pregnant women be tested for COVID-19?
Testing of pregnant women, as
well as the general population, is being implemented in accordance with
Ø Can COVID-19 be passed from a woman to fetus or
At this stage there is no evidence if a pregnant
woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or
delivery. However to date, the virus has not been found in samples of amniotic
fluid or breast milk.
Ø What medical care should be available during
pregnancy and childbirth?
All pregnant women, including those with confirmed
or suspected COVID-19 infections, have the right to high quality care before,
during and after childbirth. This includes antenatal, prenatal, postnatal and
mental health care.
High quality medical care during childbirth includes:
- Being treated with respect
- Having a companion of choice
present during delivery;
- Clear communication by
- Appropriate pain relief
- Availability of choosing
labour mode and place of birth.
COVID-19 is confirmed, health workers should take all appropriate precautions
to reduce risks of infection to themselves and others.
Ø Do pregnant women with suspected or confirmed
COVID-19 need to give birth by caesarean section?
advice is that caesarean sections should only be performed when medically
of birth should be individualized and based on a woman’s preferences alongside
Ø Can women with COVID-19 breastfeed?
Women with COVID-19 can breastfeed. They
- Practice hygiene, wearing a mask where available;
- Wash hands before and after
touching the baby;
- Routinely clean and
disinfect surfaces they have touched.
Ø Can she touch and hold her newborn baby if mother has
Close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding helps a baby to
thrive. You should provide:
- Breastfeed safely, with
- Hold your newborn skin-to-skin;
- Share a room with your baby.
should wash your hands before and after touching your baby, and keep all
Ø I have COVID-19 and am too unwell to breastfeed my
baby directly. What can I do?
milk is the best source of nutrition for most newborn babies. However, not much
is known about COVID-19, but mother, in agreement/coordination with family
members and/or family doctor, must determine how to start or continue
breastfeeding. Mother who is confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection needs
special precautions to prevent the transmission of the virus to the newborn,
such as hand washing before touching the baby and wearing a face mask during
breast feeding. If you give expressed milk
to the baby, you should wash your hands in advance and after express milk; if
using a special devise for milk expressing, it should be thoroughly washed
before and after use. If mother
has somebody who assists her, mother should give her right on baby’s feeding
with expressed milk.