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    Pregnancy, COVID-19

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    Oct.18.2023
    Pregnancy and COVID-19

    Pregnancy and COVID-19

    A person who is pregnant or was recently pregnant is at a greater risk for severe sickness from COVID-19 than someone who is not pregnant. The risk is even higher if:
    • You are at an older age.
    • You have other medical conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.

    This risk can last for at least 6 weeks (42 days) after a pregnancy ends. Work with your health care team to protect yourself and your baby against COVID-19. Know your specific risk factors.

    How does COVID-19 affect me?

    Getting COVID-19 during or shortly after pregnancy may put you more at risk for:
    • Respiratory sickness that can lead to pneumonia or other severe illnesses.
    • Having the baby before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
    • Having problems that affect your pregnancy, such as pregnancy loss or stillbirth.

    How does COVID-19 affect my care?

    Safety measures will be taken if you are pregnant and have COVID-19. These may include:
    • Being seen for appointments in a specific room for people who have COVID-19.
    • Having tests and scans done differently before delivery.
    • Updating your birth plan. This may include what room you will be in and who may be with you during labor and delivery.
    • Having a longer hospital stay after delivery.
    • Having your baby stay in a different room. Ask about the risks and benefits of staying in the same room with your baby.
    • Feeding your baby differently.
    • Limiting visitors after your baby is born.

    Can I pass COVID-19 to my baby?

    It is very rare for a mother with COVID-19 to pass the virus to their unborn baby. However, a mother can pass the virus to the baby after birth. Ask your health care provider about ways to protect your baby, such as using a physical barrier like an incubator.

    What can I do to lower my risk?

    Vaccines and boosters

    To lower your risk of severe sickness:
    • Get a COVID-19 vaccine if you are pregnant, recently pregnant, or lactating.
    • Get other recommended vaccines, including the flu vaccine and whooping cough (Tdap) vaccine. You may get these vaccines at the same time you get the COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Get a booster dose to improve, or boost, your body's ability to protect you from sickness.

    You can get the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters in any trimester. However, it is better to get these as soon as possible to better protect yourself and your baby. The booster dose depends on which COVID-19 vaccine you got and your risk of getting very sick from the virus.
    • The usual booster vaccines are the mRNA vaccines.
    • mRNA vaccines can be used as a booster when a person is unvaccinated or has only had the monovalent vaccine doses.

    V-safe program

    If you have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, think about joining the V-safe program from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This program uses an app on your smartphone that offers health check-ins and gets information on your health after you get the vaccine. There is a separate registry for pregnant people. For more information, visit:

    Mask use

    • Wear a mask in public or at work.
    • Avoid people who are not wearing a mask.
    • Follow official guidelines about when to wear a mask. The CDC says that all fully vaccinated people should still wear masks in some cases, including:
      • Places such as health care settings, schools, airports, and on public transit.
      • When required by law or by guidelines from businesses or workplaces.

    Social distancing

    • Stay more than 6 feet (1.8 m) away from others as much as possible.
    • Avoid crowds.
    • Limit contact with other people as much as possible.

    Prevent infection

    A person washing hands with soap and water.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your mouth, face, eyes, or nose before washing your hands.
    • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched a lot.

    Other things to do

    • Avoid people, even those you live with, who:
      • Have COVID-19.
      • Have been around someone who has COVID-19.
    • Avoid places where there is poor airflow.

    Follow these instructions at home:

    • Find ways to relax, such as through meditation or deep breathing.
    • Get regular exercise. Ask your provider what kinds of exercises are safe for you.
    • Do things that you enjoy, such as listening to music or reading a book.
    • Get support from family, friends, or spiritual resources. If you cannot be together in person, you can still connect by phone calls, texts, video calls, or online messaging.

    Questions to ask your health care team

    • What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?
    • What are the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines?
    • How will COVID-19 affect my care before birth, during labor and delivery, and after delivery?
    • What are the risks of COVID-19 to me and to my child before and after birth?
    • How do vaccines pass antibodies to my unborn baby?
    • Should I plan to breastfeed my baby?

    Where to find more information

    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): cdc.gov
    • World Health Organization (WHO): who.int
    • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG): acog.org

    Contact a health care provider if:

    • You think you may have a COVID-19 infection.
    • You have symptoms of infection, including a fever or cough.
    • You feel very sad, worried, or nervous.
    • You are bleeding or have bloody or watery discharge from your vagina.

    Get help right away if:

    • You have signs of labor before 37 weeks of pregnancy. These include:
      • Contractions that are 5 minutes or less apart, or that become longer, more frequent, or more intense.
      • Sudden, sharp pain in the abdomen or lower back.
      • A gush or trickle of fluid from your vagina.
    • You have signs of a more serious problem, such as:
      • Trouble breathing.
      • Chest pain.
      • A fever of 102.2°F (39°C) or higher that does not go away.
      • You vomit every time you eat or drink.
      • Feeling very weak.
      • Fainting.

    These symptoms may be an emergency. Get help right away. Call 911.
    • Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away.
    • Do not drive yourself to the hospital.

    This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.

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