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COVID-19: Advice if You're Pregnant, Recently Pregnant, or Breastfeeding
There are things you can do to protect your health and the health of your baby.
If you're pregnant or were recently pregnant
You are at higher risk for getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you are pregnant or were recently pregnant. 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.
- Experts recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you are pregnant or were recently pregnant.footnote 1 Talk to your doctor about getting the vaccine.
- Even if you are fully vaccinated, if COVID-19 is spreading in your area:
- Wear a mask when in indoor public spaces.
- 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 away from people who seem sick or are coughing or sneezing.
- Be sure to follow all instructions from the CDC and your local health authorities.
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.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine
- Talk with your doctor about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. You have the option to get it.
- The vaccine is safe and effective for almost everyone. Other vaccines, like the flu vaccine, are safely given in pregnancy and after 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.
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.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Immunization, Infectious Disease, and Public Health Preparedness Expert Work Group (2020, updated 2021). Practice advisory: COVID-19 vaccination considerations for obstetric–gynecologic care. https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/practice-advisory/articles/2020/12/covid-19-vaccination-considerations-for-obstetric-gynecologic-care. Accessed August 4, 2021.
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine
Current as of: July 1, 2021
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