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COVID-19: Advice if You're Planning a Pregnancy, Pregnant, Recently Pregnant, or Breastfeeding

Overview

There are things you can do to protect your health and the health of your baby.

Experts recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine if you are planning a pregnancy, are pregnant, were recently pregnant, or are breastfeeding.footnote 1

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. And having COVID-19 while pregnant increases your risk of preterm labor and stillbirth. The same steps that can help prevent COVID-19 will also help prevent other viral infections, like colds and the flu.

  • Even if you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines, if COVID-19 is spreading in your area:
    • Wear a mask with the best fit, protection, and comfort for you.
  • Encourage people close to you to get protected with the vaccine.
  • 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 well-fitting 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 well-fitting 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.
  • The vaccine is safe before, during, and after pregnancy. There is no evidence that vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, cause fertility problems.
  • Getting the vaccine during pregnancy can help protect both you and your baby.

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.

Related Information

References

Citations

  1. 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.

Credits

Current as of: May 28, 2024

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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