It's normal to be worried, but there's also good news if you are an expectant mom or nursing your baby.
Can I give COVID-19 to my baby?
There have not been any recorded cases of a mom transferring COVID-19 to her unborn baby. In fact, a limited study with pregnant women who were infected with COVID-19 found no evidence of the infection being passed on to the baby.
Do pregnant women have a higher risk of catching COVID-19?
While there is no evidence to suggest that pregnant women are more likely than the average adult to be infected with COVID-19, it's important to remember the bodily changes during pregnancy can make some women more susceptible to respiratory infections like COVID-19. Health officials recommend that pregnant women take the same precautions being suggested for the general population, such as social distancing, avoiding contact with people that are showing symptoms, and exercising good hygiene like frequent handwashing.
Is my pregnancy at higher risk if I contract COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that there is no evidence of an increase in adverse pregnancy outcomes to women with COVID-19. However, there have been cases of miscarriage and stillbirth in women who were infected with other severe respitory illnesses like SARS and MERS, and it's important to note some of the symptoms of COVID-19, like high fever, could be detrimental to your baby in the first trimester. That's why it's important to contact your doctor right away if you are showing any signs of COVID-19 or were exposed to an infected individual.
COVID-19 and breastfeeding mothers
Can I transmit COVID-19 to my nursing baby through my breast milk?
Not only has the CDC reported the virus has not been found in the breast milk of women with COVID-19, but the mother's milk may have antibodies that may help the child fight off COVID-19. In order to best protect your baby, though, you should take precautions while caring for and breastfeeding your baby if you are showing symptoms of, or have, COVID-19. These precautions include wearing a mask when caring for your child, including during breastfeeding, washing hands thoroughly before and after contact with your child, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting any potentially contaminated surfaces.
If you become too ill to breastfeed, it is recommended that you express milk, either through a breast pump or by hand that can be given to your child by a bottle, cup or spoon.
For both pregnant women and nursing moms, if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 or was showing symptoms, contact your healthcare provider right away for any additional recommendations and precautions.