To date, pregnant women do not appear to be at higher risk of contracting coronavirus disease (COVID‑19) than the general public.
In studies of pregnant women infected with the virus responsible for COVID‑19 around the world, none of the babies were infected during pregnancy. The virus responsible for COVID‑19 was not detected in the amniotic fluid, placenta or breast milk of the infected pregnant women. At this time, COVID‑19 is not thought to cause congenital abnormalities in the fetuses of infected women. However, due to the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, pregnant women are at higher risk of developing complications following a respiratory infection.
In Québec, pregnant or breastfeeding workers may be eligible for preventive re-assignment under the For a Safe Maternity Experience Program (in French only). Specific recommendations have been made in the context of COVID‑19.
Future parents are encouraged to share their concerns and report any symptoms that may be compatible with COVID‑19 to the professionals who are providing their pregnancy follow-up care. This information will ensure they receive optimal follow-up. If you have concerns, the page Stress, Anxiety and Depression Associated With the Coronavirus COVID‑19 Disease will reassure and guide you.
During pregnancy, follow-up appointments are maintained, either in person or by teleconsultation. Priority is given to ultrasounds between 11 and 13 weeks and between 20 and 22 weeks. Prenatal group sessions have been suspended, but different sources of information are available. Here are some examples:
- The guide From Tiny Tot to Toddler: from pregnancy to age two is still the official source of information for parents;
- The website Naître et grandir (in French only);
- Many perinatal resource centres, family centres, perinatal care organizations and community breastfeeding resources have adapted their services by telephone. Some offer online classes.
OLO programs and Integrated Perinatal and Early Childhood Services (SIPPE) are still being offered at local community services centres (CLSCs).
Delivery, breastfeeding and the postnatal period
Pregnant women may be accompanied by one support person for their delivery, whether it is in a hospital or a birth centre. However, a number of special measures may apply to reduce the risk of infection.
For more information about the conditions that apply in your situation and to allow you to plan your delivery with confidence, talk to the health professionals who are providing your pregnancy follow-up care.
To promote breastfeeding, the usual practices such as skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding and rooming in with the baby are still encouraged. To find out more, read the following documents:
Home postnatal follow-up care is maintained. Parents will be contacted by telephone 24 to 48 hours after they leave their birth location. Home or clinic visits will also be offered if necessary while respecting the preventive measures.
For pregnant women who have symptoms of COVID-19
While infected with COVID‑19, follow-up is adapted to ensure the woman and the baby receive safe, optimal care. Women may still be accompanied by a support person for their delivery and practice skin-to-skin contact, breastfeeding and rooming in if the mother and newborn do not require additional care.
The preventive measures that apply to the general public described on the section Health recommendations for everyone apply to pregnant women.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID‑19) or have had close contact with someone who has COVID‑19 or is under investigation, call the coronavirus information line at 1 877 644‑4545 (please wait for English option) or consult the Self-care Guide.
Last update: April 28, 2020