Experts are learning more every day about the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is following the situation closely. This page will be updated as ACOG learns new information for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Researchers are still learning how COVID-19 affects pregnant women. Current reports suggest that pregnant women have a higher risk for more severe illness from COVID-19 than nonpregnant women. Reports note that:
- Pregnant women who have COVID-19 and show symptoms are more likely than nonpregnant women with COVID-19 and symptoms to need care in an intensive care unit (ICU), to need a ventilator (for breathing support), or to die from the illness. Still, the overall risk of severe illness and death for pregnant women is low.
- Pregnant women with some health conditions, such as obesity and gestational diabetes, may have an even higher risk of severe illness, similar to nonpregnant women with these conditions.
- Pregnant women who are Black or Hispanic have a higher rate of illness and death from COVID-19 than other pregnant women, but not because of biology. Black and Hispanic women are more likely to face social, health, and economic inequities that put them at greater risk of illness.
If you are planning or trying to get pregnant, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine. You also do not need to delay getting pregnant after you get a vaccine. Some COVID-19 vaccines will require two doses. If you find out you are pregnant after you have the first dose, you should still get the second dose.
While you are in the hospital or birth center, you should wear a mask if you have COVID-19. But when you are pushing during labor, wearing a mask may be difficult. For this reason, your health care team should wear masks or other protective breathing equipment. They also may take other steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, including wearing goggles or face shields.
Talk with your ob-gyn or other health care professional about your birth plan. In most cases, the timing and method of delivery (vaginal birth or cesarean birth) do not need to be changed if you have COVID-19. Women who are sick probably do not need a cesarean birth.
We believe that the safest place for you to give birth is a hospital, hospital-based birth center, or accredited freestanding birth center. Your hospital or birth center may be adjusting their policies. For example, there may be changes to the number of visitors allowed and how long you will stay in the hospital. Check with your hospital and ob-gyn or other health care professional about your birth plan. Be sure to mention if you are planning to have a doula with you during childbirth.
Please note that while this is a page for patients, this page is not meant to give specific medical advice and is for informational reference only. Medical advice should be provided by your doctor or other health care professional.
Information gathered from https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-breastfeeding