In general, a person who is pregnant may be more vulnerable to getting infections than a person of their age who is not pregnant. It is for this reason that pregnant people should protect themselves using the guidelines for general infection prevention and control. Find more information on these measures on the COVID-19 Stop the Spread page.
Evidence shows it’s rare to pass on COVID-19 to your baby during pregnancy. Once a baby is born, they can get COVID-19 from other people, so it’s important to limit their contact with others.
- Talk to your midwife or health care provider about a safe birth plan.
- Breastfeeding/chestfeeding can and should continue during the COVID-19 pandemic (there’s no evidence that the virus spreads through breastmilk).
- If sleeping in the same room as your baby, make sure it’s well ventilated.
Find more advice on childbirth during COVID-19 on the Public Health Agency of Canada website: Pregnancy, childbirth and caring for a newborn during the COVID-19 pandemic.
*Disclaimer* The terms breast milk/breastfeed/breastfeeding are also known as chest milk/chestfeed/chestfeeding respectively and can be used interchangeably. Though the term mother is mostly used, it is meant to be inclusive of parents, caregivers, and significant others.
Breastfeeding can and should continue during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Breastfeeding is emergency preparedness. It provides infants and young children with strong protection against infectious disease and death, and it offers secure access to food. There are rare exceptions when breastfeeding or feeding expressed breast milk is not recommended.
Recommendations for breastfeeding during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Mothers/parents are encouraged to initiate or continue to breastfeed.
- Mother/parent and infant should remain together while rooming-in (day and night).
- Practice skin-to-skin contact including kangaroo care.
How to Protect and Support Mom and Baby
- After the baby is born, everyone will be excited to meet the new addition to the family. However, it is strongly recommended to follow current level recommendations surrounding indoor and outdoor gathering limits and general public health measures.
- Creative ways using social media and other cyber connections, such as FaceTime and Skype, can also be used to share the joys of your new arrival.
- For any questions or concerns related to newborn or infant care, please feel free to contact the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program at (807) 625-8814.
- Pregnancy, childbirth and caring for newborns: advice for mothers (COVID-19) (Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding (United States Centre for Disease Control)
- COVID-19 Guideline for Lactation for Women/Individuals Who Are Confirmed or Suspect Cases of COVID-19 (BC Centre for Disease Control)
- Statement on Breastfeeding and Lactation Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic (International Lactation Consultant Association)
- World Health Organization Q&A on COVID-19, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding