According to Canadian health officials, pregnant women do not appear to be more at risk of complications from COVID-19 than other people. However, because there is much we still do not know about this disease, you should follow all recommended measures to reduce your risk of contracting the virus.
Limit your contact with people outside your household. Take advantage of social media and videoconferencing applications to stay in touch with extended family and friends. If you can work from home, do so.
When you go out in public, follow all sanitary precautions to reduce the risk of contracting the virus: wear a mask, keep your distance and wash your hands often. These measures have the added benefit of reducing your risk of contracting other viral illnesses such as colds, the flu, or the stomach flu.
Medical appointments are important to make sure your pregnancy progresses normally. Hospitals and birth centres have procedures in place to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. You may not need to go to your health care professional’s office for all visits, however. Ask if some appointments can be done over the phone or via videoconference.
When the time comes to deliver your baby, hospitals and birth centres have strict protocols to protect you and your baby during your stay. Inquire about these ahead of time to prepare your birth plan accordingly.
After birth, stay home with your baby, except for medical appointments. As during your pregnancy, some appointments will require you to meet with your physician (for your baby’s shots, for example), but others may be done over the phone.
Even though friends and family members will want to meet your baby, avoid visitors to your home as much as possible. Instead, use social media and videoconference apps to introduce your baby.
When possible, breastfeeding is recommended because it protects your baby against many infections and illnesses. The virus that causes COVID-19 does not appear to be transmitted during nursing. Women who have COVID-19 can nurse their baby.
Here are some tips to help you adjust to life with your new baby:
Parenting is always challenging, but it can be even more so when your support system cannot be as close as it would have typically been. Call or text your family, friends or community supports if you feel overwhelmed. They can help even from a distance.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.