The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a respiratory infection; an infection that mainly affects your lungs. Those who have COVID-19 can have mild or severe symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle aches, tiredness or difficulty breathing. Research is underway, but at present there is no evidence that pregnant individuals are at higher risk of severe illness than the general public.
During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes that may increase the risk of getting sick, including viral respiratory infections.
It’s important for pregnant individuals, especially those with high risk pregnancies, to take steps to protect yourself from getting sick.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Practice physical distancing. Keep 2 meters or 6 feet away from other people. If this distance cannot be maintained, a face mask or covering can be used.
- Avoid groups and crowds.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. If you don’t have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- You must stay home and self-isolate if you have COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 (even if you have not been tested), have been with someone who has COVID-19 or if you have travelled outside of Canada within the past 14 days.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your arm or sleeve.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and items that you and others in your household touch often such as door knobs, counters, doorbells.
Tips to prepare for your labour & birth during this pandemic?
Based on current information, there have been no cases where the mother has passed the virus to the baby during pregnancy and delivery.
- Talk to your health care provider about your birth plan.
- If you plan to give birth in a hospital or birth centre, learn what policies are in place.
- If you plan to give birth at home, talk to your midwife about:
- whether homebirths are still an option in your province or territory during the pandemic; and,
- precautions to take to ensure your home environment is safe.
- Only have one support person with you during your labour and birth.