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COVID-19 and pregnancy

COVID-19 is a risk to your health and the health of your baby.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you both from COVID-19.

Most pregnant women who get the virus get mild to moderate symptoms. You can give birth as planned and the risk of passing on COVID-19 to your baby is low.

But pregnant women are more likely to get very unwell and need treatment in intensive care than women who are not pregnant. This risk increases in the later stages of pregnancy.

The virus may also cause complications for your baby, including premature labour or stillbirth. 

If you are planning to get pregnant or trying for a baby, we recommend you get vaccinated against COVID-19. This will not affect your fertility.

Emergency action required: Contact your maternity hospital immediately if you:

  • test positive for COVID-19
  • are worried that your baby is not moving as much as usual
  • have concerns about your baby's wellbeing

The hospital will carry out tests to confirm that your baby is OK.

Protecting yourself and your baby

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and your baby from COVID-19.

Being vaccinated will reduce the chance of you becoming very unwell from COVID-19 and reduce the chance of complications for your baby.

COVID-19 vaccines may actually help to protect your baby after birth as you may pass on antibodies from the vaccine to your baby.

Get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you're:

  • pregnant
  • trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future
  • breastfeeding

Read advice on getting vaccinated if you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding

Urgent advice: Phone your GP if:

High temperature during pregnancy

One of the symptoms of COVID-19 is fever (high temperature). This can increase the risk of complications during the first trimester (week 0 to 13).

Urgent advice: Phone your GP or midwife urgently if:

  • you have a fever (high temperature - 38 degrees Celsius or above) and you are pregnant

Appointments and scans

You’ll need to go to hospital for examinations, blood tests and ultrasound scans.

Your partner should be able to go with you to scans and appointments. If the hospital cannot accommodate your partner, they will let you know why.

Labour and birth

Your nominated support partner can be at the birth, including most caesarean sections. But if your doctor or midwife thinks it is not appropriate, they will let you know. Examples of where it might not be appropriate would be if you are under general anaesthetic (where you’re asleep) while having a Caesarean section.

This is as long as your nominated support partner does not have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you have COVID-19

Your healthcare team will take extra care if you have COVID-19. They will talk to you about the safest way and time for your baby to be born.

You may be in an isolation room with en-suite facilities during labour. You may need to stay in this room throughout your hospital stay.

After the birth

Visitors in hospital

Hospital visiting restrictions do not apply to your birth partner.

If your hospital cannot facilitate your birth partner or visitors due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, they will let you know why.

Hospital visiting information

Neonatal care visits

You and your nominated support partner should be able to visit your baby if they are in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). 

This is as long as you or your partner do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Mental health

Perinatal mental health services are for any woman with mental health problems who:

  • is planning a pregnancy
  • is pregnant
  • has a baby up to one year old

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Page last reviewed: 18 April 2023