March of Dimes:
The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also spread when people touch a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose or eyes. According to the CDC, many people without symptoms are spreading the virus. Some people are “asymptomatic,” meaning they have the virus but don’t have symptoms. Others are “pre-symptomatic,” which means they have the virus but show no symptoms for a while, but later they will have symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
Pregnant people should protect themselves from COVID-19
- Avoid people who are sick or who have been exposed to the virus.
- Clean your hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Risks to the pregnancy and to the baby
- Pregnant people have had a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses from the same family as COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza.
- It is always important for pregnant people to protect themselves from illnesses.
- Mother-to-child transmission of coronavirus during pregnancy is unlikely, but after birth a newborn is susceptible to person-to-person spread.
- A very small number of babies have tested positive for the virus shortly after birth. However, it is unknown if these babies got the virus before or after birth.
- The virus has not been detected in amniotic fluid, breastmilk, or other maternal samples.
Breastfeeding if you have COVID-19
- Breast milk provides protection against many illnesses and is the best source of nutrition for most infants.
- You, along with your family and healthcare providers, should decide whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding
- In limited studies, COVID-19 has not been detected in breast milk; however we do not know for sure whether mothers with COVID-19 can spread the virus via breast milk.
- If you are sick and choose to direct breastfeed:
- Wear a facemask and wash your hands before each feeding.
- If the you are sick and choose to express breast milk:
- Express breast milk to establish and maintain milk supply.
- A dedicated breast pump should be provided.
- Wash hands before touching any pump or bottle parts and before expressing breast milk.
- Follow recommendations for proper pump cleaning (Español) after each use, cleaning all parts that come into contact with breast milk.
- If possible, consider having someone who is well feed the expressed breast milk to the infant.