If you are pregnant or have just given birth, you may be worried about the novel coronavirus. Based on the current knowledge, the course of the disease in pregnant women appears to be the same as in women who are not pregnant. There is no extra reason for concern. 

There is also no evidence to suggest an increased risk of miscarriage or birth defects attributable to the coronavirus. Below you will find information about pregnancy and COVID-19.

Pregnancy not at risk from COVID-19

The novel coronavirus appears not to pose a risk to pregnancy. The limited data currently available do not indicate that pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19. The course of the disease in pregnant women appears to be the same as in women who are not pregnant. When you are pregnant, a lot changes in your body. Your immune system also changes. As a result, you are often more susceptible to respiratory tract infections caused by viruses. The scientific information is too limited to indicate whether a pregnant woman is also more susceptible to the novel coronavirus.

No increased risk of miscarriage 

Based on the current knowledge, there is no increased risk of miscarriage or birth defects attributable to an infection with the novel coronavirus. The effects of an infection with COVID-19 in a pregnant woman are no different for the child and the mother than for other infectious diseases that cause a fever. High fever can induce contractions. This is harmful to the unborn child. It is therefore important to keep a vigilant eye when a pregnant woman develops a fever. If in doubt, call your doctor or midwife.

Precautionary measures for pregnancy

The imposed measures also apply to pregnant women. Pregnant women do not have to take extra precautions. The most important measures you can take to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus are:
•    stay at home as much as possible
•    Stay 1.5 metres (2 arms lengths) away from other people
•    Wash your hands with soap and water
•    Cough and sneeze into your elbow
•    Use paper tissues to blow your nose and discard them after use

Complaints during pregnancy

Are you pregnant and not feeling well? Keep a close eye on yourself. There are multiple symptoms of the novel coronavirus. Some people may not have any symptoms at all, others become seriously ill. The most important advice is to stay at home with the following symptoms:

  • Cold symptoms (nasal cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat)
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Elevated temperature or a fever (above 38 degrees Celsius)
  • Sudden loss of smell and or taste (without nasal congestion)

Stay at home, get tested, recuperate. This way you ensure not to infect others. Keep 1.5 metres (2 arms lengths) away from other people.

Only go outside if you have had no health problems for 24 hours. There are no indications that a COVID-19 infection will affect the baby.

Children less affected by novel coronavirus than adults

Worldwide, relatively few children have been reported with COVID-19. Dutch data confirm the understanding that children are less likely to become infected and ill than adults. Children who were infected had fewer symptoms than adults. Respiratory complaints, such as sore throats, coughs and nasal colds, were also less common in children than in adults. This also applies to newborn babies. To date, no babies have died. In children who are infected with the coronavirus and underlying health problems, the course of the disease can be more severe.

Breastfeeding and the novel coronavirus

You can breastfeed if you are (possibly) infected with COVID-19. Breastfeeding has many health benefits, which is why we encourage mothers to continue to breastfeed if they feel well enough. However, it is important that the mother washes her hands well and coughs in the elbow. Mothers who are too sick can try to pump breast milk and give it to their baby in another way. Be sure to clean the bottle or breast pump well after use. It is possible to infect the baby if you are infected yourself. You could ask another (not infected) person to feed your baby with your (pumped) breast milk.

22-week vaccination continues

Pregnant women can get vaccinated at a JGZ-organisation in their neighbourhood. Vaccinations within the National Immunisation Programme (RVP in Dutch) for children from 0 to 4 years of) also continue age at the well-baby clinic (consultatiebureau in dutch. Receiving the usual vaccinations is important for building up basic immunity in the young child. Parents and children with cold symptoms are not allowed to come to the well-baby clinic. Colds are nose colds (sneezing or runny nose), or sore throats or coughing. In that case, the vaccination will be postponed for a few days or weeks. This is not a problem, postponing vaccination does not endanger a child's health.

Frequently Asked Questions Pregnancy and COVID-19

Can COVID-19 cause a miscarriage?

Based on the limited data available there are no indications for an increased risk of miscarriage or pregnancy loss for women with a COVID-19 infection.

I am infected with COVID-19, can I give birth at home?

We advise you to discuss with your midwife whether you can give birth at home. 

Can I give birth in the hospital?

Yes, you can give birth in the hospital. Discuss this with your midwife.

I am pregnant and work at a daycare facility, primary school or BSO, can I continue to work?

If it is not possible to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from others during your work, you will have to do other work from your third trimester in which you can keep the required distance. In consultation with the occupational physician, replacement work will be sought. This also applies to pedagogical staff and teachers.