COVID-19 Guidance for Pregnant Women, Newborns, and Breastfeeding
Yale Health is committed to ensuring the safety of all or patients and this includes our pregnant mothers and newborn babies.
Based on what we know at this time, pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, there may be an increased risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth, among pregnant people with COVID-19. Therefore, if you are pregnant, be mindful about reducing your risk of getting sick. If you are caring for children, you can teach them everyday steps (such as proper handwashing) to help them stay healthy and, in turn, help protect yourself and your family.
We recommend that you practice social distancing. This means staying at least 6 feet away from persons outside of your immediate family members (this would also apply to family members if they are sick). Please avoid restaurants, movie theaters, coffee shops, public spaces, play dates, parties, and visiting friends/family. Avoid public transportation and avoid sharing food. Meals should be prepared at home if possible. We recommend that you avoid international or domestic travel.
Like other people, pregnant women should employ proper handwashing techniques and if unable to wash hands with soap and water, you should use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as an ingredient.
In order to further limit your exposure to the virus, many of your visits will by via telephone or video. We encourage you to monitor your blood pressure at home. A home blood pressure machine can be easily purchased at the Yale Health Pharmacy, please call ahead 203-432-0033 to order your cuff and it can be obtained at curb-side pickup at the front of the Yale Health Center. A scale is also useful to monitor your weight throughout your pregnancy.
If You Are Sick
If you have a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, or any other concerning symptoms call us, 203-432-0222, and we will get you the care you need. Please call first and a provider will determine if you need to be seen. This ensures that our patients get the immediate attention they need from those most experienced in that area and to reduce the risks of exposure to other pregnant patients.
Labor and Delivery
If you think you are in labor, call the office (Yale Health Center, 203-432-0222 or Vidone/CWHM, 203-789-3029). Notify your provider if you are experiencing any respiratory symptoms such as cough, chest pain, fever or difficulty breathing. You should also inform us if you have had known or suspected exposure to COVID-19 or anyone who has been sick. Your provider will ask you additional questions so that the hospital can be adequately prepared for your arrival. You will only be allowed one healthy visitor with you at the hospital. If you need to be admitted to the hospital for labor and delivery you will be tested for COVID-19.
So far, the majority of babies born to women with COVID-19 that were tested immediately after birth did not have the virus. However, a small number of babies have tested positive for COVID-19 soon after birth, some of these babies may have been infected during the pregnancy. If you have COVID-19 when you give birth, your baby will be monitored closely for infection. Take the following steps to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to your newborn: wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before holding or caring for your newborn, wear a mask within 6 feet of your newborn, and keep your newborn more than 6 feet away from you as much as possible. Your hospital care team will assist you with any questions. Your pediatrician will provide guidance for when you go home.
Currently, the virus has not been detected in breastmilk. You, along with your healthcare providers, should decide whether and how to start or continue breastfeeding. If you have COVID-19 and choose to breastfeed always wash your hands before breastfeeding, wear a mask while breastfeeding, and whenever you are within 6 feet of your baby. Another option is to express breast milk, use your own breast pump, wear a mask during expression, wash your hands before touching the pump or bottle and expressing the breast milk. It is important that you clean the breast pump thoroughly after each pumping session. Consider allowing someone who is not ill to feed the expressed breast milk to the baby.
Please continue to practice self-care and call us if you have any questions or concerns.