Information for pregnant women

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may be feeling anxious about how COVID-19 could affect you and your baby.

I have COVID – What now?

If you are a booked maternity patient of Women and Newborn Health Service, King Edward Memorial Hospital, it’s important to let us know immediately if you have COVID.

Call us on 0481 383 896 (Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm) and one of our clerks will provide your details to our COVID team.

Advising us will help us inform you and provide you with a COVID care plan to ensure you feel comfortable and supported throughout.

No matter what your COVID status, if you think your baby's movements have decreased or you have other concerns about your pregnancy, don’t wait – contact your maternity care team or Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit.

I am a COVID contact

If you live with someone who is COVID positive or you have spent more than four hours inside a house with a COVID positive person, you are considered a COVID contact and will need to isolate at home for seven days.

If living in the same house, try to separate yourself from the COVID positive person, drink plenty of fluids, rest and monitor yourself for symptoms.

COVID and hospital appointments / admissions (including Induction of Labour / Elective Caesarean Section)

If you are COVID positive or a COVID contact and due to come to for a clinic appointment, please call us on 0481 383 896 (Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm).

We will decide whether we can reschedule your appointment, offer you a telehealth appointment, or make arrangements for your appointment or admission.

I’m due to have my baby and I’m COVID positive or a close contact

If you are COVID positive or a COVID contact and you are due to give birth at our hospital within 7 days, please call us during business hours on 0481 383 896 (Monday to Friday 8am to 3pm) to let us know.

Our staff are well prepared, and we have the facilities necessary to look after you, your birth partner and your baby in the event your baby needs to be born while you are still in your quarantine period. Please do not worry.

If you are close to term, we will provide you with additional information about how and when to contact us, and the details of how and where you will be looked after in the hospital.

No matter what your COVID status, if you think you are in labour, your baby's movements have decreased or you have other concerns about your pregnancy, don’t wait – contact your maternity care team or Maternal Fetal Assessment Unit.

COVID and breastfeeding

Breastmilk is best for almost all babies. Breastfeeding helps you and your baby bond together. It also helps protect your baby against infection.

Your decision to breastfeed may involve thinking about your baby’s health, how sick you are and whether you are well enough to care for your baby. Your healthcare team will discuss your individual situation and feeding options with you.

 

If you have COVID-19, can you breastfeed?

Yes. If you want to breastfeed, this will be supported. There are no reports showing the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2) is present in breastmilk.

 

What is advised about breastfeeding with other infections?

In general, breastfeeding helps protect against many illnesses. For example, when a mother has the flu, breastfeeding is still encouraged with extra care to avoid spreading the virus to her baby.

 

Can your baby get COVID-19 from breastfeeding?

The COVID-19 virus has not been found in breastmilk. However, COVID-19 is easily passed from person to person through close contact. Additional precautions are recommended while in close contact with your baby, (as they are for other infections).

 

Can your baby be fed expressed breast milk?

Feeding your expressed breastmilk (EBM) to your baby is strongly supported. If you decide to feed your baby EBM, you will also need to think about:

  • your health and your baby’s health
  • who is looking after your baby

Your healthcare team will discuss with you how they can support you and your feeding choices.

 

Resources

COVID-19 and Breastfeeding – Australian Breastfeeding Association (external site)

Last Updated: 04/04/2022