We’re here to help you navigate pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 855-895-5825.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus Vaccines and Pregnancy

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant women and unborn babies?

While safety of all medications and vaccines in pregnancy continues to be studied, medical experts from around the U.S. believe the COVID-19 vaccine is safe to receive during pregnancy. This is based on both its known mechanism of action, and the results of pregnancy outcomes in which the patient was vaccinated. Although pregnant persons are nearly always excluded from initial trials of medications or vaccines, over 153,000 have registered with the CDC’s V-safe pregnancy registry. To date, the known outcomes of these pregnancies have not shown any unexpected increased rates of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, congenital anomalies, fetal growth restrictions, preterm birth, stillbirth or neonatal death.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that all eligible persons, including pregnant and lactating individuals, receive a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccine series. The Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) recommends that pregnant and lactating people be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Are there benefits to my baby if I receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

The primary benefit to your unborn baby is the protection the vaccine provides you from infection. Small but ongoing studies have also found protective, vaccine-induced maternal antibodies in the umbilical cord blood and in breast milk samples. These may help protect your newborn against COVID-19 infection.

Are individuals who are pregnant at increased risk of COVID-19 or its complications?

The current data suggest that pregnancy does not increase your chance to be infected but may increase the risk for a more severe clinical course, including hospitalization, mechanical ventilation and death. Although more than 90% of pregnant persons recover without hospitalization, rapid clinical deterioration can occur.

Risk factors for more severe disease are similar to non-pregnant patients, including older age (especially older than 35), maternal obesity, and preexisting medical conditions (especially high blood pressure and diabetes). Additionally, the risk of pre-term delivery and cesarean delivery appears to be increased in pregnant patients with COVID-19, possibly due to the need to deliver early as part of the management of severe disease.

Should mothers receive the vaccine while lactating?

The COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for mothers during lactation. Although breastfeeding patients were not included in the initial large vaccine trials, available vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to the breastfeeding child. These vaccines do not contain infectious virus and any vaccine that crosses into breast milk and is then ingested by the infant is likely to be inactivated by the infant's digestive system.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine have a negative impact on my future fertility?

Claims linking COVID-19 vaccines to infertility are unfounded and have no scientific evidence supporting them. It is not necessary to delay pregnancy after vaccination.

Prenatal Appointments, Labor and Delivery During COVID-19

Can I have my support person with me during labor?

Yes, two support persons are allowed to stay with you during labor and delivery. For antepartum visitation, you may designate only one support person to visit from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Nobody but this designated support person may visit. For postpartum visitation, may have one support person present.

Is it still safe to come to the hospital or clinic?

All hospitals and clinics are open and ready to serve patients. We are encouraging video visits through MyChart when possible, and using strict safety measures during in-person appointments.

Prenatal appointments are very important to the health of both you and your baby. You should plan to attend all appointments unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

What are you doing to keep patients and families safe?

We’re using a number of strict safety measures to help keep everyone in our facilities safe. We’ve integrated the following guidelines from the CDC and San Bernardino County Department of Public Health:

  • Temperature checks and screening questionnaires are being administered at the entry points into all of our facilities.
  • Patients, caregivers and visitors are screened daily for symptoms.
  • Visitor restrictions limit the number of people in our facilities and lower the chances of virus transmission.
  • Separate units for COVID-19 patients and strict care plans help avoid spreading the virus.
  • Masks are required for everyone within our facilities.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is fully stocked and utilized by our staff according to national guidelines.
  • Patients receive COVID-19 testing upon admission and prior to surgery.
  • Appropriate cleaning procedures are used in every facility.
  • Only essential staff are working at our facilities.

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Expecting Mothers and COVID-19

How can I protect myself and my unborn child?

To protect yourself and your unborn child from coronavirus and other infections, you should follow the CDC’s recommendations for prevention:

  • Keep away from others as much as possible by staying home.
  • If you do go out, stay at least six feet away from others.
  • Wear a facemask if you have to leave the house.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Stay away from sick people.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, phones and counters.

Should I take extra precautions?

If you’re pregnant, you should be as careful as possible to avoid exposure and follow all guidelines the CDC has in place for the general public. Mainly, avoid unnecessary travel, public gatherings and contact with others who have any type of illness. It’s also critical to continue your prenatal care — including appointments with your OB-GYNs.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms can be similar to other illnesses and may appear up to two weeks after exposure. If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell

Most people who get sick can be cared for at home with fluids and rest. If you need to see a healthcare provider, call their office or the hospital 855-895-5825 before going in. For emergencies, call 911.

Can I get tested for COVID-19?

You'll need to be tested either before labor and delivery or when you arrive for delivery. Testing helps us provide the best possible care for you, your child and all the other moms and babies at our hospital.

Before delivery, you should talk to your doctor if you suspect you are infected and are experiencing symptoms. Depending on your health and symptoms, you may not necessarily need to be tested. Most expecting moms can recover at home.

What happens if my test is positive?

Before delivery: If you test positive for COVID-19, your pregnancy, labor and delivery will most likely proceed as normal. Most pregnant women with COVID-19 can recover with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medicines. Your doctor can help you decide if you need a different approach to recovery.

After delivery: With proper safety practices, most babies (up to 98%) born to moms with COVID-19 will not contract the virus at birth. Rooming-in safety practices include:

  • Wearing a mask when caring for your newborn.
  • Washing your hands thoroughly before and after breastfeeding or other contact with your baby.
  • Keeping your baby’s crib six feet away when not actively breastfeeding.
  • Having a second caregiver or nurse perform infant care whenever possible, including diaper changes, bathing and changing clothes.
  • If possible, having a second caregiver perform feedings with pumped breast milk or formula.

Can I transmit COVID-19 to my baby?

So far, there is no evidence of the disease being passed through the cord blood or amniotic fluid of infected moms to their babies. Dr. Courtney Martin says that, during a vaginal delivery, the virus can be detected in maternal blood and feces. In many cases, babies can be exposed to these at the time of birth. “Because of this,” Dr. Martin says, “our OB-GYNs at Children’s Hospital are taking extra precautions to ensure the baby is safe from this exposure.”

Is it safer to give birth at home during COVID-19?

It's still safe to give birth at the hospital, and giving birth at home still has serious risks to consider. Hospitals not only have stricter safety measures than almost any other public place, but also have the ability to treat any complication that happens during childbirth. In case of an emergency, it's safer for you and your child to have immediate access to medical attention.