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Published on April 27, 2020

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding During COVID-19

Scott Chudnoff, MD, Chair, Obstetrics & Gynecology and Carol Fucigna, MD, Vice Chair, Obstetrics & Gynecology

Bringing a baby into the world comes with all sorts of emotions and challenges. But due to COVID-19, you may be more concerned and overwhelmed than excited about bringing home a newborn when many factors are uncertain. Know that you’re not alone.

Committed to Your Safety

Stamford Health is dedicated to stopping the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Get service updates, answers to questions and learn how to help in the greater Stamford CT community.

See COVID-19 Updates

Many of our expectant mothers and their birthing partners at Stamford Health have been coming to us with questions about pregnancy and breastfeeding - some are easy to answer, and others are not. Your and your baby’s health is our top priority, which is why we plan to keep you as informed as possible.

Do I, as a pregnant woman, have a higher chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than everyone else?

This is one of the most common questions we have been asked. The simple answer is that we do not know for sure. While pregnant women are known to be at greater risk of complications with other respiratory infections such as influenza, there is currently no indication that pregnant women are at increased risk from COVID-19.

Also, there is no evidence as of now that the COVID-19 virus passes through the placenta to the baby before birth.

What can I expect when I arrive on the labor floor at Stamford Hospital?

If you plan to deliver your baby at Stamford Hospital, thank you for entrusting us with your care. Our goal is to keep you and your baby safe. Here are the steps we're following:

  • When you arrive at the labor floor, you will be tested for COVID-19 with an oro-pharyngeal swab which means we need to go into your nose and throat to collect the sample. The results should take 15-30 minutes.
  • During this time, your partner or support person will be asked to wait in the waiting room.
  • If your results are negative, and your partner does not have any exposure to, or symptoms of, COVID-19, he or she can accompany you to your room.
  • Once admitted, we ask that your support person remain in your room with you. If you or your partner is positive, he or she will not be able to be with you in labor.

Can I breastfeed my baby if I am COVID-19 positive?

As of now, there is no evidence that COVID-19 passes into breast milk. The concern is whether an infected mother can spread the virus through respiratory droplets during breastfeeding. For this reason, we recommend that women who are COVID-19 positive pump their breast milk and have someone else feed the baby from a bottle. Please note: if you are COVID-19 positive and pumping, wash your hands before and after, and wear a mask when you pump and handle milk.

Is Stamford Health still offering childbirth and parenting classes?

Yes! We are happy to offer virtual options taught by our certified instructors. We encourage you to sign up and take advantage of all the valuable information you'll learn as you approach parenthood.

Where can I get the most up-to-date, correct information? I do not know what sources to trust.

The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, with changes happening almost every day. Because of the unpredictable nature of the disease, we recommend that you first turn to your doctor for the most up-to-date information.

The following are additional resources:

Consult the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecology

View their list of frequently asked questions, including information about routine visits to the gynecologist.

Find pregnancy and breastfeeding information from the CDC , including:

  • Breastfeeding if you have COVID-19
  • Mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19, including by breastmilk
  • Ways pregnant women can protect themselves against COVID-19

Visit the March of Dimes’ page about COVID-19 to learn:

  • COVID-19 basics, including how it spreads
  • What pregnant women and families with children need to know
  • What families with a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) need to know
  • Calming older siblings’ anxiety
  • What everyone can do to prevent infection

The March of Dimes News Moms Need Blog

Get information from the March of Dimes on what new moms need to know, such as:

  • Pregnancy and the risk of getting COVID-19
  • Risks of complications for mothers who test positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy
  • Information on how babies are protected after birth if you are COVID-19 positive
  • Additional information about the COVID-19 virus, including precautions

Resources in Spanish/Recursos en Español

  • Para leer información y recursos en español, que incluye como manejar el estrés y la ansiedad, seleccionan aquí.
  • Podrían también imprimir y compartir este infografía, “Que Puede Hacer Para Ayudar a Prevenir la Enfermedad de Coronavirus.”

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