Is my unborn baby at risk for COVID-19?

If I get COVID-19 while pregnant, 

will I have other serious health consequences?

Evidence based information for childbearing women

Research concludes:

Pregnant women who have COVID-19 have the same symptoms as the general population.

The clinical characteristics of COVID-19 pneumonia during pregnancy are similar to those of non-pregnant adults with COVID-19 pneumonia.” Yan, et al

Pregnant women are not at higher risk for miscarriage or preterm birth.

“There is no evidence of increased risk of miscarriage or spontaneous preterm birth with COVID-19 compared to the background risk in the general population.” Yan, et al

Babies do not get COVID-19 from their mothers while in utero.  

Multiple studies consistently conclude that unborn babies do not get COVID-19 even if their mothers are infected during pregnancy.  

  • “There was no evidence of parent-to-baby transmission during pregnancy or birth.” Yan, et al  
  • “None of the newborns had COVID-19 at birth. None of the infants developed serious clinical symptoms such as fever, cough, or diarrhea.” Chen, et al

 Can babies get COVID-19 after they are born?

Yes, exposures put babies at risk, as for any of us. Mothers and babies need caretakers to help them with hygiene, along with wearing masks to prevent transmission of COVID-19. Unless providing essential, direct care for mother and baby, extended families and friends should practice social distancing and online visits.  

Conclusions: Your unborn baby is safe

Midwifery professor & researcher Hannah Dahlen says COVID-19 hasn’t been found in amniotic fluid surrounding the baby, in the vagina or in breast milk. These initial studies indicate that in utero babies don’t get COVID-19 because the placenta acts as a filtering system. Dr Hannah, Professor of Midwifery and Higher Degree Research Director in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Western Sydney University, Australia.  

Babies do not get COVID-19 through breastmilk.

Look for more on this topic in my next post.

The studies:  Read the research 

Conveyed by Dr Rebecca Dekker, Evidence Based Birth

COVID-19 in pregnant women:  116 cases. Yan, et al; a team of 22 researchers

Infants born to women with COVID-19. Chen, et al

Among the first, four known pregnant women with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, none of the newborns had COVID-19. None of the infants developed serious clinical symptoms such as fever, cough, or diarrhea. 


Posts in the coming weeks for your family and friends:

Breastfeeding during COVID-19

– Are you getting pressured to induce birth early? How to know if your body is ready to give birth, and avoid a C-section.

– Holistic care for you and your family

– Wisdom & humor to navigate uncertainty & risk

– What are your questions?