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COVID-19 is caused by a virus. It can cause a fever, a cough, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. COVID-19 mainly spreads through droplets from coughing, sneezing, breathing, and singing. The virus also can spread when people are in close contact with someone who is infected.
Most people have mild symptoms and can take care of themselves at home.
Caring for a baby while you are sick with COVID-19 can be a challenge. You'll want to take care of yourself and keep your baby safe from the virus.
Experts believe that passing the virus to a baby during pregnancy is unlikely. But after birth, a baby can get the virus through person-to-person contact—just like anyone else. That's why if you are sick with COVID-19 when you have your baby, you and your doctor can decide if your baby should be in the same hospital room with you. Sometimes the baby can stay in another room.
It is not likely that the virus can be spread through breast milk. Talk with your doctor or midwife about breastfeeding while you are sick. You may decide to feed your baby at your breast. Or you may decide to pump your breast milk and have someone who is healthy give it to your baby. Either way, it's important to work with your care team. There are things you can do to keep your baby safer.
Talk to your doctor about how long you, or your baby, should stay away from other people. It might be as long as a few weeks.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Go to ahs.ca/assets/info/ppih/if-ppih-covid-19-prenatal-postnatal.pdf to find more COVID-19 information for expectant and new parents.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if you have life-threatening symptoms, such as:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
If you are worried that your baby is ill, call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care.
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Adaptation Date: 6/16/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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