If you're pregnant, you're at higher risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (COVID-19). If you get COVID-19 late in your pregnancy, your baby could also be at risk.
It's important to tell your midwife or maternity team if you have symptoms of COVID-19. They can give you support and advice and you can speak to them about any concerns.
Pregnancy and your risk from COVID-19
You're at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 if you're pregnant, especially if you are more than 28 weeks pregnant (in your 3rd trimester).
Other things that can put you at higher risk if you are pregnant include if you:
- have an underlying medical condition (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or asthma)
- are overweight
- are aged 35 or over
- are from an ethnic minority group
The risk to your baby of getting COVID-19
If you get COVID-19 late in your pregnancy, it could cause your baby to be born prematurely or have a low birthweight.
It can also increase the risk of having a stillbirth. But your overall risk of stillbirth is still low.
It may be possible for you to pass COVID-19 to your baby before they're born. But when this has happened, the babies have got better.
There's no evidence COVID-19 causes miscarriage or affects how your baby develops in pregnancy.
How to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19
Get the COVID-19 vaccine
It's strongly recommended that you get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect you and your baby. The antibodies your body produces in response to the vaccine can also give your baby protection against COVID-19.
Evidence shows that most pregnant women with COVID-19 who need hospital treatment or intensive care in the UK have not been vaccinated.
If you're pregnant and have not had your first 2 doses and booster dose yet, it's important to get your vaccinations as soon as possible.
If you're pregnant and have been vaccinated, you should have a seasonal booster dose this autumn.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 reduces the risk of having a stillbirth.
There's no evidence COVID-19 vaccination increases the risk of having a miscarriage, pre-term birth or other complications in your pregnancy.
Find out more about pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccination.
Follow advice about how to look after yourself
It's also important to follow advice about how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19 throughout your pregnancy.
If you're more than 28 weeks pregnant (in your 3rd trimester) it's especially important to follow this advice.
You still need to go to all of your pregnancy (antenatal) scans and appointments unless you're told not to.
You can talk to your employer about how they can help reduce your risk at work. This might include working from home if you are able and wish to.
If you have a weakened immune system, there is extra advice on keeping yourself safe if you're at high risk from COVID-19.
If you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19
If you have COVID-19 or get any symptoms of COVID-19, speak to your midwife or maternity team. They will advise you what to do and you can speak to them about any concerns.
You may need to rebook some of your pregnancy appointments or have them online, by phone or as a video consultation.
You can ease mild symptoms by resting and drinking plenty of fluids.
Before taking any medicine, including painkillers, check with your pharmacist, midwife or GP that it's suitable.
Find out more about:
- how to look after yourself at home if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19
- medicines in pregnancy
If you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to go to work or do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people.
If you're worried about your symptoms or not sure what to do, go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
Urgent advice: Call your midwife or maternity team immediately if:
- your baby is moving less than usual
- you cannot feel your baby moving
- there is a change to your baby's usual pattern of movements
- you have any bleeding from your vagina
- you're feeling very anxious or worried
- you have a headache that does not go away
- you get shortness of breath when resting or lying down
- you cannot cope with your COVID-19 symptoms at home
- your temperature is raised
- you have severe tiredness
- you feel unsafe at any time
Do not wait until the next day or your next appointment – call immediately, even if it's the middle of the night.
If you do not have a midwife or maternity team call a GP or go to 111.nhs.uk. Call 111 if you cannot get help online.
Immediate action required: Call 999 if:
- you feel very unwell or think there's something seriously wrong
- you have severe chest pain
- you cough up blood
- you feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin
- you collapse or faint
- you have a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin and does not fade when you roll a glass over it
- you feel agitated, confused or very drowsy
- you've stopped peeing or are peeing much less than usual
- you're so breathless that you're unable to say short sentences when resting
- your breathing has got suddenly worse
If you have COVID-19 and go into labour
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and go into labour, you'll be advised to give birth in a unit led by a doctor (obstetrician). This is so the team can look after you and your baby more closely.
You'll be cared for in an area within the maternity unit that's just for pregnant women and people with COVID-19.
Your maternity team will make sure you get the best care and respect your birth choices as closely as possible.
After your baby is born, you should be able to have skin-to-skin contact unless your baby is unwell and needs care in the neonatal unit.
You'll also be encouraged to breastfeed. There's no evidence COVID-19 can pass on to your baby in breast milk, so the benefits of breastfeeding and the protection it offers outweigh any risks.
If you have any questions or need help
If you have any questions or concerns at any time, speak to your midwife or maternity team.
You can also find answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology.
More information and resources
- NHS England: planning your birth (PDF, 823KB)
- NHS England: looking after yourself and your baby in pregnancy (PDF, 653KB)
- NHS England: parent information for newborn babies (PDF, 794KB)
If you need information or support in a different language you can read translated versions of pregnancy leaflets from NHS England.