If you are pregnant and have tested positive to COVID-19 you should contact the National Coronavirus Helpline if you need assistance. You can also contact your maternity care providers, such as your GP, obstetrician or midwife, if you need healthcare assistance. They will be able to assess your health needs and advise the best way to access your regular maternity care while you are unwell with COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated or immunosuppressed, you may be eligible for COVID treatment.

How is COVID-19 treated if I’m pregnant?

If your maternity care providers advise you can safely recover from COVID-19 at home, there are several things you can do to manage your symptoms:

  • rest as much as possible
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • supplement with oral rehydration fluids such as Gastrolyte and Hydralyte, especially if you have vomiting or diarrhoea
  • take paracetamol if needed (ibuprofen is not safe to take during pregnancy)
  • eat healthy food

You should also monitor your baby's movements and look out for any signs your symptoms are getting worse. Contact your maternity care providers immediately if you have any concerns.

Can COVID-19 affect my baby?

Your maternity care providers will monitor your health and your baby’s growth while you have COVID-19 and during your recovery.

Some women who are very unwell and need to be treated in hospital, may be advised to have your baby early.

Most pregnancies are unaffected by COVID-19.

What happens if I go into labour while I have COVID-19?

If you test positive to COVID-19 and are booked in to give birth at Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital or Flinders Medical Centre, you will be cared for at your booked hospital.

Flinders Medical Centre will continue to provide care to COVID-19 positive pregnant women from regional areas and the private sector as required.

For more information, visit the COVID-19 maternity care at Flinders Medical Centre website.

Can I still breastfeed if I have COVID-19?

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to protect your baby from a variety of illnesses.

If you have COVID-19 while you are still breastfeeding, there are a number of ways to prevent passing it on to your baby:

  • wear a mask while you are near your baby
  • wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitiser – especially before touching your baby
  • sneeze or cough into your elbow and wash your hands immediately
  • if you cough or sneeze on your breast, wash the area with soap and water before breastfeeding or expressing milk
  • clean and disinfect surfaces and feeding equipment regularly, making sure to wash your hands beforehand

Your GP, midwife or child health nurse will be able to advise you how best to breastfeed.

Even when you are well, you should always practise good hand and cough hygiene when breastfeeding your baby.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for pregnant women?

Research from around the world has shown mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, are safe and effective if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a family.

Those who are pregnant and their unborn baby have a significantly higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 than non-pregnant people.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, visit the COVID-19 Vaccination: Pregnancy, Planning a Family and Breastfeeding webpage.