Guidance is based on current knowledge of the virus and other viral respiratory infections

 


 

Follow Public Health advice to help reduce your and your baby’s risk of infection and prevent the spread of infections:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • when coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue. Then wash your hands and dispose of any tissues you have used into the garbage;
  • stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others;
  • clean the following high-touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (1-part bleach to 9 parts water):
    • toys,
    • toilets,
    • phones and electronics,
    • door handles,
    • bedside tables,
    • television remotes.
         

Pregnancy:

When you are pregnant, you may be more susceptible to viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

It is important for people who are pregnant to take the following precautions to help protect themselves from becoming ill:

  • Avoid public places as much as possible, except for important medical appointments;
  • Work from home, if possible;
  • Talk to your doctor, obstetrician or midwife about the possibility of telephone or videoconference appointments;
  • Avoid visitors to your home, unless for medical purposes;
  • Avoid touching frequently touched surfaces when in public;
  • Avoid crowded places and peak-hours. Make limited trips to the store for essentials;
  • Avoid travel by public transit.

People who are pregnant who are at higher risk of complication from COVID-19, including those who have heart or lung disease, diabetes, or a weakened immune system, need to take extra precautions, such as:

  • Asking family, a neighbour or friend to help with essential errands (e.g., picking up prescriptions, buying groceries);
  • Talking with your healthcare provider about how to protect yourself and ensure you have enough of your prescribed medications and medical supplies.
       

Infant Feeding:

Breastfeeding is the safest way to feed your baby/young child. Breast milk has antibodies and immune factors that protect your baby’s health.

As with other respiratory illnesses, if you are breastfeeding, you are encouraged to continue.

Whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, if you have been diagnosed or are under investigation for COVID-19 you should take precautions to prevent transmission to your baby. You should wear a mask when near your baby, including during feeding.

Expressing breast milk, either manually or with an electric breast pump, may be done if you wash your hands before and after touching your breast, the pump or bottle parts. If you are a confirmed case or a symptomatic case under investigation, someone who is well could feed the expressed milk to your baby if you are unable.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should take the precautions outlined above to avoid spreading the virus to your baby. This includes practicing proper respiratory etiquette and wearing a non-medical mask or face covering when you are close to your baby and especially during feeding time.

If you are feeding your infant with commercial infant formula, you should keep a supply on hand in case you need to self-isolate. Infant formula should be prepared using strict sterilization techniques, as outlined in How to Feed Your baby with Infant Formula.

Homemade infant formula is not recommended. These recipes may not provide the proper balance of nutrients that infants need. Homemade infant formulas can cause severe malnutrition and potentially fatal illness in infants.