Prevention of Pneumonia & Respiratory Infection - Health advice for pregnant women

(Published on 02/2020)

Maintain good environmental hygiene

  • Open windows frequently, turn on the fan or exhaust fan to maintain good indoor ventilation if needed.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, utensils, furniture, washroom, bathroom and floor, with 1:99 diluted household bleach (by adding one part of bleach containing 5.25% sodium hypochlorite to 99 parts of water, use 70% alcohol for metallic surface). When it dries, rinse with clean water and wipe dry.
  • Maintain drainage pipes properly and regularly. Once a week pour about half a litre of water into each drain outlet (U-traps) to ensure environmental hygiene.

Wash the hands, maintain good personal hygiene

  • Always keep your hands clean, it is advised to use liquid soap and water to clean your hand for at least 20 seconds; you can use 70-80% alcohol-based hand rub when hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing. Dispose of soiled tissues into a lidded rubbish bin, then wash hands thoroughly. If tissue paper is not available, you can cover your mouth and nose with your blouse or upper sleeve.
  • After using the toilet, put the toilet lid down before flushing and then thoroughly clean your hands.
  • Wash your face, hands and change your clothing immediately after return home; wash your clothes or hang them in a well-ventilated area for at least one day; clean your shoes and put them in well-ventilated area. Wash your hands afterwards.

Use a surgical mask correctly

  • Wearing a surgical mask correctly can prevent respiratory tract infections.
  • You should wear a surgical mask every time you visit Maternal and Child Health Centre (MCHC) or hospital for antenatal checkup.
  • You should clean your hands before you put on the mask, and before and after you remove the mask.
  • The coloured side/the side with folds facing downwards of the surgical mask should face outwards with the metallic strip on the top, position the elastic bands around both ears, extend the surgical mask to fully cover mouth, nose and chin; then mold the metallic strip over nose bridge and the surgical mask should fit snugly over the face.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

  • Have appropriate exercise and balanced diet.
  • Have enough rest.
  • Keep yourself clean and do not share personal items with others.

You need to have regular antenatal checkup during pregnancy. If you experience any discomfort or abnormality, e.g. fever or respiratory symptoms, you should wear a surgical mask and seek medical attention as soon as possible. DO NOT visit obstetrics clinic and MCHC. You should call the relevant obstetrics clinic or MCHC for special arrangement.

If you wish to know more about Severe Respiratory Disease associated with a Novel Infectious Agent, please visit Centre for Health Protection website.