Health advice on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Pregnant Women

  • Prevention of Pneumonia & Respiratory Infection - Health advice for pregnant women
  • Should pregnant women be given COVID-19 vaccination?

    Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19 infection, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy. Symptomatic COVID-19 disease also increases the risk of preterm birth by 2 to 3 fold. Pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Women who are planning pregnancy, in the immediate postpartum period, or breastfeeding can be vaccinated as well. For details, please visit the COVID-19 Thematic Website.

  • Prevention of Pneumonia and Respiratory Tract Infection - Psychological Self-Care (For Pregnant Women)
  • FAQ
    1. Are pregnant women at higher risk from COVID-19?

      Due to the physiological changes in pregnancy, pregnant women infected with the COVID-19 may have more severe symptoms. Some recent data in foreign countries showed increased risk of severe illness compared to non-pregnant counterpart. Therefore, it is important to always maintain social distancing, hand hygiene and wear masks throughout pregnancy to prevent respiratory tract infection.

    2. Should pregnant women attend antenatal appointments regularly?

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

    3. Could pregnant women pass Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) to her baby?

      According to the limited evidence and ongoing research currently available, there is emerging evidence that the virus could be passed to the fetus in the mother's womb. The presence of the novel coronavirus in the amniotic fluid and the placenta have been confirmed in some cases in a recently published article. There is also a chance that the newborn may be infected through person-to-person transmission after birth. Therefore, it is important to always maintain social distancing and hand hygiene during postnatal period to prevent respiratory tract infection.

Lactating Women

  1. Can lactating women receive COVID-19 vaccines?

    COVID-19 vaccines are effective against COVID-19 related serious illness and death. Besides, the antibodies generated after COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women can pass to the fetus via the umbilical cord, and women can also provide protection to the babies during breastfeeding.

    Women who are breastfeeding should be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines, unless contraindicated due to underlying medical reasons. There is no need to stop breastfeeding while being vaccinated. Both the Comirnaty (BioNTech) and CoronaVac (Sinovac) vaccines are allowed for use on pregnant and lactating women in Hong Kong. According to the Hong Kong College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (HKCOG), based on the available published data, Comirnaty (BioNTech) is the the preferred choice of vaccine for pregnant and lactating women. For details, please visit the COVID-19 Thematic Website.

  2. Can mother breastfeed her child if she has suspected or confirmed COVID-19?

    Breastfeeding brings a lot of health benefits to mothers and babies, including optimal nutrition, antibodies and active cells which can boost child's immunity. The currently available limited research does not detect the COVID-19 virus in breastmilk, and there is insufficient evidence to show the transmission of virus through breastmilk. However, there is a chance of transmission via droplets or body contact during direct breastfeeding.

    If the mother is a confirmed case of COVID-19, or currently under medical surveillance, she can discuss with the healthcare professionals and family regarding whether or not to continue breastfeeding, such as taking into consideration of the medications prescribed. If mother wishes to continue breastfeeding, she should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to her infant. When breastfeeding the baby, mother must wear a surgical mask and perform hand hygiene. If the mother is too unwell to breastfeed, she can express breastmilk for her family to feed the baby. Before mother expressing breastmilk or carer touching the baby, they must wash their hands and maintain good personal hygiene. If the mother is unable or wishes to suspend breastfeeding, she can give infant formula to her baby and continue to express milk regularly to avoid blocked duct and mastitis.



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