Are pregnant women at greater risk of contracting COVID-19?

Based on what we know at this time, pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant women.i A recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) study found that pregnant women are more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), receive invasive ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO - a treatment that uses a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung and back into the bloodstream of a very ill person), and are at increased risk of death compared to nonpregnant women.ii Information suggests that pregnant women with comorbidities (more than one disease or condition) such as obesity are at increased risk for severe illness as is the general population with similar comorbidities.iii Additionally, studies are finding that other factors, such as age and occupation, can further increase a pregnant person’s risk for developing severe illness.iv However, as pregnancy itself has now been identified as a risk factor for certain outcomes, more research is needed to determine the magnitude of this increased risk.ii It is therefore important for pregnant women to take extra precautions to protect themselves from illness and talk with their provider about any concerns they may have.

Updated: November 18, 2020

i Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, and Caring for Newborns; updated November 3, 2020; retrieved from

ii Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19); Pregnancy Data; updated November 13, 2020; retrieved from

iii The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Clinical Guidance; Practice Advisory; Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19); updated July 1, 2020 with summary of key updates made November 6, 2020retrieved from

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1. Are pregnant women at greater risk of contracting COVID-19?
2. Can COVID-19 cause problems for a pregnancy or be passed on to the unborn baby?
3. Is it safe to breastfeed my baby?
4. How can I protect myself and my family from contracting COVID-19?
5. When should I contact my medical provider?
6. Should I still go to my prenatal and postpartum appointments?
7. How will this outbreak affect my delivery experience?
8. If I have Medicaid or KanCare coverage for my pregnancy, how will it be affected by this pandemic?
9. How can I keep my newborn safe?
10. Should I take my baby/child to his/her regularly scheduled well-child appointments?
11. What extra precautions can I take to protect my baby if I have, or am suspected of having, COVID-19?
12. What symptoms should I be watching for in my baby?
13. Should I continue to receive other health and support services?
14. How else can I help keep my baby safe?
15. Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and recommended for pregnant and lactating women?