Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Parenting

Contact(s)

Last updated: March 31, 2020. Please check back for updates.

Pregnancy 

There is little known about COVID-19 and the risk to babies during pregnancy and during delivery. It is known that during pregnancy a woman’s immune system changes and they may be more susceptible to infections in general. Taking the usual precautions are very important for pregnant women: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

  • Practice physical distancing - this means putting distance between yourself and other people (this is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick)
  • Stay home if you are sick

  • Clean high touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach

  • Change how you greet one another - instead of a handshake, hug or kiss give a friendly wave

  • Self-monitor and if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing consult this self assessment tool

  • Clean objects and surfaces that a lot of people touch, such as doorknobs, phones, and television remotes with regular household cleaner. 

  • Get your influenza vaccine (the influenza vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19 however can help protect individuals from influenza). 

  • Do not share personal items that come into contact with saliva such as toothbrushes, eating utensils, drinks, water bottles, and towels. 

If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, isolate yourself from others immediately and call the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808. 

We still do not know if COVID-19 can be transmitted from mother to baby during pregnancy or delivery.  To date, no infants born to mother with COVID-19 have tested positive. 

Breastfeeding 

During most illnesses breastfeeding is the safest way to feed a baby. There are no studies about breastfeeding and the impact of COVID-19 yet. If you are sick, the decision whether to start or continue breastfeeding should be discussed with your healthcare provider. If you are not sick, continue breastfeeding.  

If you have questions or are having challenges breastfeeding, please call your health care provider. A nurse on our Healthy Families Intake line may also be able to help you at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5351. 

Formula feeding 

If you are using infant formula be sure to have at least a 14-day supply of formula and any supplies needed to sterilize the equipment. 

To learn more about pregnancy and breastfeeding, and COVID-19, visit the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention site. 

Parenting 

Effective March 28, the province of Ontario has prohibited organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people, including parades, events and communal services within places of worship. The Order does not apply to:

  • private households with five people or more
  • operating child care centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people
  • funerals – they are permitted to proceed with up to 10 people at one time.

Ontario has closed all publicly funded schools for the two weeks following March Break. The province has also closed private schools and licensed childcare centres until March 31, 2020 at which time they will reassess to determine the need for an extension or to end the closures. There is, however, an exception for operating childcare centres supporting frontline health care workers and first responders provided the number of persons at each centre does not exceed 50 people.

 These decisions were made to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). To stay healthy, adults and children need to practice these precautions: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

  • Avoid contact with people who are sick

  • Practice social distancing - this means putting distance between yourself and other people (this is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick)
  • Stay home if you are sick

  • Clean high touch surfaces frequently with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach

  • Change how you greet one another - instead of a handshake, hug or kiss give a friendly wave

  • Self-monitor and if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing consult this self assessment tool

  • Clean toys and surfaces more often

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. Parents, family members, school staff and other trusted adults can play an important role in helping toddlers, children and teens make sense of what they hear in a way that is honest, accurate, and minimizes anxiety or fear.  

For guidance on how to have conversations with children about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease read Talking With Children About COVID-19. 

Toddlers are impacted by everything going on around them.  Remember to limit the news about COVID-19 on the radio and television, and limit conversations about the virus as much as possible. Toddlers may also notice that they are not seeing their friends or family members as much as they used to.  Read Answering Your Young Child’s Questions About Coronavirus for tips on how to talk to your toddler. 

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808