Important messages about stillbirth prevention from healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is worrying for pregnant women and their families. From the limited evidence to date, pregnant women do not appear to be more severely affected by COVID-19 than the general population. The risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) to your baby appears very small.
All pregnant women and their families should follow the latest government advice. This includes regular hand washing, good hygiene and social distancing. If you have concerns, contact your healthcare professional.
- Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, monitoring your baby’s movements is important.
- Please call your healthcare provider immediately if concerned and come in to be assessed.
- The use of at-home Doppler ultrasound to listen to your baby’s heart rate as a way of checking your baby’s health is not based on good research and is not recommended. Your baby’s movements are the most reliable way to know your baby is well
- Smoking may increase the severity of COVID-19 infection. Stopping smoking in pregnancy is important for both you and your baby, particularly during the
- COVID-19 pandemic.
- Help is available to help you and your partner to stop smoking in pregnancy. Talk to your midwife or doctor and seek additional help from Quitline.
- Going to sleep on your side from 28 weeks’ gestation is safest, do not worry if you wake up on your back, settle to sleep on your side again. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an important step that women can take to reduce the risk of stillbirth.
• Monitoring baby’s movements is an important indicator of fetal wellbeing.
• If something doesn’t feel right, or if you feel like your baby is not growing appropriately, please contact your healthcare provider.
- The risk of having a stillborn baby is small for most women and there are ways to reduce the risk even further.
- Your healthcare provider will talk with you about your own risk for having a stillborn baby and discuss with you steps you can take to reduce the risks such as
- being aware of your baby’s movements and sleeping on your side.
- For some women, particularly those with risk factors for stillbirth, having the baby earlier than the due date might be best.
- Currently, maternal COVID-19 infection is not considered a risk factor for stillbirth or a reason for early planned birth unless there are immediate risks to the woman’s health.
- Avoiding early planned birth unless clearly clinically indicated will minimise risk of neonatal complications.
Download the latest fact sheet for pregnant women and their families on COVID-19.
More information for pregnant women and their families on COVID-19 can be found at: