For more information on COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions, follow this link:
What is COVID-19?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause illness ranging from mild symptoms, like the common cold, to more severe illness such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). COVID-19 is a new disease caused by a strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
What are the Symptoms?
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu.
Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19.
Symptoms have included:
- difficulty breathing
In severe cases, infection can lead to death.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
Human coronaviruses cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are most commonly spread from an infected person through:
- respiratory droplets that are spread when you cough or sneeze
- close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
What is the Incubation Period?
Current information indicates that a person may develop symptoms up to 14 days after exposure to COVID-19.
What if I am Pregnant, Breastfeeding, or Bottle Feeding my Baby?
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it affects pregnant women. There is currently no evidence that suggests pregnant women are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19. There is currently no evidence that a developing child could be negatively affected by COVID-19.
Throughout pregnancy, women experience changes in their bodies that may increase the risk of other illnesses, such as viral respiratory infections. This is why it is important for pregnant women, especially those at high risk of developing severe complications, should take the following precautions to protect against the possibility of becoming ill:
- Stay home as much as possible, except for important medical appointments.
- Talk to your doctor, obstetrician or midwife about the possibility of telephone or videoconference appointments.
- Avoid unnecessary visitors to your home.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Practice physical distancing. Keep a distance of at least two metres from others.
- Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Avoid crowded places and peak-hours. Make limited trips to the store for essentials
- Avoid travel by public transit.
If you have travelled outside of New Brunswick, had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you need to self-isolate.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19, you must isolate at home.
Contact your primary healthcare provider or TeleCare 8-1-1 if you are feeling ill.
There is currently no evidence of mother-to-child transmission through childbirth when the mother gets COVID-19 in the third trimester.
- If you plan to give birth in a hospital or birth centre, learn about the policies in place.
- Most hospitals and birth centres have reduced visitors or a no-visitor policy.
- In most cases, only one support person may permitted.
- Your support person is not considered a visitor.
- If you plan to give birth at home, talk to your midwife about:
- whether homebirths are still an option in your province or territory during the pandemic; and,
- precautions to take to ensure your home environment is safe.
- If you have COVID-19, talk to your health care provider about the preferred birth plan. The birth plan should be individualized and based on your preferences, the safety of the care provider, as well as obstetric recommendations.
- Your health care provider will consult perinatal (immediately before birth), neonatal (after birth), infectious disease and intensive care specialists, as required.
If you or your child have suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19, you can stay together in the same room if preferred, especially during the establishment of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of infection and illness throughout infancy and childhood. The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been found in breast milk and it is unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted while breastfeeding.
If you have suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19, you must isolate yourself in your home as much as possible; this includes practicing physical distancing in your home, with the only exception being the baby. You should take all possible precautions to avoid spreading the virus to your baby, which includes:
- Wash your hands often, especially before and after touching your baby or your other children.
- Wear a face mask that covers your mouth and nose. Homemade fabric masks are not medical devices. There is no evidence they protect you from virus-sized particles.
- Ensure the environment around you is clean and disinfected with approved hard-surface disinfectants.
If you are too ill to breastfeed, you are encouraged to:
- Feed the child with formula or expressed milk
- Ask an uninfected adult to feed the baby
- If using a breast pump, sterilize the equipment carefully before each use
- Don’t share bottles or breast pump
Visitors should be restricted or avoided during the period of physical distancing. You do not want anyone to inadvertently expose you to the virus. It is especially important not to have visitors if you or your child have suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19.
Parents and caregivers who may need to be separated from their children, and children who may need to be separated from their primary caregivers as a result of illness from COVID-19, should consult appropriately trained health or non-health workers for mental health and psychosocial support.
If you have concerns about COVID-19, talk to your doctor, obstetrician or midwife.
For resources on COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit www.sogc.org