Information for new parents about COVID-19
Although the risks are very low, you may be concerned that your baby could get coronavirus. This leaflet tells you what to look out for. Do not delay seeking help if you have concerns.
Is my baby at risk?
Newborns do not appear to be at high risk of becoming seriously unwell with the virus. However, close observation of hygiene is important, particularly with family members resident in the house.
Anyone who enters the home should take standard hygiene precautions, including washing their hands, and be careful about handling your baby if they have symptoms of any illness including the coronavirus.
How will I know if my baby has coronavirus?
Many babies with the virus will not show signs of illness and will recover fully. Some can develop an unstable temperature and/or a cough. Babies with infections do not always develop a fever.
If your baby has a cough, fever or feels unusually hot or cold, but otherwise well, then call NHS 111
If your baby is jaundiced or feeding poorly call your midwifery team
If your baby shows any signs which concern you in relation to their breathing, colour or movement, then call 999 straight away.
See more in ‘Worried your baby is unwell’ section. Click here
We encourage you to continue breast feeding even if you have suspected or confirmed coronavirus infection. If you’re feeling too unwell, it may be easier to carry on breastfeeding rather than expressing your milk during this stressful time. But if you feel too unwell to breastfeed, you could express your milk and ask someone else who is well to give your expressed milk to your baby.
For breastfeeding support contact your Midwife, the Responsive Feeding team or your Health Visitor. Additional support can be found at the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 (9.30am to 9.30pm, daily).
Reduce your baby’s risk of catching coronavirus by:
- Washing your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles
- Avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby
- Follow recommendations for pump cleaning after each use.
Neonatal unit or transitional care
If your baby has been on the neonatal unit or transitional care ward because they were born prematurely or were unwell, please also access the Bliss website: www.bliss.org.uk.
For general information on newborn jaundice, feeding difficulties and other signs of illness in the newborn then further information can be accessed in ‘Worried your baby is unwell’ section or visiting NHS - illness in newborn.
For any non-emergency concerns you can also call NHS 111 if you are unable to contact your midwife.