The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Updated 23 March 2021

About COVID-19 and pregnancy

Pregnant women should take extra precautions to protect themselves from COVID-19.

If you are pregnant

Studies show that pregnant women have a slightly higher risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19, which might imply a higher risk of premature birth.

It is important to avoid getting infected prior to giving birth because a respiratory infection towards the end of the pregnancy can be difficult and might imply risks to the pregnant woman. We recommend that pregnant women take extra precautions during the whole pregnancy and follow our recommendations thoroughly. This includes:

  • Avoid contact with people who are ill.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep your distance from others both indoors and outdoors.
  • Avoid gatherings in public places, for example buses, restaurants and shops.
  • Avoid parties, funerals, christenings or weddings where many people gather.

You can apply for parental benefit from week 32 of your pregnancy, and you are strongly recommended to do that from week 36.

The National Board of Health and Welfare has updated their list of groups at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Pregnant women who fall ill with COVID-19 towards the end of the pregnancy run a higher risk of premature birth. Therefore, women who are 20–36 weeks pregnant should be included in the list of at-risk groups, identified by the National Board of Health and Welfare.

If you are pregnant and at risk for severe illness

The risk of getting seriously ill increases for pregnant women with risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes. Therefore, if this applies to you, be extra careful. Consult your midwife or doctor and limit close contact with people outside your household as much as possible.

Newborn babies

Children can be infected with COVID-19 but severe illness is very rare in newborn babies and in children. Therefore, healthy newborn babies do not need to be separated from their mother after delivery due to the risk of transmission.

Breast milk is not a source of transmission and there is no reason to prevent mothers from breastfeeding.

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