Last updated: 23/04/2020
I wanted to try for a baby this year. Is it OK to do this or should I wait?
There is no official guidance about trying for a baby at this time. Whether to start trying for a baby is a very personal choice and the coronavirus pandemic does not change that. Only you and your partner can make this decision.
As the virus is still very new, we do not know a lot yet about any effects it may have on pregnancy. But right now, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that coronavirus increases the risk of miscarriage at any stage of pregnancy, including the first few weeks. There is also no evidence to suggest that the virus affects the baby’s development in the womb.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind while making your decision. For example, NHS services, including maternity services, will be very stretched while this pandemic is ongoing and we don’t how long this will last. This is the main reason why the Association of Early Pregnancy Units is asking people to wait until the pandemic is over before stopping contraception. See our information on early pregnancy care during the pandemic for more information.
The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare has also recommended that women and their partners consider the risks of coronavirus transmission associated with routine contacts with seeing healthcare professionals for routine care during pregnancy, particularly if they develop any pregnancy complications. You can read their statement here.
You may also want to think about your own medical history. For example, if you have had complications in previous pregnancies or have a long-term condition that means you will need extra care during pregnancy, you may also feel that now is not the right time for you.
Your mental health may also be an issue. You may just want to move forward with your life and are generally feeling okay emotionally. But if you are feeling particularly anxious about what’s happening, you may find pregnancy difficult. Pregnancy can be an emotional experience, even when everything is going well, so the current situation may make you even more anxious or worried. However, there is a lot of support available to help you with your mental health and wellbeing during pregnancy.
According to the latest UK government advice, pregnant people are part of the vulnerable groups along with people over 70 and those with long-term health conditions. Although there is no evidence to show that pregnant women are more at risk of becoming more ill than the general population, the government has taken a precautionary approach to try to keep everyone safe.
Although these reasons sound serious and frightening, try to remember that your health professionals will still be there to care for you and make sure you get the care you need, no matter when you get pregnant. It is ultimately your decision.
How can I get ready for pregnancy while in self-isolation?
As with planning for a pregnancy at any time, there are lots of things you can to make your pregnancy and baby healthier. These include:
- stopping smoking and drinking alcohol, if you do either
- starting to take folic acid
- starting to take vitamin D (this is recommended in pregnancy and you may not be getting much vitamin D from sunlight at the moment)
- eating a healthy, balanced diet
- cutting down on caffeine
- maintaining a healthy weight.
Staying active is also very important. This can be difficult while you are self-isolating, but there may be things you can do. For example, you could try:
- going online and looking up free exercise classes on YouTube or other web platforms
- turning up the radio and having your own dance party
- doing some housework, such as vacuuming or dusting.
This may not be ideal, especially if you’re usually very active, but anything that elevates your heart rate can help keep you fit and healthy.
We have a lot more information about planning for pregnancy that you should find helpful.
What if I get coronavirus while I’m trying?
If you become unwell with coronavirus while trying to get pregnant, please consider treating yourself as a part of the pregnant women group and follow the current official guidance.
I’m feeling very anxious about what’s happening. Can that affect my fertility?
It is unlikely that the worry you feel will affect your fertility. But taking care of your mental wellbeing as well as your physical health before pregnancy is important. There are lots of ways to do this, such as:
- talking to someone you feel you can trust – your partner, a family member or a friend
- getting help if you have any concerns about your feelings
- finding ways to relax.
But if you feel anxiety is affecting your daily life, try to make an appointment with your GP if this is possible, because you may need extra support. They may be able to speak to you over the phone instead of having a face-to-face appointment. Please don’t feel you are wasting their time if you are not contacting them about symptoms of coronavirus. If you need help with how you are feeling, they will still do their best to support you.
If you have a pre-existing mental health condition, it’s important to speak to your GP before planning a pregnancy because it’s likely you will need specific treatment and care.
Find out more about planning a pregnancy with an existing mental health condition.
We're here to support you
Although we've had to temporarily close our support line as our midwives have moved to homeworking, our Tommy's midwives are still here to support you.
We are working hard to provide the best support and information we can during a time of extra anxiety and worry for pregnant women and their families.
Watch out for updates and contact us on the following platforms:
Maternity care is still essential during the COVID-19 pandemic and services are still running. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, it’s important to call your GP, midwife, nearest early pregnancy unit or maternity unit as soon as possible.
The NHS is taking urgent action to protect expectant mums from a black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) background during the coronavirus crisis, as new research shows these women face an increased risk.
I put on a brave face and watched her walk through the doors into the unknown all on her own. This was heart breaking and I’ve never felt so helpless. My wife is my best friend. Whatever life throws at us we handle it together.
As the government continues to lift restrictions and schools start opening again, some pregnant women with older children are concerned about possible exposure to the virus and what this means for them and their baby. Here, Tommy’s midwife Sophie explains the latest guidance.
We’ve been getting a lot of emails from women concerned about returning to work as the Government starts to lift restrictions. Here, Tommy’s midwife Kate explains the latest guidance.
Nicola sadly experienced a miscarriage just before her 12-week scan. As a doctor, she was not used to being in hospital as a patient - but has been inspired to share her story by the support she received.
A large UK study has found that pregnant women are no more likely to become severely ill with COVID-19 than other women.
As research shows half of UK mums are experiencing mental health problems in coronavirus lockdown, we've joined forces with Elvie on #TheBigSqueeze campaign to help Tommy's midwives continue to provide their vital support virtually during the pandemic.
We are all trying to cope with changes to our routine, including how we eat and exercise to look after ourselves. The important thing is trying to be as active as you can, without comparing yourself to others.
Tommy’s saw a 71% rise in demand for expert advice from midwives on its Pregnancy Line last month, as coronavirus left expectant and new parents struggling to get the information and support they need.
Like many other people around the world who have been pregnant through this pandemic, the last couple of months must have been stressful for (then) mum-to-be, Carrie Symonds. This article looks at worrying about stress through pregnancy and what can be done to manage it.
Public Health England is recommending that people consider taking daily vitamin D supplements throughout the spring and summer as the coronavirus lockdown continues. Tommy’s midwife Kate Marsh explains what this means for pregnant and breastfeeding women.