COVID-19 coronavirus: Help if you’re pregnant or have a young family

COVID-19 is now in the community, but there are things we can do to stay safe.
A pregnant woman getting an ultrasound

Some people are at a greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. This page highlights key information for you if you’re pregnant or have a young family and helps you access resources from reputable sources on COVID-19.

6 steps everyone should take when dealing with COVID-19

  1. Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations (external link)
  2. Get tested (external link) if you have symptoms (external link) and follow the steps if you’re COVID-positive or a close contact
  3. Wear a mask where required (external link) and follow the health and safety guidelines
  4. Keep up healthy hygiene habits (external link).
  5. Prepare a COVID-19 kit and COVID-19 Care Plan (external link) for your household.
  6. Speak to your GP or regular health service if you have concerns. Some conditions and lifestyle factors (external link) can increase your chance of illness from COVID-19.

As a parent or expectant parent, the additional information on this page is particularly important for you.

Most children (external link) will have mild or no symptoms if they contract COVID-19, but they can still transmit the virus to others. Children with disabilities, certain illnesses and conditions or who are not vaccinated may become more unwell from COVID-19.

What to do to prepare for COVID-19

Make sure you’re up-to-date with your COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. Make sure you’re up-to-date with your vaccinations and have received all recommended doses (external link).

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective (external link).

Vaccinate your children aged 5 years and over

Children aged 5-11 (external link) are eligible for vaccination against COVID‑19, receiving a smaller dose of the vaccine created specifically for their age group.

Most people should receive 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine for their primary course.

Vaccines helps protect the immune system against serious illness, and possible long-term effects of COVID-19. Even though COVID-19 in children is often milder than in adults, there’s strong evidence to support vaccinating children.

It's important to get vaccinated if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive

It is safe to get vaccinated (external link) for COVID-19 if you are pregnant. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and there are increased risks of some complications during pregnancy. Ensure you and baby are protected by receiving all recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination does not affect fertility.

Visit Roll up for WA (external link) for more information and to book a vaccine appointment.

Pregnant women aged 30 years and over are now eligible and encouraged to receive for a fourth dose.

Mask wearing

With COVID-19 in the community, it is understandable if you are hesitant about masks not being required in some settings, especially if you have an underlying medical condition, or if there are people at risk of serious illness in your household or family. If it makes you feel more comfortable, continue to wear a mask.

Wearing a well-fitting mask is a simple and effective precaution you can take to stay safe and minimise the spread of COVID-19.

It is a good idea to carry a mask when you leave home and wear one if you can't physically distance from others.

Visit HealthyWA’s Face masks (external link) for information on the different types of masks and how to care for them.

Children under 12 years (external link) are exempt from wearing a mask.

For information about mask rules in Western Australia and the different types of face masks.

Additional measures

You can ask friends or family members to take a rapid antigen test (RAT) before catching up if you’re concerned about the spread of COVID-19.

It is also important to continue to keep up good hygiene habits (external link) like washing hands and using hand sanitiser, and holding gatherings outside where possible.

Complete a COVID-19 care plan

It helps to plan in case you or anyone in your household gets COVID-19.

Most people with up-to-date vaccinations who get COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms and can care for themselves at home, with support from their GP. Other people may need to go to hospital.

A COVID-19 care plan (Care Plan) includes important information about you and your health and details your plans for the care of your pets and other adults in your care, should you need to go to hospital.

You can complete a COVID-19 care plan for parents/guardian (external link) to help get prepared, and share it with your GP, your family or support person, and hospital staff and other health workers

Prepare a COVID-19 kit

Prepare a COVID-19 kit to make sure you have enough supplies if you need to isolate. WA Health has also developed a checklist on preparing to isolate at home (external link), to assist your preparation. Find the checklist under their ‘Measures to keep us safe’ section.

COVID-19 testing for children

All RAT kits contain guidance on their recommended use. Check the suitability of using the RAT on children and follow the instructions closely. Parents or guardians should perform or supervise RATs on children.

Western Australians who are COVID-19 close contacts are entitled to free RATs to help them meet testing requirements.

See the WA free RAT program page for a list of metro and regional locations and opening hours.

What to do if you or your child tests positive

Follow the advice in the HealthyWA factsheet I have COVID – What should I do? (external link)

  • The positive case must stay home and isolate for 7 days (or longer if you still have symptoms). Make sure you follow the isolation protocols.
  • If you tested positive using a rapid antigen test (RAT), register your positive result (external link) on HealthyWA as soon as possible.
  • When you receive a text from WA Health, make sure you answer the survey questions, so they know if you need extra support.
  • Register with WA COVID Care at Home (external link) (online or by calling 13COVID on 13 268 43). This telephone service provides home monitoring to people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19.
    • WA COVID Care at Home (external link) delivers home monitoring via the telephone for COVID-positive people with risk factors that put them at greater risk of hospitalisation. The free program will enrol patients based on risk factors such as age, severity of symptoms, medical history and social factors. You will be asked to consent to enrol in the program.
  • If you are at greater risk of getting very sick, tell your normal doctor or clinic immediately, even if you have mild or no symptoms, to find out if you are eligible for COVID-19 prescription treatment. Certain groups of people in this category will need early treatment within the first 5 days (external link).
  • Tell your close contacts you have COVID. They will need to follow special testing and isolation protocols.

Managing isolation with your family

Understand the isolation rules when there’s a positive case at home or at your child’s school or day care (external link).

Caring for children with COVID-19

Most children will have mild or no symptoms (external link), but they can still transmit the virus to others. Children with obesity, chronic heart, lung or neurological problems may become more unwell from COVID-19.

Perth Children’s Hospital has a short video about caring for your child at home (external site) and what you can expect.

Healthy WA (external website) details the common symptoms and when to see a doctor.

Extra support

Parents of a child who has tested positive for COVID-19 can register their child to be considered for WA COVID Care at Home (external link).

The Telethon Kids Institute’s COVID-19 Resource Hub (external site) includes fact sheets, videos and articles with helpful, science-backed advice on a range of topics.

If you have a child health check appointment while you or your child has COVID-19 or is in isolation, you may be able to reschedule, or arrange a Telehealth appointment. Face-to-face appointments are also offered at a COVID-19 safe child health clinic (external link) in East Perth if you need to see a child health nurse during isolation.

Useful resources:

Page reviewed 5 August 2022