Last updated on April 4, 2022
PCMCH has developed resources to support patients, families and healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. PCMCH’s resources on this page include:
- general care guidelines for healthcare providers to standardize clinical care of pregnant or breastfeeding individuals and their newborns during the pandemic;
- webinars on a range of COVID-19-related subjects; and
- tools that will support decision-making around vaccination for pregnant or lactating individuals, as well as children and youth with complex care needs.
Resources from other government agencies and healthcare organizations that provide up-to-date and reliable information about COVID-19, pregnancy and vaccination can also be found on this page. Note that the information provided on this page is not intended to take the place of medical advice, a diagnosis or treatment received from medical professionals.
PCMCH strongly urges all eligible people to be vaccinated.
Currently in Ontario, all individuals aged 5 and older are eligible to be vaccinated. Speak to a healthcare professional if you have questions about COVID-19 vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Ontario can be booked through the provincial online system here.
Perinatal COVID-19 Information & Resources
Patient Information Sheet on COVID-19 Vaccines: “I am pregnant or breastfeeding. Should I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?”
This information sheet was last updated on January 25, 2022. It provides basic information to support the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
We invite you to anonymously share your feedback by completing a survey now or by scanning the QR code on the Patient Information Sheet. PCMCH Is collecting feedback in collaboration with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at McMaster University. It will be used to determine how many people in Ontario used the tool, if they were satisfied with its content and/or if it affected their decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Webinar: Let’s Talk about COVID-19 and Pregnancy
In June 2021, PCMCH hosted a webinar aimed to support pregnant people or those planning a pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical experts and those with lived experience addressed attendees’ questions and concerns about the implications of a possible COVID-19 infection for the pregnant person and the baby, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, and what to expect over the course of the pregnancy. Play the webinar recording.
Ontario Ministry of Health
- COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy: An evidence-based summary for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
- COVID-19 Vaccination Recommendations for Special Populations (page 2: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding)
- COVID-19 Questions and Answers with Ontario’s Medical Professionals
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC):
Public Health Agency of Canada:
Family & Community Medicine (University of Toronto) and Ontario College of Family Physicians: Confused about COVID? Family doctors answer your questions. “I’m pregnant. How can I keep safe? What should I do if I get COVID?. Available in French, Korean, Spanish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.
- Pregnancy care providers in Ontario speak about the COVID-19 vaccine and Pregnancy. Available in English, French, Arabic, Cantonese, Farsi, Mandarin, Punjabi, Spanish, Tamil, Vietnamese and Yoruba.
- OMama COVID-19 and Pregnancy: Information at your Fingertips
Pandemic Pregnancy Guide (@PandemicPregnancyGuide) on Instagram: created by University of Toronto ObGyn Faculty
The MotHERS Podcast hosted by Dr. Graeme Smith, head of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Kingston Health Sciences Centre:
SickKids and Scarborough Health Network VaxFacts Clinic: Book a consultation with a healthcare provider through the COVID-19 Vaccine Consult Service, open to pregnant and breastfeeding individuals who may have questions or concerns related to the COVID-19 vaccine.
Best Start by Health Nexus: COVID-19 resources for new parents and families
Statement: Guidance for Perinatal Care Providers (December 2021)
This statement responds to the rapid rise in COVID-19 case counts related to the increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant. The statement contains updated guidance for perinatal healthcare providers regarding use of N95 respirators when caring for suspected or confirmed COVID-positive patients and the importance of and eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination (including booster doses) for pregnant people. The use of N95 respirators aligns with Public Health Ontario’s Interim IPAC Recommendations.
Maternal-Neonatal COVID-19 General Guideline (July 2021, version 3)
The Maternal-Neonatal COVID-19 General Guideline provides direction to frontline workers on key areas including:
- Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by Providers and Patients during Labour & Delivery
- Support People for Pregnant Individuals during a Labour & Delivery Admission
- Mother-Baby Dyad Care for Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 People
- Care of Babies born to Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 People
During the perinatal period, individuals and their families interact often with multiple healthcare providers. The need for care during these life stages is time sensitive and cannot be delayed during this pandemic response. These Guidelines aim to provide clarity and recommendations regarding practice changes related to maternal-neonatal care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maternal-Neonatal COVID-19 Pregnancy Care Guideline (July 2021, version 2)
The Maternal-Neonatal COVID-19 Pregnancy Care Guideline provides direction on key areas including:
- Care of Pregnant Population During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Involvement of Support People
- Termination of Pregnancy
- Birth Planning and Counselling
- Care of the COVID-19 Suspected or Positive Person
- Care Environment Considerations
- Use of Virtual Care
- Rural and Remote Considerations
- Care in Home
Pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period are critical life stages when individuals and their families interact often with multiple providers. The need for care is time sensitive and, while efforts can be made to reduce the number of interactions between care providers and pregnant/ postpartum individuals, essential elements of care must be maintained regardless of the pandemic.
This guiding document supports frontline workers by providing clarity on practice changes related pregnancies during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the guideline acknowledges the differences of care and access to care that certain populations have experienced in this new health environment. Efforts were made to include a range of perspectives and lived experiences, and additional recommendations were developed to promote a decolonized, equitable and inclusive approach to care.
Report: Recommendations to Address Gaps in Prenatal Care System (January 2021)
Through the development of the Maternal-Neonatal COVID-19 Pregnancy Care Guideline, a number of additional concerns were identified related to the delivery of safe and equitable prenatal care for both patients and providers. COVID-19 has highlighted concerns that predate the pandemic and require system-level review and improvement. Many recommendations extend into broader determinants of health. As such, a multisectoral strategy is required to fully address these recommendations and close the health equity gap that currently exists in maternal-neonatal care across Ontario. This recommendations report provides recommendations on key areas including:
- Race, vulnerable populations and Indigenous communities
- Access to care for all
- Considerations for rural and remote access
- Access to medications, supplies and testing
- Workplace concerns for pregnant individuals
- Health equity research
Webinar Series: COVID-19 in the Third Wave and the Maternal-Neonatal Population
This series of webinars was produced to support maternal-neonatal care providers during the third wave of the pandemic in May 2021. The webinars were led by clinical experts from healthcare facilities across Ontario with expertise and/or clinical experience related to COVID-19 and this population group. Each webinar focuses on specific topics, such as care management for COVID-19 positive pregnant patients and vaccine confidence. View more information and links to the recordings
May 3, 2021: Case Management
In this webinar, a case study of a COVID-positive patient was presented and practice considerations in caring for COVID-positive pregnant patients were discussed.
Presenters: Dr. Serena Gundy, Dr. Kate Miller, Dr. Gillian Alton
Moderators: Dr. Jon Barrett, Dr. Wendy Whittle
May 10, 2021: Vaccines
This webinar shared current knowledge around COVID-19 vaccine-related issues for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals, including immunological benefits to the baby, concerns around infertility, breastfeeding and menstrual cycle changes, and recommendations about delaying pregnancy post-vaccination.
Speakers: Dr. Tali Bogler, Dr. Darine El-Chaâr, Dr. Cynthia Maxwell
May 26, 2021: Promoting Seamless Postnatal Care
In this webinar, presenters identify facilitators and barriers to providing seamless postnatal care, discuss strategies to support individuals in navigating the postnatal period during COVID-19 and explore topics of postnatal assessment, breastfeeding initiation and support, and perinatal mental health.
Panelists: Sue Thériault Valin, Jaime Charlebois, Dr. David Millar, Jenni Huntly, Jennifer Proulx
May 31, 2021: Neonatal Care and Considerations
In this webinar, presenters reviewed pathophysiology, clinical presentation and transmission rates of COVID-19 in newborns and discussed practical considerations in caring for neonates born to mothers who had COVID-19 during pregnancy and the impacts on family integration in neonatal units. BORN data on the impact of COVID-19 on neonatal outcomes was presented.
Panelists: Dr. Prakesh Shah, Dr. Yenge Diambomba, Dr. Gillian Alton
Moderator: Dr. JoAnn Harrold
Ontario Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Vaccine-Relevant Information and Planning Resources
Government of Canada: Canadian Immunization Guide.
Immunization in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC):
- Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy
- COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy FAQ for Health Care Providers
Public Health Ontario: Building Confidence in Vaccines.
Public Health Agency of Canada: Vaccination Tool Kit for Health Care Providers
Science Table: COVID-19 Advisory for Ontario: Science Briefs- The Incidence, Severity, and Management of COVID-19 in Critically Ill Pregnant Individuals
BORN Ontario: COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy in Ontario Surveillance Reports
University of Toronto Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology MFM Division: COVID in Pregnancy Update webinar led by Dr. Wendy Whittle (note: data current as of Sept. 27, 2021)
The University of British Columbia Canadian Surveillance of COVID-19 in Pregnancy: Epidemiology, Maternal and Infant Outcomes
Paediatric COVID-19 Information & Resources
Information Sheet: Vaccination for Children with Medical Complexities
COVID-19 presents unique challenges for children with medical complexities and their families. Exposure to COVID-19 is a real concern and making decisions about vaccination can be hard; however, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for children with medical complexity. The benefits of vaccination outweigh the known risks of getting COVID.
This informational handout addresses common concerns about COVID-19 vaccination for children with medical complexities. Families can use it as a resource when speaking with their complex care clinic Nurse Practitioner and/or Paediatrician.
COVID-19 Information for Children, Youth and Families
PCMCH partnered with Kids Health Alliance, thought leaders and organizations in the pediatric health sector in March 2020 (updated June 2020) to create two documents for children, youth, and their families:
National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI): Canadian Immunization Guide
Public Health Agency of Ontario: Building Confidence in Vaccines
Public Health Agency of Canada: How Vaccines are Developed
Government of Ontario: COVID-19 Questions and Answers with Ontario’s Medical Professionals
Webinar: Addressing the needs of paediatric patients with eating disorders during COVID-19
This webinar addresses the increase in mental health issues – specifically eating disorders – in children and youth that significantly increased throughout the pandemic. The presenters discussed how prevention and early intervention ties into the continuum of care, and what Ontario hospitals are doing to share information and alleviate pressures on the system. Webinar presented May 27, 2021.
Presenters: Dr. Sarah Barker, Dr. Arif Manji. Gail McVey, Dr. Julia Orkin
Statement: In-Hospital Presence of Family and Loved Ones during COVID-19 Restrictions (March 2021)
Children receiving end-of-life care should have access to important family members and friends. The social, emotional, psychological and spiritual benefits of the presence of family and close friends are immediate for the child and long-lasting for the family. This position statement, developed in collaboration with the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, calls upon Ontario hospitals that support children receiving end-of-life care to enable access to family and loved ones and allow for care in the setting patients choose.