Lyme disease and pregnancy

Protect yourself from Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.


Avoiding tick bites is the most effective way to protect yourself from Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

What to do if you’re bitten

If you notice a tick embedded in your skin, don’t panic. You can safely remove it by following the recommended precautions and thoroughly cleaning the bite area.

Support and treatment

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, treatment options for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are available. Contact your health care provider for more information.


Ticks carrying Lyme and other tick-borne diseases live in forests, wooded areas, shrubs, tall grass, and leaf piles. If you’re going into these areas, make sure to protect yourself by taking the following preventative measures:

Wear long-sleeved, light-coloured shirts and pants to protect your skin and to help you spot ticks more easily.

Tuck your shirt into your pants and pull your socks up over your pants legs.

Always use a bug repellent with DEET as an active ingredient. DEET is considered safe to use during pregnancy.

Check your clothing, body, children, and pets every day for ticks, using a mirror to view those hard-to-see places.

Shower promptly after being outdoors to find and wash off ticks.

Put your clothes in the dryer for 60 minutes on high before washing them.

What to do if you’re bitten

It’s important to remove a tick from your body within 24 to 36 hours of being bitten to help prevent infection. If you notice a tick embedded in your skin, follow these steps to safely remove it:

1.Using fine-tipped tweezers – never your
fingers – grab the tick head as close to your skin as possible. Pull the tick out gently but firmly, without squeezing or twisting it.

2.Thoroughly clean the bite area with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of Lyme Disease can vary from person to person but are typically experienced within three to 30 days of a bite. Symptoms can include:

  • A localized skin lesion (erythema migrans) often with a bull’s-eye appearance
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Support and treatment

The good news? Most cases of Lyme disease can be successfully treated – but early detection is critical. If you suspect you’ve been bitten by a tick, contact your healthcare provider right away.

Or, if you have additional questions about Lyme disease and pregnancy, or Lyme disease while breastfeeding, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website for more information, or speak directly with your health care provider.

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