How to Prevent Prenatal Infections

Pregnancy is a joyful time for moms-to-be, but as you decorate the nursery and plan for the baby’s arrival, don’t forget to take precautions to prevent prenatal infections. They can be dangerous for both mother and baby.

Talk to your physician at Virginia Women’s Health Associates about neonatal infections and stay aware of how to prevent any infections that can harm you or your child.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

This may sound simple, but practicing good hygiene will go a long way in keeping both you and baby free from troublesome infections. Be especially meticulous if you care for other children in your family, or if they attend daycare. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after changing diapers.

Transmission of a virus known as Cytomegalovirus or CMV occurs through saliva and urine from younger children to the pregnant mom. In turn the infected mom can pass the virus on to her unborn child which increases the risk of hearing or vision problems as well as cognitive disabilities.

Avoid Certain Foods

Bacterial infections arise when foods are ill prepared, not washed properly or contain a serious bacteria.  

Listeria is a harmful bacteria found in certain contaminated dairy foods, fruits, and meats. A pregnant woman who contracts this bacteria can pass it on to her child leading to a stillborn birth, miscarriages, and preterm labor. Hispanic women are 24 times more likely to contract Listeriosis due to certain consumed dairy products.

There are a few steps you can take to help protect you and your baby:

  • Thoroughly wash all vegetables
  • Clean surfaces after cooking
  • Always cook meats to well done
  • Avoid soft unpasteurized milk, cheeses, ice cream, and yogurt
  • Don’t eat deli meats, hot dogs, and wash hands if they are handled
  • Keep cut melons refrigerated and dispose of after 7 days
  • Do not eat raw sprouts

If symptoms like fever, muscle fatigue, and aches occur, contact your doctor immediately.

Get Tested For Group B Strep

25% of women carry this bacteria which can cause serious illness or death. A simple test will alert the doctor and specific preparations will be made for an antiboiotic during labor and birth.

Don’t Handle Cat Litter

Don’t empty or handle cat litter to avoid becoming infected with Toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite. It can also be found in soil so avoid gardening and handling soil during pregnancy.

This serious infection can make the baby susceptible to having  problems later in life like deafness, vision problems, seizures, and developmental delay.

Don’t Travel To Areas With The Zika Virus

This warning seems obvious, but since there have not been as many news reports lately about this virus, a reminder is always in order.