Pregnancy is a time when expectant mothers need to take utmost care of their health. Although pregnancy is a normal and healthy state, it can also make women more susceptible to infections. Some of these may lead to complications and pose risk to the mother or baby, or both. Let us take a look at some common, preventable illnesses during pregnancy.
- Urinary Tract Infection
A Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial inflammation in the urinary tract. Pregnant women between weeks 6 to 24 of progressing labor are more prone to the risk of this infection. During pregnancy, there are changes in the urinary tract and the uterus sits direct on top of the bladder. Increased weight of the uterus can block the drainage of urine from bladder and cause infection. When left untreated, UTI may cause kidney infection and lead to early labour.
Also known as varicose veins, hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy. It may be caused due to constipation. During pregnancy, hormones slow the rate of food passing through the gastrointestinal tract and leads to constipation. Even iron supplements lead to constipation. When it gets difficult to pass stool, it may bleed, itch or sting and may enlarge the veins of the rectum. They usually get better after delivery.
- Vaginal Yeast Infection
When the normal levels of acid and yeast in the vagina are out of balance, it leads to yeast infection. This is common in the second trimester of a pregnancy. There may be increased amounts of thin, white discharge which causes yeast to overgrow and results in yeast infection. If you think you have yeast infection, our doctors at KIMS Cuddles can help clear all your doubts.
Any type of flu during pregnancy may lead to serious complications. An illness like pneumonia can be life-threatening and cause complications. Therefore, organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control in US and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all pregnant women get a flu shot. Evidence also suggests that getting a flu shot during pregnancy passes on antibodies to your baby and it is less likely to be exposed to the flu.
Although rare, listeriosis is a serious infection that can affect both pregnant women and their developing babies. Eating food contaminated with bacterium Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis. This can cause potentially life-threatening complications. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one-third of all Listeria cases reported in the United Sates pertain to pregnant women.
Rubella is also known as German measles. It is an infection that causes mild, flu-like symptoms and rashes on the skin. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a pregnant woman is infected with rubella, it can cause serious problems for her unborn baby. Therefore, even WHO recommends vaccination to prevent Rubella.
Most infections and illnesses during pregnancy are preventable. Small precautions can ensure that you and your baby are out of harm’s way. Here are some steps you can take to prevent infections during pregnancy:
- It is extremely important to wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom, preparing raw meat and vegetables, and playing with children.
- Don’t eat undercooked meats.
- Eat a healthy diet and stay active.
- Avoid consuming unpasteurized or raw dairy products.
- Don’t share eating utensils and food with others.
- Practice safe sex and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Make sure you get timely vaccinations.
At KIMS Cuddles, the safety of you and your baby is our responsibility. In case you have any query to ask about various infections and illnesses during pregnancy that you may be at risk for, feel free to get in touch with our team of experts.
**The opinions presented in this article are not to be substituted for medical advice under any circumstance.