Listeria monocytogenes commonly addressed as “Listeria” is a type of bacteria that causes listeriosis. The infection listeriosis is not usually found in non-pregnant women but is positively seen in carrying women. The chances of the infection are 20 times more in pregnant women compared to normal ones. Read out the following to know everything about listeriosis, its symptoms and effects during pregnancy. 

Is Listeriosis more severe for pregnant women?

Listeriosis usually occurs by consuming listeria contaminated food. In any healthy pregnant adult, the effect of this will be very minute on the mother. In some cases, most are not even affected a bit. However, the situation is not the same for the embryo inside. The fetus inside the mother’s womb is highly susceptible to this type of bacterium. And the infection can spread across and into the placenta, making it severe and often fatal for the baby.

Symptoms and Causes of Listeriosis 

The usual symptoms of the listeriosis are general as the symptoms of the flu or cold. They usually include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and muscle aches. The symptoms can show up as early as 2 days after the contraction or after 2 months or at times, no symptoms at all. 

The bacteria is unusual as it does not survive in the regular temperatures instead is grown in very chilly temperatures like in your refrigerators and freezers. Listeriosis is caused by eating contaminated foods like packaged, cool unsanitary foods, infected vegetables & fruits from the soil and unpasteurized dairy. 

When to reach out a doctor? 

Regular checkups with your doctor during pregnancy will play an important role in diagnosing bacterial infections, including listeriosis. However, you must reach out to your doctor when any of the symptoms mentioned above are observed. Proper diagnosis and treatment will help you overcome the complications. 

Prevention of Listeria during pregnancy

The key ways to prevent listeria during pregnancy is by following a proper diet free from the contaminations of listeria. Avoid the below-mentioned foods while carrying:

  • Refrigerated and ready-to-eat meat spreads
  • raw (unpasteurized) milk and dairy products
  • natural produces that haven’t been washed thoroughly including fruits and vegetables
  • Keeping your refrigerator clean and hygiene 
  • Washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly in the clean water, even if the skin has to be peeled.

Although the listeria bacteria are common, and exposure to it cannot always be prevented. However, regular washing, hygienic conditions and proper doctor guidance will help you overcome the issue. 

*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.

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