2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 11:16
Some infections can have disastrous effects on the he alth of a pregnant woman and her baby. Here are some of them and how to prevent them.
When you are pregnant, even if you would like to have nothing to change in your daily life, you should change certain behaviors to avoid making yourself vulnerable to poisoning and illness. Several viruses and bacteria cross the placental barrier and affect unborn babies. Others weaken pregnant women who are more vulnerable during pregnancy. Although you should not panic immediately, it is better to know the infections that you absolutely must avoid once you become pregnant.
Although it remains very rare thanks to vaccination campaigns, measles is a serious and highly contagious disease that is transmitted through the air. It can increase the risk of miscarriage or premature delivery. That's why you should make sure you have the antibodies or get vaccinated before stopping your birth control if you have the chance.
If you are pregnant and have been exposed to measles, even if you have no symptoms, contact Info-Santé orwith your doctor to receive immunoglobulins which will protect you for the few remaining months.
During pregnancy, it is very possible that a blood test will be requested by your doctor to check if you are immune to measles. If you are not, you will be vaccinated at delivery in anticipation of future potential pregnancies.
This virus from the herpes family can be very dangerous for fetuses who catch it from their mother. The baby may have various birth defects such as low birth weight, jaundice, hepatosplenomegaly, petechiae, thrombocytopenic purpura, myocarditis, pneumonia, anemia, CNS abnormalities, retinitis or chorioretinitis.
In general, cytomegalovirus, which also causes mononucleosis, is asymptomatic in he althy people and can be caught by coming into contact with bodily fluids, including through sexual contact, through saliva and during a blood transfusion. Currently, there is no treatment to reduce the risk of fetal damage. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) has published a document containing detailed information on this infection and its risks to the fetus.
Here too, it is through a blood test in early pregnancy that this infection can be diagnosed. Aultrasound and amniocentesis may then be requested to assess the risks to the fetus. According to the SOGC, the option of pregnancy termination is often raised when a fetal infection is detected by ultrasound or amniocentesis, or when an affected fetus is determined or suspected.
It may be less serious than measles when caught before or after pregnancy, but for a pregnant woman, rubella is just as worrying, especially in early pregnancy.
Most women are immune to rubella thanks to the MMR vaccine, and that's a good thing because getting rubella during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy predisposes the baby to be born with hearing, eye or heart problems. Between 12 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, the problems are generally less serious and after 20 weeks, there is practically no risk. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rubella, so it is prudent to have received MMR before planning a pregnancy.
parvovirus, also known as the 5th disease, is benign in he althy adults, in which it causes a mild rash with little fever, but it is not for pregnant women. When they catch it before the 20th week of pregnancy, their baby has an 8% to 10% risk of suffering from generalized edema which could be fatal. If you have been exposed to the fifthillness since you became pregnant, contact your doctor who will start by prescribing a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.
In 95% of cases, a pregnant woman who gets chickenpox will have no more serious problems, and neither will her child. However, there is a 0.05% to 0.07% chance that a pregnant woman who gets chickenpox during the third trimester will develop varicella pneumonia. There is also a 2.2% risk that the infant will suffer from severe skin scarring, eye problems and later learning problems. If you have been in contact with chickenpox and you are not immune, contact your doctor who can prescribe an appropriate treatment.
Other conditions that are more likely to affect a pregnant woman include food poisoning. During the first three months of pregnancy, food poisoning could cause miscarriage. At a more advanced stage of pregnancy, the pregnant woman could give birth prematurely. This is why it is so important to watch your diet during pregnancy. Moreover, a pregnant woman is 20 times more likely to contract listeriosis than another he althy adult and it is possible to catch toxoplasmosis, the same that makes us dread cat litter, by eating fruit that does not have notbeen washed or undercooked meats. If you have symptoms of toxoplasmosis, contact your doctor as soon as possible because there is a treatment that is prescribed for pregnant women who contract it.
Sexually transmitted infections can also have an impact on newborns since many of them can be passed on from the mother. This is particularly the case for chlamydia and syphilis, a disease on the rise in Canada. Women in early pregnancy are always screened for STIs so they can give them the right treatment if they have one.
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