Pregnancy is a vital stage in any woman’s life- beyond question. During pregnancy, both a woman and her family need to adopt extra precaution to avoid any risk to the fetus and the lady herself. Apart from taking a suitable diet, the woman should take precautions to avoid various serious infections and ailments.
Below listed are a number of such crucial and serious ailments and infections that pregnant woman should avoid at any cost.
1. Avoiding Zika Virus in Pregnancy
Zika virus which is getting many headlines these days is basically a mosquito-borne RNA virus which is close to the dengue virus. While the species Aedes aegypti is blamed for its transmission, it can also be spread by Aedes albopictus. It can be transmitted sexually as well as through the bite of a mosquito. The virus once transmitted in the body of a pregnant woman gets to the fetus. Babies infected with the virus can develop microcephaly, which may lead to brain damage.
To ensure a pregnant woman does not contract the virus, she can resort to the following steps:
- Women who have conceived should refrain from sex to evade the infection.
- The CDC advises women in any stage of pregnancy should not visit the countries where the epidemic has broken out. They should not consider traveling to Brazil and parts of Latin America for this reason.
- The same thing is advisable for women who are planning to get pregnant.
- If a woman returns from a region afflicted with the Zika virus she should avoid getting pregnant for a month or so after that.
2. Avoiding Rubella/German Measles in Pregnancy
Another dreaded ailment that pregnant women should try to evade is rubella, also called German measles. If you get afflicted with this viral ailment in the first trimester, the repercussions can be serious. It can lead to consequences like miscarriage, heart defects in baby and brain damage. The babies afflicted by the ailment contract congenital rubella syndrome. On an average, 110000 cases of CRS are reported each year, as per the WHO.
Women, who were not screened for rubella immunity prior to conceiving, should get the blood test performed for safety. In the USA, more than 90 percent of the population is usually immune to rubella, but this may not be the same in every country. Remember that German measles is different from regular measles. Rubella can spread though cough and sneezes and it is really contagious.
Since there is no fixed treatment for rubella, women afflicted with the virus may be asked to end pregnancy. Sadly, pregnant women do not benefit from rubella vaccine. Avoiding travel to countries where rubella still exists before pregnancy is advisable. If you are unsure about getting vaccinated in childhood, get a shot a month before you want to conceive.
3. Avoiding Cytomegalovirus in Pregnancy
Cytomegalovirus belongs to the dreaded herpes virus family and this is one virus that can be passed from a pregnant woman to the fetus. If a woman is infected by the virus in pregnancy, the baby can be born with congenital CMV.
While some babies born with congenital CMV do not show any problems, some others may develop long-term problems. Some of the babies may suffer from hearing deficit related problems. If a woman gets infected with this virus for the first time in pregnancy the risk of passing to the fetus is high while women with re-infection have lower risks. CMV spreads though bodily fluids of an infected person. It also spreads though kissing and sex. Babies may contract the virus either through breastfeeding or before birth.
There is hardly any fail proof way to evade getting CMV in pregnancy, but precautions can surely be taken by women. Using good hygiene including hand sanitizer and washing clothes in disinfecting fluid is advisable to evade the infection. Practice safer sex habits.
4. Avoiding Listeriosis in Pregnancy
While only a section of pregnant women face the risk of contracting Listeriosis, it is a serious infection nevertheless. It is a food borne infection caused by a bacterium. Pregnant women can contract it and it can affect newborns. It can have serious impact on the baby even if the woman escapes major effects. It may lead to stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth. Babies born with the infection can suffer from skin sores, blood infection and meningitis, etc. It is mostly treated with antibiotics in pregnancy.
There are a few things that you can do to evade contracting Listeriosis:
It is better you wash meat and fish very well. Cook them at high temperature to kiln any germ or bacteria. When you reheat food taken from fridge ensure the heating is proper. Avoid buying the deli meat and cold cuts for safety. Similarly, evading raw milk is a good idea as is evading raw sprouts in pregnancy.
5. Avoiding Group B Strep in Pregnancy
While Group B Streptococcus or GBS can affect literally anybody, pregnant women should be extra cautious. This bacterial infection can lead to onset of meningitis and sepsis. The bacterium lives in the intestines and then gets into lower body organs. While a majority of women carry GBS in body not everyone tests positive. Still GBS can lead to urinary tract infections in women and infections in the newborn.
It is treated with IV antibiotics mostly when the birth takes place. Natural remedies to evade the baby getting affected include eating fermented dairy food and garlic in the diet