Infections in Pregnancy
- During pregnancy, there are certain infections, which may cause illness in the mother or put the baby at risk for illness.
- For most women there is very little concern. Most people have had infections at a much younger age and have immunity.
Following these few simple guidelines can greatly prevent infections:
1. Practice good hand hygiene
- This is important if you are around small children on a regular basis, and especially important if you are directly involved in handling children (i.e. diapering or coming in contact with saliva, mucous, urine or feces).
- It is not necessary to stop working with small children; just practice good personal hygiene.
Wash hands with warm water and soap:
- Before eating and preparing food
- After using the toilet, changing diapers or providing personal care to others.
- Anytime they become contaminated
Note: Waterless hand sanitizing gels are an excellent addition to hand washing or in times when soap and water is not available
2. Handle food safely
- Meat should be cooked according to the following guidelines:
- Whole poultry – 82°C/180°F
- Food mixture that includes poultry, egg, meat, fish – 74°C/165°F
- Pork, ground meat other than poultry – 71°C/160°F
Wash counters and other surfaces that have come in contact with raw meat and sanitize with bleach / water solution - 1.5 tablespoons of unscented household bleach to 2 gallons of water. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before cooking and/or eating.
3. Do not eat the following foods which may contain bacteria or viruses:
- Raw meat or fish
- Under cooked egg or egg products
- Raw or unpasteurized milk or cheese made from unpasteurized milk
- Unpasteurized fruit or vegetable juices such as apple cider
4. Wear gloves when working in the garden
- Avoid touching your mouth while working, and thoroughly wash your hands after removing the gloves.
5. Avoid cleaning kitty litter boxes
- Cat feces (poop) can be a source of toxoplasmosis .
Stay away from wild or pet rodents and their droppings.
- Have a pest control professional get rid of pests in or around your home. If you have a pet rodent, like a hamster or guinea pig, have someone else care for it until after your baby arrives. Some rodents might carry a harmful virus called Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.
6. Determine your immunity to:
- Rubella (German measles)
- Fifth Disease
- A simple blood test can determine if you are immune. For chickenpox and rubella, if you are not immune, a simple vaccine may be given to offer you protection.
- If you are of childbearing age and work closely with children (i.e. in a school setting), it is a good idea to check your immunity to these infections as they occur quite frequently in children.
Note: It is not recommended that all pregnant women exclude themselves from a workplace where a viral outbreak is occurring. The decision to stay away from the workplace is a personal decision for a woman to make after discussion with her doctor and employer.