When you’re expecting a child, it is an exciting time for your entire family. Staying healthy during pregnancy is essential but can be challenging due to changes in your immune system.
One essential part of pregnancy is preventing common infections that can affect both you and your baby. Infections can lead to potential complications, but the good news is there are many ways to protect yourself by taking extra precautions. In this blog, we’ll share ways to prevent common infections during pregnancy.
Common Infections in Pregnancy
Some of the common infections to be aware of during your pregnancy include:
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
- Yeast Infections
- Group B Strep
- Hepatitis B & C
- Foodborne bacteria and viruses such as Listeriosis and toxoplasmosis
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
It is important to take extra precautions during the pregnancy and follow any guidance from your medical team if you catch any of these infections. In the vast majority of cases, early treatment leads to no complications.
Ways To Prevent Common Infections During Pregnancy
Wash Your Hands
Many common bacteria and viruses are easily passed on when you touch contaminated surfaces, soil, or food. You can also pick up harmful parasites and viruses when changing dirty cat litter, touching pets, or cleaning up pet droppings.
Therefore, regularly wash your hands thoroughly whenever you touch these things or after trips to the bathroom.
Prepare Your Food Safely
Cooking food to the right temperature kills harmful bacteria. Ensure that your food is piping hot and thoroughly cooked before eating. Avoid foods such as unpasteurized milk, cold deli meats, and soft cheeses, as they can contain harmful bacteria.
When preparing food, use separate knives and cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination. Ensure that all surfaces are clean, and wash all fruits and vegetables before preparing your meals.
Avoid sharing food, cutlery, and crockery with kids during your pregnancy. Bacteria and viruses can be quickly passed on through their saliva or urine. One common virus called cytomegalovirus can cause problems for the baby, so don’t share any utensils or food with young children, and wash your hands after changing diapers.
Get Up To Date with Your Vaccinations
Being up to date with your vaccinations can boost your immune system during every stage of your pregnancy. Speak with your board-certified pediatrician for advice on what vaccinations are recommended.
Avoid People Who Have an Infection
This can be tricky if you have other kids in the house or if you work in a busy workspace. Stay away from anyone who has chickenpox or rubella.
Get Tested For STIs and Practice Safe Sex
Many STIs like chlamydia and hepatitis B show little or no symptoms, and you may not know you have the condition. Others, like herpes and HIV, can be passed on to the child during pregnancy. A check-up can identify potential problems and enable you to get treatment to protect yourself and your baby.
While you are pregnant, using protection is the best way to avoid getting any potential STIs.
Taking steps to protect yourself from common infections is the best way to protect yourself and your baby. If you want any advice or guidance, contact your local board-certified pediatrician today.