The journey of pregnancy is filled with joy, excitement and anticipation. A dose of worry and tension is sure to come along in this journey. During pregnancy your baby does not have an immune system of its own so it’s prone to catching serious infections which in turn can limit the development of your baby. Hence, it’s essential to take precautions so that your baby remains safe from prenatal infection.
These infections may be mild for adults, but can create complications if it reaches the fetus, leaving the baby with serious side effects. Also it’s considered ideal to have regular checkups with a gynaecologist. If you ever feel that you have contracted an infection, don’t wait any longer than necessary before contacting your doctor immediately.
10 Some Signs and Symptoms of Prenatal Infection
It’s true that different kinds of infections will have a different set of symptoms, but here are some of the common symptoms of all infections:
The body usually develops a fever when it catches an infection since this a natural way for the body to fight off the infection. Though of course fever can also take place for many other reasons, but an unexplained fever means that you ought to visit the doctor as soon as possible.
Common infections have flu-like symptoms which include body ache, chill, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Zika virus is one of those infections in which one develops mild flu-like symptoms. It’s become one of the most severe infections in recent times. Another infection that has severe effects is Toxoplasmosis.
This infection is easily caught by pregnant women who clean cat litter boxes. This infection poses serious health risks to the unborn baby which once again begins as mild flu-like symptoms.
9 Prevent Infection By: Avoiding Contact with Anyone Who Has an Infection
Infections can be contagious, hence it's always better to distance yourself from someone you already know is fighting off an infection. It doesn't at all mean that you can’t meet someone who is suffering from an infection, but when you do, see that you lessen the body contact with them. If they truly care about you they will understand your situation and reasons.
Use your common sense, if someone wants to see you who is really ill, just tell them you'll visit when they feel better, or bring a face mask with you to avoid breathing in anything harmful that could cause you to get sick as well. Some of the most contagious infections you can catch include:
- Fifths disease
- Chicken pox
These infections can have devastating effects on your unborn child and can cause you to become seriously ill as well.
8 Avoid Unprotected Sex
Sexually transmitted diseases are widely spread when those who engage in sexual activity don't practice safe sex with the use of a condom. A condom that is properly worn is the only way to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and Herpes. Thus you should take care when having sex with multiple partners. Avoid having unprotected sex. If in case you have unsafe sex, get yourself tested for STDs as soon as possible so it can be treated at its earliest.
One way to be sure that you don't have to worry about your partner is to have them tested for STDs. This is important especially in cases where the spouse has been unfaithful, or neither of you have ever been tested, but have had multiple partners. And especially in cases where you or your partner have had unprotected sex before the relationship and ensuing pregnancy.
If your partner refuses to get tested, and you suspect that they have a health issue related to an STD, insist that your partner use a condom or refrain from any sexual activity with them until they get tested. Your safety and that of your baby is top priority!
7 Precautions When Cooking Meat
Raw meat and chicken can develop bacteria very quickly, and if that gets into your body, then you can expect to be pretty sick. So when cooking meat or chicken, wash it thoroughly. Don’t put thawed meat back in the freezer because that will only give rise to the growth of more bacteria. Also place raw meats on clean surfaces only, otherwise your meat can pick up germs already present on the surfaces that need cleaning, this is called cross contamination.
When cooking meat or chicken, cook it well until no part of it is raw. If you notice blood drops coming out of the chicken, then cook it further. Under cooked chicken will have a pink look, the meat will turn white when it's cooked thoroughly. Once cooked, keep them away from other raw meats because bacteria can transfer from raw to cooked meat very quickly.
When dealing with ground beef or sausages it's also vitally important to ensure that those meats are cooked thoroughly, because they meat used in the process has come from different parts of the animal and different types of bacteria can get mixed together, which can cause you to become quite ill if you don't cook it well enough. Food poisoning is dangerous to your fetus because they can cause birth defects and miscarriage.
6 Taking Care of Personal Hygiene
The primary step to prevent any kind of infection is to take care of your personal hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly once you are done working with dirt or anything that may have had contact with bacteria or viruses. Take regular baths and avoid using public restrooms. If you're sharing the toilet with other family members, then see that you wash the toilet seat before using it, and always wash your hands before eating anything.
Never share your makeup or food and drink with other people, even your spouse or other children while you're pregnant. Some infections are most contagious before the symptoms and signs show up, so to be safe, take extra precautions for the duration of your pregnancy.
You can also prevent your family from contracting illnesses by helping them to use the same rules that you are for yourself. This way everyone is on the same page and staying healthier with you.
5 Keep Your Distance From Animals
Animals are cute and we enjoy petting them once in a while whenever we come across them. But we also know that animals, even if they are pets, have a knack for getting into places which are dirty. This makes them a very strong transmitter of viruses and bacteria. This is why it's best that you keep your distance from animals. It's ideal that you don’t keep any pets around when you become pregnant.
Even if you do own pets, hire someone who can give them a bath every day and organize a specific place for them in the house where they spend their time. Don’t let them wander outside without someone watching them. In addition to that, stay away from animal cages and ask your significant other to clean up after them so you can lessen your chance of catching anything from your pet's waste.
If you're visiting someone with pets, you can ask them to put their pet away while you visit, or limit your contact with bacteria by not touching the animal near their mouth and back end. And don't play with the animal with their toys since their toys will have bacteria from their mouths on it as well.
4 Use Gloves When Cleaning
Cleaning places like the toilet and your kitchen can leave you vulnerable to contracting various infections including toxoplasmosis (the bacteria which cause this can be found in meats as well). So it will be essential to use gloves when cleaning your home. Moreover, when doing work like gardening, use gloves because even the soil consists of bacteria.
Wearing gloves can also stop you from touching cleaning agents that may contain chemicals that can be harmful to you and your fetus, so buy a pair of rubber gloves and be sure to use them when you clean areas that are known to contain a high amount of germs. According to WebMD, there are 6 places in your house which are breeding grounds for bacteria to grow. This includes your:
- Kitchen sink
- Salt and pepper shaker
- TV remote
- Computer keyboard
While some bacteria are good for you, avoid the ones that can do you and your baby serious harm by wearing gloves when you clean these areas of your house.
3 Regular Prenatal Check Up
Another way to prevent prenatal infection is to visit the doctor regularly when you're pregnant. Doctors and nurses who have specialized in prenatal care will not only help to prevent infection, but will also treat infection if caught in a timely manner. This will minimize the risk that an infection could cause to your baby. Hence it's important that you never delay your appointments with the doctor.
Regular prenatal check ups also mean that the development of your baby will be monitored regularly through genetic testing and ultrasound devices. Doctors will also advice you about preventative health measures like, vaccines. Your doctor might recommend some vaccinations in order to prevent any kind of prenatal infection.
In case you develop any infection during the course of your pregnancy, the doctor will immediately take action to treat the infection and will also provide you with accurate information about it.
2 Take Extra Care When Travelling
Travelling means spending more time in places which have been used multiple times by strangers, and this leaves you more likely to come across an infectious bacteria or virus. Hence you must take extra care of yourself and your personal hygiene when travelling. Try to bring your own bed sheet, towels, blankets and pillow covers because you can never be sure that all hotels wash these items thoroughly.
Limit your use of public toilets, and if you really have to use one, then clean the seat before using it. Keep sanitizer with you and use it often. Furthermore, avoid travelling to a lot of places during one trip. Limit yourself to two or three cities because the more new places you visit, the more you are prone to catching an infection. Before visiting a place, do some research about the areas you plan to visit to find out if there is any ongoing epidemic there.
It's true that infections have widely spread in current times, but with precaution you will be able to avoid contact with harmful infections and keep yourself and your baby safe. Proper prenatal care will also keep your baby from all sorts of infection and diseases.
1 Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites
To keep yourself safe from mosquito bites, you must wear insect repellent when you are travelling to a place where you are most likely to get a mosquito bite. Insect repellents are generally safe to use and will not cause any damage to your fetus. It's best used when you spray only on the exposed skin you have and sprayed on your clothes or as directed on the label itself. Although you should never put insect repellent on cuts, sores or irritated skin.
Avoid getting mosquito spray in your eyes and mouth if you can. Insect repellents are the best way to keep oneself safe from mosquito bites. Keep yourself covered up with long sleeves and full pants if you're able to wear them comfortably without overheating. but if you're someplace too hot to wear pants, then be sure to limit your time spent outdoors exposed to mosquitos.
To avoid getting mosquitos indoors, keep the doors and windows shut. Especially during the times of day when the sun is rising or setting. You can stop yourself from becoming bitten at night when you sleep by placing a mosquito net over your bed. But never use citronella candles inside to deal with moquitos, this is dangerous and toxic to yourself and your fetus.