How To Prevent Infections During Pregnancy
The following tips can help prevent infections that can harm your baby during pregnancy. Sometimes infection symptoms are not present but if you feel that something is wrong, a visit to your doctor will elucidate the cause.
1. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially when you use the toilet, touch raw meat, eggs, raw or unwashed vegetables, prepare or eat, you worked in the garden or touched the ground, you play with animals, you have been around sick people, you played with children, changed diapers. If you do not have access to soap and water, you can use an alcohol based hand gel.
2. Try not to borrow cutlery, cups or food from children and wash your hands more often when you are around them. Saliva can contain viruses that are harmless to them, but can be very dangerous for you and your baby.
3. Do not eat hot dogs or other meat-based foods that were not cooked properly. Insufficiently cooked meat may contain harmful bacteria(Listeria).
4. Avoid unpasteurized milk or foods that can contain unpasteurized milk. Do not eat feta cheese or other cheese if you notice no proper labels that specify how the cheese was prepared.
5. Do not come into contact with cat feces, but if you have to, wear gloves and wash your hands after. Cat feces may contain an extremely dangerous parasite (Toxoplasma gondii)
6. Stay away from rodents and their droppings. If you have hamsters or guinea pigs, let someone else take care of them until you give birth.
7. Test yourself for STDs, like HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and seek information to protect yourself from them. Infected people, in most cases do not experience any symptoms. If you are infected, consult your doctor, and ask him how you can reduce the risk of transmission to your baby.
8. Talk to your doctor about vaccinations need during pregnancy. Some of them are recommended before you become pregnant, during pregnancy and others after giving birth. Vaccination during pregnancy is recommended when the benefits outweigh the potential risks, ie the probability of exposure to the disease is higher, the infection may create risks for mother and fetus, and vaccination does not affect fetal development. If you are planning a pregnancy or you are already pregnant, your needed vaccinations are determined by factors such as age, lifestyle, risk conditions, previous vaccinations.
9. Ask your doctor about group B streptococcus. One in four women carriers the bacteria.
Before getting pregnant, you should be up to date with vaccinations from your national immunization schedule. Generally, live attenuated vaccines or supraatenuate antigens (BCG, oral polio, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, cytomegalovirus, rotavirus, Japanese encephalitis, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery), should not be administered before conception. Instead inactivated-killed antigen vaccines (injectable polio, pertussis, herpes, hepatitis A, dysentery, tularemia, anti-Hemophilus influenza type B, cytomegalovirus, meningococcal) can be administered anytime before or during pregnancy, if needed.
If you are rubella vaccinated you should avoid pregnancy for at least 4 weeks after vaccination.
Recommended Vaccines During Pregnancy
- Influenza vaccine (especially if you have medical conditions that increase the risk of complications) significantly reduce the risks of infection.
- Hepatitis B vaccination if you have an increased risk for hepatitis B infection during pregnancy (especially in Q3) has great results in preventing infection of the child, who would have increased chances of developing subsequent porting of HBV.
Recommended Vaccines After Pregnancy
If you have not been vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP), you should vaccinate immediately after birth. Also if you have not experienced childhood diseases such as measles, chickenpox, mumps or rubella, you should be vaccinated before leaving the hospital.
Breastfeeding is not affected by any vaccine.
Group B strep is a type of bacteria found in the vagina and rectum of many healthy women. If you are the bearer of such bacteria it does not mean that you have an infection. Group B strep can be passed from mother to child during birth. Group B strep is the causes of certain newborns infections, such as pneumonia, septicemia, meningitis. Unfortunately, many infants can die from these causes or may experience long-term complications.
Before going into labor, it is recommended to ask your doctor about group B strep test during week 35-37 and inform your doctor about possible allergies to penicillin or other antibiotics.