A woman’s health is crucial in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy. It is a known fact that pregnant women should avoid taking any medication without a doctor’s approval because it may be harmful for the unborn baby. Since therapeutic interventions are limited at this time, it is essential that a woman take steps in order to prevent infection.
A good way to prevent infection is through proper hand washing. Washing your hands with soap and clean running water, for approximately 20 seconds can prevent the spread of germs. A pregnant woman should then wash her hands after certain activities, which may allow contact with infecting microorganisms. Hand washing should be especially done after a woman uses the bathroom, changes a diaper, handles garbage, or after playing with a pet. It should also be done before and after preparing food, before eating, and after gardening or touching dirt and soil. It is also important to wash hands after playing with children to prevent the spread of microorganisms. Pregnant women should never take hand washing for granted because it can be one of the best ways to prevent infection. You may also use alcohol-based hand gels for disinfecting, when water and soap are not available.
When around young children, try to wash hands often. This should be observed because a major cause of cytomegalovirus infection is caused by contact with the saliva, or urine of infected young children. Cytomegalovirus is a common infection, and some infected individuals may have no symptoms. However, it can be dangerous for you and your unborn child. Try not to share cups, utensils, and foods with young children in order to prevent infection.
If you have a cat at home, try to let someone clean cat litter. If this is not possible, wear gloves when cleaning, and wash your hands after doing so. An infected cat’s litter may contain parasites, which can cause toxoplasmosis. If the baby is infected while inside the womb, health problems like blindness or mental retardation may occur later in life. There are also newborns that are born with serious eye or brain damage at birth due to the disease. There is also a need to have somebody take care of your pet rodent during this time. Some wild or pet rodents can be carriers of a harmful virus.
Staying away from people with an infection is also very important. In particular, infection with rubella or chickenpox during pregnancy can be harmful to the baby. If you are susceptible to chickenpox, and you think that you have been exposed with someone having it, contact your health care provider immediately. Talk to your doctor as well regarding vaccinations which are safe during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should also avoid food items that may cause an infection. Meat products should be thoroughly cooked, and the juices should run clear. A good indicator is the color of the meat. Pregnant women should never eat meat when it’s still pink. Women should also avoid eating luncheon meats, hotdogs and deli meats if these food items aren’t cooked. Milk and food items made from unpasteuerized milk, should also be avoided because these may contain harmful bacteria. Soft cheeses such as brie, feta, and queso fresco are all made with unpasteurized milk, thus they have to be avoided. You can safely consume cheeses that have labels, indicating that they are made from pasteurized milk.
It may also be a good time to get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), hepatitis B, and other infections that may be harmful to your baby. Some individuals who have STD’s, HIV or hepatitis B may be asymptomatic. If the tests come out positive, discuss with your doctor on the ways that can be done, to reduce the chance of your baby being infected.
There are indeed ways that can be done in order to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. It is always good to remember that not all infections can cause symptoms, and it is still best to prevent an infection before it can cause any detrimental effects in your health, as well as your unborn child.