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5 Common Prenatal Infections And How To Avoid Them

When the time comes that you receive the good news of pregnancy, you’ll do everything to take care of your health for your future baby’s sake, as all the mums before you have done. However, pregnancy also makes women more susceptible to complications and possible infections.

Check out these common prenatal infections and some tips to avoid them so that you’re sure of your baby’s healthy delivery.

#1 Bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection in the vagina and is common among women. However, it poses more danger for pregnant women because it may cause preterm birth and premature weight. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include burning and itching of the vagina, a fishy odour, and grey discharge.

To lower your chances of getting this infection, keeping your vaginal bacteria balanced is the key. You can do this by using only warm water when cleaning it. Avoid douching and using soap as it may irritate your genitals as well. 

#2 Group B Streptococcus (GBS)

Although pregnant women who have GBS do not usually exhibit symptoms, passing it on to their child is possible. That’s why pregnant women should be subject to GBS testing to check their risk factors. GBS is a type of bacteria that naturally lives in a human’s body, commonly found in vagina and the rectum, and so women who have it are not necessarily sick. However, women with increased risk should be given antibiotics. Dangers for the baby include preterm labour, sickness, or even miscarriage.

#3 Urinary tract infection (UTI)

A lot of expectant mums are diagnosed with UTI and it’s not a reason to panic. UTI happens when bacteria multiplies in your bladder, kidney, or urethra. Symptoms include pain when urinating, as well as foul and cloudy urine sometimes with the presence of blood. Untreated UTI has a possibility of causing more harmful complications such as preterm labour.

To avoid UTI during pregnancy, urinate regularly and avoid vigorous sex because sexual intercourse is a common way for bacteria to get through your urethra.

#4 Listeriosis

Although listeriosis is a rare disease, it is more likely to be experienced by pregnant women. The effect may be mild in the mother but can potentially damage babies sometimes even leading to foetal death. Listeriosis is caused by a bacteria known as listeria, which can be found in contaminated food like dairy, raw meat, vegetables, or ready-to-eat food. If you have listeriosis, you might be experiencing headaches, flu-like symptoms, fever, and vomiting.

So how can you reduce your chances of getting this disease? Choose what you eat very carefully and cook them well, clean and handle food safely, separate raw and uncooked food from cooked ones, and make sure to cook food using proper temperatures.

#5 Influenza

Popularly known as the flu, this very common infection is more than just having fever and runny nose. Although there’s no hard evidence yet on what effects flu has on the baby, having it while pregnant can potentially lead to more serious complications like pneumonia.

The best way to avoid having a flu is to get a flu vaccine. Simple habits also go a long way such as covering your mouth when coughing, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, cleaning your hands, and taking the necessary vitamins prescribed by your doctor to help strengthen your immune system while pregnant.

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