Those who are pregnant, along with their unborn babies are vulnerable to preventative infections. Many of these infections may or may not affect the general population. However, these infections are especially harmful for pregnant women.
We asked Dr. Helliwell what steps you can take to prevent prenatal infections from spreading in your body and harming your baby.
It is so important for pregnant women to receive all the vaccinations they need for themselves and their expectant children. Healthcare organizations encourage pregnant women to receive their vaccines, including the flu shot, to stay safe. Being pregnant places you in a high-risk group for developing infections that are directly flu-related.
Dr. Helliwell recommends getting the flu shot to combat influenza and other complications.
The CDC also recommends that pregnant women receive the pertussis vaccine because the illness, while harmful for mothers, can be life-threatening for babies.
Always ask your primary care physician and OB-GYN about steps you can take to prevent illnesses while pregnant. Professionals are there to arm you with the necessary health tools and knowledge to keep you strong and healthy.
Weird food cravings during pregnancy go together like Oreo cookies and mustard… (and if that sounds like a good idea, you’re probably pregnant. Am I right?)
It’s not a good idea. To be clear.
Many pregnant women experience downright bizarre food cravings. And while we view these cravings as either a rite of passage or a humorous anecdote to share at brunch, you should always remain cautious about what you consume while your little one grows inside of you.
Undercooked or raw meats are not your friends during pregnancy due to the fact that parasites and bacteria often love those items. Stick to well-done meals instead as they do not contain any open blood.
Also, avoid Deli meat. Deli meat is a hotbed for possible Listeria contaminations, which can potentially seep into the placenta and cause prenatal infection. No bueno!
The road to parenthood is laced with moments where some of us think, “Have I lost my identity? Who am I? I should flee to a beach somewhere. Or maybe Target. Definitely Target.”
We certainly do not want to stifle your upcoming tropical paradise vacation in the Caribbean. After all, it’s important to recharge and relax when you’re a full-time parent.
However, when you’re pregnant and trying to travel abroad, always ask your doctor if traveling outside the United States is best for you. Some regions of the world carry and spread diseases that are dangerous for pregnant women. Sometimes, vaccination is required before visiting areas like Central America, Asia, and the Caribbean.
Part of your prenatal care is to get tested for STI’s such as HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and others. Your OB-GYN may conduct more testing if you are at risk for other infections.
It’s absolutely vital to stay honest about your health with your doctor so that they can treat and assist you properly.
Your doctor is NOT there to judge your situation. Doctors want to offer the best care for you and your child.
If you’re pregnant, you can avoid viral and bacterial infections by steering clear of others who are ill. If your coworkers, friends, or family members have a cold, flu, or a sinus infection, it’s best to stay away from them until they become healthy again.
You heard this one growing up all the time from mom. Before you become a mom yourself, it’s time to listen to the familiar barking order that really isn’t a barking order at all. How rude!
Wash. Your. Hands.
Your mom just gave you that smug look to let you know she’s always right!
Hand washing with warm water and soap is one of the easiest and best ways to prevent the spread of infections when you are carrying a baby. Really!
So, wash your hands as many times a day as you can, especially before meals, before and after you use the bathroom, and any other instance where you may be exposed to contaminants.