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Raising awareness of prenatal infections is important because it is very much prevalent than people might expect. Secondly, since infections such as Hepatitis, Listeria, HIV, etc can cause serious health problems for both the mother and the unborn child – problems that often are largely preventable and treatable. 

 What exactly is a Prenatal Infection?

 It is an infection that is triggered because of a bacteria or a virus that gets passed on from the mother to the baby during pregnancy or during the delivery process.

What are some of the common infections that may be causes? 

1) Rubella: German Measles marked by a unique rash in the body causes inadequate growth before birth, birth defects of the heart, and delayed development. Vaccination is a cure.

2) Chicken Pox:  Increases the risk of a miscarriage. It may damage the eyes of the fetus or cause defects of the limbs, blindness, or intellectual disability. The fetus’s head may be smaller than normal. Vaccination is available.

3) Syphilis: A sexually-transmitted disease that can be transferred to an infant during pregnancy or during the birthing process via sores or the placenta.

4) Urinary Tract Infection: A bacterial infection in the urethra or the bladder which is marked by a strong urge to urinate, cloudy-colored urine, pelvic pain, and a burning sensation during urinating. It can increase the risk of preterm labor and premature rupture of the membranes containing the fetus.

5) Hepatitis B Virus: An extremely dangerous one that is passed on to the child during birth.

If early testing and treatment are not given thedoctors must make sure to test before delivery, as the virus may be passed along during childbirth.

6) Group B Strep: A bacterial infection that is found in the gastrointestinal, vaginal, and/or rectal area, and if not treated, can be passed on to the infant.

7) Listeriosis: A bacterial infection, increases the risk of preterm labormiscarriage, and stillbirth. Newborns may have the infection, but symptoms may be delayed until several weeks after birth.

8) Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): This infection is transmitted to the fetus in about one fourth to one third of pregnancies if women who have the infection are not treated. Experts recommend that women with HIV infection take antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy. If women take a combination of antiretroviral drugs, the risk of transmitting HIV to the fetus can be reduced to as low as 1%.

 Will prevention help?

 Prenatal infection prevention is a critical component of the broader maternal and child health strategy to ensure that mothers and babies “survive and thrive.”. Preventing and reducing exposure to maternal infections is the best way to reduce the risk of fetal infections.

 Precautions that you can take up to help prevent infections.

Here are a few preventive measures that are suggested by our Obstetricians at Rao hospital that you can undertake to help protect yourself and your fetus or newborn from infections that can cause serious health problems. Making healthy choices and few extra precautions can improve the chances to ensure your baby is born healthy.

  • Vaccinating before pregnancy to avoid infections such as rubella and chickenpox
  • Seeking prenatal care where some infections, such as UTI and syphilis, can be diagnosed and treated early. Prevention of Group B strep transfer to the fetus is done during labor through antibiotic administration to the mother.
  • Avoid people who are sick or have an infection.
  • Avoid intake of under-cooked, cured or raw meats, poultry and eggs
  • Drinking only boiled and filtered water
  • Not consuming unpasteurized cheese and milk products
  • Avoid refrigerated or smoked seafood unless it is cooked completely
  • Washing hands carefully and diligently
  • Do not eat raw or lightly cooked sprouts of any kind
  • Washing and peeling vegetables and fruits.
  • Stay away from wild or pet rodents, lizards and turtles, and their droppings.
  • Only take vitamins in the doses recommended by your doctor.

Rao Hospital with its most advanced treatments and complete women care has been named one of the best hospitals in this region for Birthing, Fertility and Gynecological services. Furthermore, our team of certified doctors & nurses are guaranteed to provide you with the best in clinical care during your pregnancy planning, birthing, and beyond. Since 1985, the hospital has assisted more than 35,000 childless couples to have children by laying greater focus on Infertility and Laparoscopy. Rao Hospital is also a pioneer in the field of Laparoscopic and Hysteroscopic surgeries. We ensure safe and ethical practice, and assure you with best results. If you are suffering from any symptoms of infections, or want to discuss maternal immunizations, schedule an appointment with our obstetrician today! (http://raohospital.com/)

 

 

 

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