February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month. No one ever wants to acquire any kind of infection, but pregnant women especially want to avoid infection in order to protect themselves and their babies.
One of the more common infections in pregnancy is Group B Strep. Up to 25% of pregnant women may have it. Pregnant women are tested for it during their routine prenatal care between 35 and 37 weeks gestation. In pregnancies with a positive result, antibiotics are given during labor to prevent spread of the infection. It is important for everyone to be tested for Group B Strep during each pregnancy.
Many people have heard that pregnant women should avoid certain soft cheeses, some deli meats, and other foods. This is due to the risk of listeriosis, another infection that can occur in pregnancy. Foods that are contaminated by the bacteria listeria can cause listeriosis. These foods may include those mentioned above as well as hot dogs, sprouts (bean sprouts, for example), and unrefrigerated melon. For more information on listeriosis prevention and high risk foods, check the CDC website.
Most recently, Zika Virus has been a concern for pregnant women due to its potentially causing many problems during pregnancy and for babies. The best ways to protect oneself from Zika is to avoid areas where it is common (many Central and South American and Caribbean countries), to avoid exposure to mosquitoes, and to practice safe sex with any partner who could have been exposed to Zika.
For more information on Prenatal Infections, click here!