Infections in Pregnancy
We are susceptible to infections throughout life, and the time you are pregnant is no exception. In fact, this is a time you have to be extra-careful, as you may not be able to take certain medications and treatments you could otherwise benefit from. Below is a list of infections you should especially beware of during pregnancy, as they could cause complications affecting both you and your baby.
Chickenpox in pregnancy
Chickenpox during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and baby resulting in serious complications. Many women are immune to chickenpox after having contracted it during childhood. However if you’ve never had the disease and you come into contact with a child or adult who has had it, speak to your doctor or midwife immediately. They will be able to check if you are affected through a blood test, and offer you early advice.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a strain of a common herpes virus. This virus can also cause cold sores and chickenpox. Infection with CMV during pregnancy could adversely affect your baby, especially if you haven’t’ come in contact with CMV before, resulting in loss of vision, hearing, learning difficulties and epilepsy. While it is difficult to prevent CMV, you can take the following steps to minimize your risk of exposure to it:
- CMV is most common in young children- avoid kissing young children on the face to minimize transmission of the infection
- Wash your hands regularly using soap- especially if you work around children
- During pregnancy, take especial care not to share food or eating/drinking utensils with anyone- even with your own children. Infection unknowingly transmitted to you this way could harm your unborn baby.
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