Prenatal infections are bacterial or viral infections that can transfer from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery.
Throughout pregnancy, taking care of oneself is essential for providing your baby with the greatest possible start in life. Prenatal infections or maternal infections can raise the chances of premature birth and major health issues in the newborn. They can also harm your health, so it’s critical to take precautions to avoid them.
February is the official Prenatal Infection Awareness Month. And we’ve created this blog intending to educate you on what it is and how you can prevent it.
Types Of Prenatal Infections
Following are some of the most common types of prenatal infections:
- Zika Virus – It is a virus that spreads through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Zika can also travel sexually between humans and straight from mother to fetus. Most people do not show any signs or symptoms, but those who do may have a fever, rash, conjunctivitis, or joint pain. Zika associates with fetal problems like Microcephaly, brain damage, miscarriage, stillbirth, etc., during pregnancy.
- Group B Streptococcus (GBS) – GBS is a bacterium that resides in our body and usually does not cause any harm. However, if a mother carries it in her vagina, the baby may get infected during vaginal birth. When a newborn becomes sick, the infection might get fatal. Infected newborns can have the symptoms and complications like fever, exhaustion, difficulty in breathing, blue-tinged skin, Pneumonia, Sepsis, Meningitis (a blood infection), etc.
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – It is a type of herpes virus that is particularly frequent in kids. Once a person gets it, the virus remains typically latent for the rest of their life. Bodily fluids convey it, and it can infect unborn offspring either from a dormant virus reactivating in the mother or from a new infection received during the pregnancy. During the first half of the pregnancy, the risk is more. It can lead to permanent intellectual disabilities, delays in development, loss of hearing or vision and cerebral palsy, which is a condition that affects the brain.
More Prenatal Infections
- Listeriosis – It is an infection caused by the listeria bacterium, which we find in the soil, water, and animals like cows. When humans eat the bacteria through contaminated food, the bacteria feed on human cells, causing listeriosis. It’s especially dangerous for infants and the elderly. Pregnant women become more vulnerable as the pregnancy continues. Listeriosis can lead to the baby’s premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, and other life-threatening illnesses.
- Escherichia coli (E. coli) – E. coli is a bacterium found in your vaginal and gastrointestinal tract. It is usually harmless, but it can cause sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in infants if transferred from the mother’s vaginal tract to the baby after birth. Infection with E. coli in a pregnant woman can negatively impact the pregnancy. It increases the risk of numerous complications, namely diarrhea causing a loss of bodily fluids, resulting in dehydration. A pregnant woman may begin to bleed profusely in rare situations—others include premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight, etc.
Other Common Prenatal Infections
There are a variety of different illnesses that can occur during pregnancy, although they are not necessarily serious.
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diverse, and some are more serious than others. So you should get yourself tested if you suspect you’ve contracted one.
- Yeast infections are unpleasant, but they will not harm your child.
- It’s also common to get a urinary tract infection (UTI) during pregnancy, especially if you get them frequently. But your baby will be safe as long as you treat it well.
Your gynecologist/doctor will help you stay healthy during your pregnancy. While you can take steps to avoid getting sick, we recommend that you don’t miss out on your regular checkups. Here are some more tips to keep in mind before and after pregnancy. Although it can be a difficult time, managing your stress levels too will help you enjoy your pregnancy the most. You can identify certain perinatal mood and anxiety disorders here. It will also assist you in giving birth to a joyful and healthy baby.