Health complications during pregnancy can be scary and complicated, not to mention fatal. Fortunately, there are a number of well-understood pregnancy-related health risks that can be eliminated through education and careful prevention measures. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer the following infection prevention tips to ensure prenatal health, in observance of National Prenatal Infection Prevention Month:
- Using the bathroom
- Touching raw meat, raw eggs or unwashed vegetables
- Preparing food and eating
- Gardening or touching dirt or soil
- Handling pets
- Being around people who are sick
- Getting saliva (spit) on your hands
- Caring for and playing with children
- Changing diapers
If soap and running water are not available, you may use alcohol-based hand gel.
Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, brie, and queso fresco unless they have labels that say they are pasteurized. Unpasteurized products can contain harmful bacteria.
Have someone else do it. If you must change the litter yourself, be sure to wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards. Dirty cat litter might contain a harmful parasite.
Have a pest control professional get rid of pests in or around your home. If you have a pet rodent, like a hamster or guinea pig, have someone else care for it until after your baby arrives. Some rodents might carry a harmful virus.
Stay away from people who you know have infections, such as chickenpox or rubella, if you have not yet had it yourself or did not have the vaccine before pregnancy.
About 1 in 4 women carry this type of bacteria, but do not feel sick. An easy swab test near the end of pregnancy will show if you have this type of bacteria. If you do have group B strep, talk to your doctor about how to protect your baby during labor.”
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