Maternal infections are one of the causes of birth defects. Because of this serious health
concern, February has been designated as International Prenatal Infection
Prevention Month. If you’re pregnant or planning to be, consider
speaking with a women’s services provider at Lawnwood Regional Medical
Center about ways of reducing your risk of infections.
Foodborne illnesses are a serious concern during pregnancy, but there
are effective ways to minimize the risk to you and your baby. It’s
essential to avoid eating raw foods like sashimi and undercooked meats,
eggs and similar products. Make sure you only eat cheese and other dairy
products that have been pasteurized. Fruit and vegetable juices should
also be pasteurized. Raw vegetables are generally healthy if thoroughly
cleaned, but it’s best to avoid raw vegetable sprouts during pregnancy
because these products have a higher risk of transmitting infections.
Keep cooked and raw foods separated, and scrub all kitchen surfaces well
to prevent cross-contamination. All perishable food items should be refrigerated promptly.
CMV is a common virus. Once a person contracts CMV, the virus remains
in the body for life. Usually, it does not cause problems, although it
may come back. Although most babies with CMV do not develop problems,
the virus can occasionally result in intellectual disabilities, hearing
impairment, or vision loss. To
minimize the risk of CMV during pregnancy, women are advised to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, especially
after changing diapers.
Zika virus is a major concern for families in Florida. The infection rarely
causes serious problems in adults who contract it, but if a pregnant woman
contracts Zika, birth defects can result. Zika is a known cause of severe
brain defects, including microcephaly. It’s also been linked to
stillbirth, miscarriage and other defects. To reduce the risk of Zika
virus, pregnant women and their partners can protect themselves from mosquito
bites by using insect repellent, wearing clothing that covers much of
the skin, and using air conditioning instead of opening the windows. A
barrier method of protection during sexual intercourse is also recommended.
For high-quality and compassionate maternity services in Treasure Coast,
you can count on Lawnwood Regional Medical Center. Our
women’s services team is dedicated to healthcare excellence in prenatal, labor and delivery,
and post-partum care. For general information about our maternity care,
call our Consult-A-Nurse line at 1.800.382.3522.