For a mom-to-be her every cough, every sniffle is going to make her think about her unborn baby’s well-being. And rightly so! In part 1of Medical Illnesses during Pregnancy, you read about illnesses and sexually transmitted diseases that can affect your fetus, in Part 2, we list infections thats are not sexually transmitted, but you can keep a watch out for these too...
German measles (Rubella) can cause problems, particularly cataracts, birth defects of the heart, hearing loss, and delayed development.
There's no known effective treatment for rubella or any way to prevent this infection after exposure. The doctor may give a shot of immune globulin as soon as possible after exposure in the hope of reducing the risk of defects in the baby. However, the shot won't prevent the baby from becoming infected.
Chicken pox increases the risk of a miscarriage. It may damage the eyes of the fetus or cause defects of the limbs, blindness, or intellectual disability. The fetus’s head may be smaller than normal.
An antiviral drug is given to the pregnant woman within 24 hours of the chickenpox rash appearing. This reduces fever and symptoms. It is only recommended when you are more than 20 weeks pregnant.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus that can infect an infant whose mother is infected with CMV during pregnancy. CMV infection can lead to hearing loss, vision loss, and other disabilities.
There is no treatment available for this virus yet. Maintaining good hygiene is the best way to stay away from CMV.
Group B strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria often found in the vagina and rectum of healthy women. GBS usually is not harmful to the pregnant woman, but can be deadly to the baby if passed during childbirth.
An antibiotic given to you during labor will protect your baby from infection.
Toxoplasmosis is a protozoal infection, may cause a miscarriage, death of the fetus, and serious birth defects.
Avoid handling cat litter box, wash hands with soap after touching soil or raw meat.
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection found in food, increases the risk of a premature birth, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Newborns may have the infection, but symptoms may not be delayed until several weeks after birth.
Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics.
Bacterial infection of the vagina may lead to preterm labor or premature rupture of the membranes containing the fetus.
Urinary Tract Infection increase the risk of preterm labor and premature rupture of the membranes containing the fetus. UTI’s can be treated with antibiotics.
Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG): Severe, persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. Many women with HG have to be hospitalized so they can be fed fluids and nutrients through the intravenous. Usually, women with HG begin to feel better by the 20th week of pregnancy. But some women vomit and feel nauseated throughout the three trimesters.
Dry, bland foods and fluids put together, is the first line of treatment. Sometimes, medicines are prescribed to help nausea.
Thromboembolic disease or blood clots in blood vessels is the leading cause of maternal death in pregnancies that survive the first 3 months. Most complications due to blood clots result from injuries that occur during delivery.
An anticoagulant, a drug that inhibits blood clotting is prescribed immediately if a blood clot is detected.
Seizures: during pregnancy can be controlled with the use of anticonvulsants. However they are at risk of high blood pressure, fetus growth is affected and can have stillbirths.
Asthma: should be properly monitored throughout pregnancy. Inadequate treatment may result in serious problems like preterm delivery, preeclampsia, cesarean birth, poor growth of the fetus.
Autoimmune diseases: such as Graves disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Antiphospholipid syndrome, lupus, Myasthenia gravis, Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) affect Pregnant women in different ways. The abnormal antibodies produced in autoimmune disorders can cross the placenta and cause problems in the fetus.
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