Posts Tagged ‘infection during pregnancy’

“Spread Prevention, Not the Infection” during Pregnancy: CMV

Friday, January 26th, 2018

This year the theme of  National Birth Defects Prevention Month is Prevent to Protect. This week we will be posting a series of guest posts from MotherToBaby’s Kirstie Perrotta, MPH, Lorrie Harris-Sagaribay, MPH, Robert Felix and Susan Sherman of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS) Zika Task Force. Each day they will respond to one of the top five questions they receive about preventable infectious diseases and what you can do to prevent exposure during pregnancy.

“It’s 2018! I didn’t even know you could get syphilis nowadays!” Yes, I mentioned the stats about syphilis and other infections that can affect pregnancy to the caller who had contacted me through our free MotherToBaby helpline. I thought, this is a great time to educate her as well as others about a variety of infections. Some infections, like Zika, seem to make headlines every week, while others tend to be discussed much less frequently. January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and this year’s focus is on infection prevention.

I’m pregnant, and my 3-year-old came home from daycare with symptoms of CMV.  Should I be worried? What can I do to prevent getting CMV from her?

CMV is a common virus that spreads through urine, saliva and other body fluids. In pregnancy, CMV can pass from mom to the developing baby (called congenital CMV infection). This could happen if you already had CMV before you got pregnant or if you got a new strain of CMV from your daughter, but it might be more likely to happen if you get a first-time CMV infection from your daughter while you’re pregnant.

Reassuringly, most babies born with congenital CMV infection don’t get sick or have health problems. But about 1 out of every 5 babies with congenital CMV infection has health problems at birth or complications that develop later in childhood. These include developmental disability, vision problems, and hearing loss, even in babies with no signs of congenital CMV infection at birth.

So, how can you prevent getting CMV from your daughter?  There is no surefire way to guarantee that you won’t get it, but the best prevention is the easiest one: wash your hands often. Especially after any contact with your daughter’s urine or saliva. Kissing her on the cheek or the top of the head instead of the mouth or the hands is another way to prevent contact with her saliva. And if you are still concerned, talk to your health care provider about blood tests to detect a current or past CMV infection. For more information, check out our Baby Blog about this topic.

If you have more questions about infections during pregnancy, contact a MotherToBaby expert by phone, email, text message or chat. During National Birth Defects Prevention Month and every day, moms-to-be have the opportunity to #prevent2protect, ensuring the healthiest start to life for their new additions!

Other posts in the series:

“Spread Prevention, Not the Infection” during Pregnancy: Zika

“Spread Prevention, Not the Infection” during Pregnancy: Listeria

“Spread Prevention, Not the Infection” during Pregnancy: Toxoplasmosis

“Spread Prevention, Not the Infection” during Pregnancy: Syphilis

Have questions? Email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

About MotherToBaby 

MotherToBabyis a service of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), suggested resources by many agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you have questions about exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding, please call MotherToBaby toll-FREE at 866-626-6847 or try out MotherToBaby’s new text information service by texting questions to (855) 999-3525. You can also visit MotherToBaby.org to browse a library of fact sheets about dozens of viruses, medications, vaccines, alcohol, diseases, or other exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding or connect with all of our resources by downloading the new MotherToBaby free app, available on Android and iOS markets.

Tooth decay and pregnancy

Monday, February 4th, 2013

dental careIt’s may be an old wife’s tale that you can lose a tooth for every pregnancy, but the concept of dodging decay should prompt a trip to your dentist. Actually, it’s best to have your teeth cleaned and checked for any trouble spots before pregnancy, but not all of us have done that.

There is good reason to visit your dentist now. During pregnancy, your gums are more likely to become inflamed or infected. Most pregnant women have some bleeding of their gums, especially while brushing or flossing their teeth. Inflamed gums are called “gingivitis.” Infected gums are called “periodontal disease.” You may also notice that your mouth produces more saliva during pregnancy. Your gums and teeth may change during pregnancy because of hormonal changes. Increased blood flow throughout your body can cause swelling, sensitivity and tenderness in your gums

It’s important to keep you gums and teeth healthy during pregnancy.

Keep teeth and gums clean – If possible, brush after every meal for at least 5 minutes at a time. Floss daily. If possible, floss after every meal. If you’re vomiting (so sorry), be sure to clean your teeth afterward to get rid of extra stomach acids in your mouth. They’re hard on your tummy and hard on your teeth.

Be gentle with your teeth and gums – Use a soft-bristled brush and brush gently. If you have a lot of sensitivity, try using toothpaste designed for sensitive gums. If your gums hurt after brushing, apply ice to soothe the pain.

Cut down on sweets – Candy, cookies, cake, soft drinks and other sweets can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay. Instead, have fresh fruit or make other healthy choices to satisfy your sweet tooth. Watch out for some dried fruits, like raisins and figs that can stick in the crevasses of your teeth. They’re yummy but contain lots of natural sugar, so remember to brush!

Get regular dental care – If left unchecked, some conditions, like gingivitis, may lead to more serious gum disease. Be sure to have a dental checkup early in pregnancy to help your mouth remain healthy. You may even want to see your dentist more often than usual. 

Don’t put off dental work until after delivery – Decaying teeth can cause infection that could harm your baby. If you think you need a dental filling, don’t panic and go get it checked out. Always be sure to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant and how far along you are.

Call your dentist right away if you notice:
 – Your gums bleed a lot
 – Your gums are painful
 – You have bad breath that doesn’t go away
 – You lose a tooth
 – You have a lump or growth in your mouth
 – You have pain in a tooth

Toxoplasmosis

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite. It’s one of the most common infections in the world and may be dangerous to a developing baby. Fortunately, a pregnant woman can follow some simple precautions that can reduce her chances of becoming infected.

More than 60 million people in the United States may be infected. Most people, however, have no symptoms, so they may not know they’re infected. A small number of infected individuals develop symptoms that resemble the flu or infectious mononucleosis, including swollen glands, fatigue, muscle aches, malaise and fever. These symptoms may last for a month or longer.

About one out of three pregnant women who develop toxoplasmosis pass the infection on to their babies, sometimes resulting in vision and learning problems, serious newborn complications and, occasionally, death. Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy also can cause preterm delivery  or stillbirth.

A woman can get toxoplasmosis by eating raw or undercooked meat or by contact with cat feces. Because more than half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, all women who could become pregnant should follow precautions.

Pregnant women can reduce their risk of toxoplasmosis by avoiding possible sources of the infection, such as eating raw or undercooked meats or cleaning up cat feces. (A pregnant woman should ask someone else to change the cat’s litter box.) Read more of the steps that you can take to prevent toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, how an infection is diagnosed and treated, and how infected newborns are treated at this link.

Chorioamnionitis

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Chorioamnionitis is a bacterial infection of the amniotic fluid and membranes that surround a developing baby. This can cause potentially dangerous infection in both the mother and baby. It is important for a pregnant woman to receive treatment for this infection because it is thought to be a major cause of preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) and premature birth.

Symptoms of chorioamnionitis include a high fever, uterine pain, rapid heart rate in mother and/or baby, nasty smelling vaginal discharge or leaking amniotic fluid, and increased white blood cell count.  Since there is no simple test to confirm chorioamnionitis, it is important that a pregnant woman report any of these symptoms to her health care provider right away. Diagnosis of this infection may require amniocentesis.    If chorioamnionitis is diagnosed, antibiotics will be given to the mother, delivery may be scheduled immediately and then antibiotics will be given to both mom and baby after delivery.

Chorioamnionitis occurs in roughly 1 to 2 percent of all pregnancies.  Women who have had it in a previous pregnancy are at increased risk of having it again in a future pregnancy.