Reducing Your Risk of Infection in Pregnancy

There are a few steps you can take to lower your risk of getting an infection. They are:

Practice Good Hygiene

Good hygiene means washing your hands often. Hand washing is the best way to avoid some infections. This also means not sharing food, drinks, or utensils. This is important if you work with large groups of children and if you have young children at home. Hands should always be washed after changing diapers and helping children with their own hygiene.

Immunization

It is best to get any needed shots before you get pregnant. If needed, you can safely get some shots, such as the flu vaccine, during pregnancy.

If you are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether you need shots for:

There are some infections that have no vaccine. You can lower your risk of getting these by practicing good hygiene and staying away from infected people. Talk to your doctor about screening for other infections that can harm you and your baby.

Avoid Diseases    TOP

  • Do not travel to high-risk places. If you are planning to travel, talk with your doctor about the safety of the location.
  • Make sure children and other family household members are up-to-date with their shots.
  • Have someone else change the cat’s litter box. Or, wear gloves and wash hands after doing this. Also, wear gloves while gardening, and wash hands after working in the yard.
  • Have a relationship with one person who has been tested for STIs and is not infected. If you have a new partner during pregnancy, use latex condoms during sex.

Avoid Contaminated Food    TOP

  • Do not eat soft cheeses.
  • Do not eat rare or uncooked meat.
  • Cook leftover food or ready-to-eat foods until they are steaming hot.
  • Do not eat foods from delis. Heat cold cuts and hot dogs before eating.
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References

Colds and flu: Respiratory infections during pregnancy. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
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Updated February 9, 2018. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Good health before pregnancy: Preconception care. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
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Updated April 2017. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Group B Strep (GBS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at:
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Updated May 29, 2018. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus in pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
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Updated November 2013. Accessed August 13, 2018.
HIV and pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
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Updated July 2017. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Nutrition during pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated February 2018. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Toxoplasmosis. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated May 1, 2014. Accessed August 13, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 8/13/2018

 

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