Featured Video: Pre-Natal Infection Prevention


Pre-Natal Infection Prevention: Congenital Syphillis · Group B Strep · Cytomegalovirus · Hepatitis B · Covid-19 · CDC.gov

Hepatitis B
Transmission: through blood and bodily fluids/sexual contact
Symptoms: fatigue; loss of appetite; nausea; muscle pain; joint pain; vomiting; jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes due to liver damage)
Complications: Nearly 90% of those with an acute infection will pass it to their baby during birth. Infection in babies can become chronic, severe and sometimes fatal.
Prevention: Vaccination is typically given directly after birth. Babies can be treated for hepatitis B following birth with immunoglobulins and the first dose of the vaccine, explains Stein. Historically, those who were non-immune could not be vaccinated during pregnancy, but new research is indicating it may now be safe and can help prevent these complications.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Transmission: through blood and bodily fluids/sexual contact
Symptoms: sore throat, fatigue, and jaundice
Complications: Congenital CMV can result in pre-term labor; low birth weight; enlarged liver; vision damage; hearing damage; seizures; developmental and motor delays; and microcephaly.
Prevention: Proper hygiene habits during pregnancy. “Little kids are a common source of the virus, and it can remain in their fluids for months,” says Stein. “So, if you have little ones, do not share cups or utensils with them while pregnant – or if you plan to become pregnant. You should also wear gloves if you’re changing their diapers and wash your hands thoroughly after.”

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Common STIs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, are screened for at the beginning of pregnancy and again at 36 weeks. If positive, treatments are prescribed (and recommended to your partner).
Complications: STIs can impact the baby during vaginal delivery. The most significant complication they used to cause was vision loss, adds Stein. “This is why the labor & delivery team applies eye ointment to babies after delivery – even if the mom is negative. It’s an extra precautionary measure.”
Prevention: If you have a history of herpes, you will likely go on suppression therapy around 36 weeks of pregnancy. Once in labor, you will be examined to make sure there’s no active breakout, continues Stein. If there is an active breakout, a cesarean birth is recommended.

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