Authored by Revere Health

How to Protect Your Unborn Baby from Infection

April 5, 2016 | OB/GYNWomen and Children's Center

Pregnant Woman

During pregnancy, you are the sole lifeline to your baby. You provide it with nutrition and comfort as it grows and develops. You begin your role as a mother the moment of conception, when your body becomes responsible for carrying the baby. It’s critical that you make health and wellness a top priority while you’re pregnant and that you take the necessary steps to avoid infection, as it can pose a risk to your unborn baby’s health.


Preventing Infection During Pregnancy

One of the best ways to prevent infection and protect your unborn baby is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is especially important to wash your hands after using the bathroom, preparing food, gardening, or tending to young children.

It’s critical that you make health and wellness a top priority while you’re pregnant and that you take the necessary steps to avoid infection.

Avoid eating unpasteurized products, as they can contain a harmful bacteria called listeria. Unpasteurized products include soft cheeses, apple cider and some juices.

Make sure your vaccines are up-to-date. Your OB/GYN may recommend vaccinations that are particularly beneficial during pregnancy, as they can provide your unborn baby with protection after birth.

Take a prenatal vitamin, and read the ingredients in order to make sure it has all of the vitamins and nutrients that you need. Echinacea is one supplement that can help lessen the severity of viruses and infections. Revere Health also recommends taking a probiotic in order to promote the production of good bacteria in the body.

Avoid interacting with people who have an infection. It’s important to understand that some infections that are mild and seemingly harmless to adults can pose serious risks and complications for an unborn child. If you know someone who is battling an infection, such as chicken pox or rubella, avoid them until they are well again.

The Zika Virus and Its Impact on Pregnancy

The Zika Virus epidemic is of concern to pregnant women across the globe. This virus, which is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, has been linked to an increase in birth defects in South America and across the world. According to Everyday Health, the World Health Organization has declared this virus an “international public health emergency” because of the increase in birth defects as a result of the virus.

Pregnant women who contracted the virus were far more likely to have babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect with results in a micro-sized head and brain. It can be fatal, and often limits the lifespan of the child.

The World Health Organization has declared this virus an “international public health emergency”.

Zika Virus is spread by mosquitoes, but there is one case of Zika in Dallas, Texas that was confirmed to have been transmitted sexually.

Zika Virus generally has mild, flu-like symptoms for healthy adults who are not immuno-compromised.

The best way to prevent infection from the Zika Virus is to avoid Zika hot zones, such as Brazil and other countries in Latin America. Insect repellant is recommended for pregnant women who will be going outside in warm, humid climates where mosquitoes thrive.

Group B Strep and Treatment Options

Group B Strep is an infection that is relatively harmless to adults, but it can be very detrimental to a newborn baby who travels through the birth canal. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women carry the Group B Strep bacteria. Women should be tested for this bacteria during weeks 35-37 of gestation. If they test positive, they can receive an antibiotic in order to treat the infection and protect the health of the newborn baby.

By working with a qualified group of health care providers, you will be decreasing the risks associated with infection significantly. Your OB/GYN will work with you in order to monitor your health and will provide you with treatment as soon as possible if you do contract an infection. For more information on preventing infection during pregnancy, contact Revere Health today!


The obstetricians/gynecologists, nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives at Revere Health OB/GYN provide a full range of healthcare services to women throughout all stages of their lives, including puberty, child-bearing years, menopause and beyond.




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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.