Congenital and prenatal infections lead to morbidity and mortality. There are known numerous pathogens that can be really harmful for unborn child. Most of these include sexually transmitted diseases. Let's find out what are the preventive measures to combat the prenatal infections.
First of all there are hygienic measures that are to be considered to avoid being infected. Immunization before pregnancy can also help to prevent varicella, hepatitis B and rubella. If that’s possible, there can be performed an intervention to defend unborn baby from a maternal infection. Being pregnant, the mother can go through various screening programs that allow identifying infections that cannot be recognized otherwise because of untypical or subclinical symptoms.
In some cases congenital syphilis can be prevented by antibiotic treatment during the first months of pregnancy, hepatitis B by vaccination, transmission of HIV by antiviral treatment.
Speaking about general prevention measures, it is worthy to note the usage of contraceptives (condoms), which can prevent transmission of some infections that are sexually transmitted. A woman should also remember that sexual intercourse with infected partners and intravenous drug use increases the risks of getting infected. Pregnant women can pass special tests for many of viral and bacterial infections, but there can hardly be an effective treatment for protection of the infant.
Sometimes, the way of childbirth can affect the possibility of passing an infection from mother to baby. For example, a research has shown that if mother delivers her child through caesarian section and not by traditional vaginal delivery, the risk of transmission of HIV from mother to child significantly decreases.
Nutritional aspect also plays a significant role when it comes to prevention of prenatal infections. That means, the nutritional status of the woman impacts her ability to avoid infections, especially in situation when malnutrition takes place.
Medical specialists recommend a well-balanced diet, which is rich in calcium, folic acid, vitamins B and vitamin D. Pregnant mothers need to consume 300 extra calories per day to positively affect fetus's growth and development.
Safe vaccines can also be considered. For example the vaccine against rubella can be very effective in preventing infection in mother’s body.
Take care of yourself. Proper prenatal care often allows early diagnosis and as a result timely treatment of infections, which will improve the newborn's prognosis.