It is important that you take the proper steps to prevent an infection during pregnancy that can help you and your unborn baby. If you think you may be at risk or have an infection, contact your doctor. Garden City Hospital physicians offer a variety of services to assist you during your pregnancy and help give you the proper care you need.
Prevent Infections in Pregnancy
These 10 tips can help you prevent infections that could harm
your unborn baby. You won't always know if you have an
infection—sometimes you won't even feel sick. If you think you
might have an infection or think you are at risk, see your doctor.
(One page, printable versions of these tips are available in English [PDF - 42KB] and Spanish [PDF - 38KB].)
your hands often with soap and water, especially when…
- Using the bathroom
- Touching raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables
- Preparing food and eating
- Gardening or touching dirt or soil
- Handling pets
- Being around people who are sick
- Getting saliva (spit) on your hands
- Caring for and playing with children
- Changing diapers
If soap and running water are not
available, you can use alcohol-based hand gel. Learn more about washing your hands.
- Try not to share forks, cups, and food with young
Wash your hands often when around children. Their saliva and urine
might contain a virus. It is likely harmless to them, but it can be
dangerous for you and your unborn baby.
Learn more about cytomegalovirus (CMV).
- Cook your meat until it’s well
The juices should run clear and there should be no pink
inside. Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless
they are reheated until steaming hot. These undercooked meats and
processed meats might contain harmful bacteria.
more about Listeria.
- Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and foods made from
Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, brie, and queso fresco unless
they have labels that say they are pasteurized. Unpasteurized
products can contain harmful bacteria. Learn
more about Listeria.
- Do not touch or change dirty cat
Have someone else do it. If you must change the litter
yourself, be sure to wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards.
Dirty cat litter might contain a harmful parasite. Learn more
- Stay away from wild or pet rodents and their
Have a pest control professional get rid of pests in or around your
home. If you have a pet rodent, like a hamster or guinea pig, have
someone else care for it until after your baby arrives. Some
rodents might carry a harmful virus. Learn more
about lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV).
- Get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),
such as HIV and hepatitis B, and protect yourself from
Some people that have HIV, hepatitis B, or an STD do not feel sick.
Knowing if you have one of these diseases is important. If you do,
talk to your doctor about how you can reduce the chance that your
baby will become sick. Learn more about
- Talk to your doctor about vaccinations
Some are recommended before you become pregnant, during pregnancy,
or right after delivery. Having the right vaccinations at the right
time can help keep you healthy and help keep your baby from getting
very sick or having life-long health problems.
Learn more about
- Avoid people who have an infection.
Stay away from people who you know have infections, such as
chickenpox or rubella, if you have not yet had it yourself or did
not have the vaccine before pregnancy.
more about chickenpox.
- Ask your doctor about group B strep.
About 1 in 4 women carry this type of bacteria, but do
not feel sick. An easy swab test near the end of pregnancy will
show if you have this type of bacteria. If you do have group B
strep, talk to your doctor about how to protect your baby during
more about group B streptococcus.
This is not a complete guide to a healthy pregnancy. Be
sure to talk with your doctor to learn more about safe food
preparation, wearing insect repellent when outside, taking
medicine, and other important topics.
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting
people from health threats to have a more secure nation. A US
federal agency, CDC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice
by putting science and prevention into action. CDC works to help
people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.