Pregnancy is a time when you need to be extremely careful of your health. There are several infections that you have to be wary of when you are pregnant.
The most common among infections, that you stand to get during pregnancy, is urinary tract infection (UTI). In most cases, the culprit is Escherichia Coli.
What Is E-Coli?
Escherichia Coli or E-coli is a bacterium that is naturally present in your gut and vagina, and is generally harmless.
The trouble arises when it travels to places where it should not be, like your stomach or kidneys. Also, there are different strains of E-coli bacterium and some of them can be dangerous. In such circumstances it may cause infections, which can be risky during pregnancy.
Sources Of E-Coli
While some form of E-coli is already present in your body, there are other sources which can pass on the bacteria to your system:
- Raw fruits and vegetables, especially when they are not washed properly.
- Improperly cooked or unclean meat in any form.
- Animal and human feces.
- Water from swimming pools which has not been treated with chlorine or is infected.
- Contaminated and non-purified tap water, especially if it comes in contact with sewage or agricultural water.
- Unpasteurized milk. An infected animal can pass on the bacteria to the milk.
- Unpasteurized fruit juices.
E-coli can also spread by touch. If a person has the bacteria on their hands and touches you, it can be transferred to you.
[ Read: Infection During Pregnancy ]
Symptoms Of E Coli Infection During Pregnancy
In case you get infected with another strain, you should watch out for the following symptoms:
- Diarrhea, sometimes accompanied by bleeding.
- Stomach cramps and pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Pain or burning sensation upon urination.
- Infection in the kidney, which can deteriorate and lead to kidney failure.
In most cases, it is difficult to realize that the infection is present, as the symptoms can be confused with something else. This makes it all the more tough to control the infection at the early stage.
[ Read: Pregnancy And Bladder Infections ]
E Coli Infection And Pregnancy
The symptoms that accompany the infection may make you weak, restless and dehydrated. Further, your unborn baby may be affected in the following manner:
- The infection has not been known to pass on to the unborn child through the placenta, so it does not have any direct effect.
- The bacterium that is found in the vagina can pass on during delivery. So if you have had E coli infection during pregnancy, doctors will check your baby for any infections.
- Due to diarrhea and vomiting, you will feel weak and dehydrated. This can impact your unborn child and cause premature delivery.
- In case you have bleeding or severe cramps, immediately call your doctor. These symptoms, if aggravated, can cause miscarriage also.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat the infection. But some of these medicines are not safe for your baby, especially in the last trimester. Doctor discretion recommended.
[ Read: List Of Antibiotics Safe In Pregnancy ]
How To Avoid E Coli Infection In Pregnancy?
While you are pregnant, regular urine tests are done to find out whether you are infected with E-coli. Here are some tips to steer clear of the infection:
- Watch what you are eating. Properly wash all fruits, and clean and cook all vegetables and meat to remove impurities.
- Clean the place where you wash raw meat with a good disinfectant.
- Wash your hands with soap after each visit to the washroom, touching or cleaning animals, and before having meals.
- After using the toilet, wash and wipe from front to back.
As in all infections, basic hygiene is the key to being healthy. Avoiding food from unreliable eateries is the best precaution. Also, drink lots of water to flush away the germs and remain hydrated.
- Since nausea and upset stomach are common during pregnancy, the infection often goes unnoticed.
- If you notice any of the above stated symptoms, or have fever, then consult your doctor.
- It is best to have a test and get medications at the right time.
- One of the easiest ways to stay healthy during pregnancy is to ensure you are always in a clean environment, and try and eat home cooked meals as much as possible.
We wish you a healthy and safe pregnancy.
Do share your views and experiences on the same with us in the comment section below:
Reference : 1
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