We are thrilled to feature this guest blog post by Anita regarding health concerns during pregnancy. Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO and often writes about home, family and health. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.
Pregnancy is a time of great joy and expectation for your new arrival. However, certain foods you eat and even tasks that you perform may pose some health concerns that can affect you and your unborn baby during your pregnancy. Here are some health concerns that shouldn’t worry you, but that you should know about when you are pregnant:
This bacterial infection can lead to meningitis, blood infection, organ lesions, miscarriage, premature birth, or stillbirth. Listeriosis is transmitted through water, soil, and certain foods, including deli meats, cold cuts, uncooked or under-cooked meats, unwashed fruits and vegetables, raw milk, and products that are made with unpasteurized milk, such as certain soft cheeses. Talk with your doctor about foods you can eat and what to look out for when pregnant.
This is parasitic infection can cross the placenta and result in stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight, and neurological and other problems in the newborn. This parasite is passed from infected animals through eating raw or uncooked meat from an infected animal, fruits, vegetables, and water that come in contact with manure, or through contact with feces, such as when changing the cat’s litter box. Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy isn’t all that common, but should be treated promptly if you suspect you may have it.
Some fish contain high levels of mercury, called methylmercury, that can affect a developing baby’s nervous system. The FDA recommends limiting your intake of fish that contain low levels of methylmercury both before and during pregnancy, and avoid those that are high in methylmercury, especially shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish.
This form of diabetes occurs only during pregnancy and affects almost 10% of pregnant women, according to the American Diabetes Association. Hormonal changes during pregnancy affect the body’s ability to use insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of macrosomia, problems during delivery, preeclampsia, blood sugar problems in the baby, and stillbirth. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to get specialized diabetes care to prevent any problems.
Preeclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure and fluid retention that is more likely during the second half of pregnancy. Reduced blood flow to organs and the uterus can result in complications that are serious and potentially life-threatening to both mother and baby.
According to Harvard Health Publications, depression during pregnancy can lead to poor maternal care that affects the developing fetus, resulting in learning, emotional, and behavior problems, as well as risk for postpartum depression. Talk with a counselor or your doctor to get the correct treatment.
Knowing the potential risks can help you to make a few changes to reduce the chance of harm to yourself or your baby. In addition, contact your health care provider with any symptoms and follow recommendations provided during each stage of pregnancy.