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Understanding and Protecting Against Prenatal Infections

As we observe International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, it’s vital to recognize the importance of prenatal care in safeguarding the health of both mothers and their unborn babies. Prenatal infections, if not addressed, can lead to serious health problems. At UM Charles Regional, our commitment to maternal and infant health drives us to educate and empower expecting mothers about these risks and the ways to mitigate them.


What are Prenatal Infections?

Prenatal infections are diseases that can be transmitted from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or delivery. These infections can be caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites, and their impact can range from mild to severe, affecting both the mother and the child. Some common prenatal infections include Toxoplasmosis, Group B Streptococcus, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Zika virus. These infections can lead to complications like preterm birth, low birth weight, developmental delays and even miscarriage.


The Impact of Prenatal Infections

The consequences of prenatal infections can be far-reaching. For infants, they can lead to lifelong health issues, including hearing loss, vision problems, learning disabilities and other serious conditions. For mothers, these infections can cause complications during pregnancy and delivery, impacting their overall health.


Preventive Tips to Protect Against Prenatal Infections

  • Regular Prenatal Check-ups: Regular visits to your health care provider are crucial. These check-ups allow for early detection and treatment of any potential infections.
  • Healthy Lifestyle Choices: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding substances like alcohol and tobacco can significantly reduce the risk of infections.
  • Hygiene Practices: Proper handwashing, especially after handling pets or raw food, can prevent the spread of infections like toxoplasmosis.
  • Vaccinations: Stay updated with vaccinations. Some vaccines, like rubella, should be administered before pregnancy, as they provide protection against infections that can harm the fetus.
  • Awareness of Infection Sources: Be aware of the sources of infections. For instance, avoiding mosquito bites is essential in preventing Zika virus infection.
  • Safe Food Practices: Avoid undercooked meat and unpasteurized dairy products to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
  • Educate Yourself: Knowledge is power. Understanding the signs and symptoms of prenatal infections can lead to prompt medical attention.


At UM Charles Regional Medical Center, we are dedicated to providing the best care and information to expectant mothers. This International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, let’s spread awareness and take proactive steps to ensure healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. Remember, prevention starts with awareness and action. For more information about our UM Charles Regional Medical Group – Women’s Health office or to schedule a prenatal appointment, visit our web page or call 301-609-4800.


Together, we can make a difference in the lives of mothers and their future children.

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