Infections you should be aware of during pregnancy
Most common infectious diseases carry no particular risks for pregnant women. However, there are a few infections that are more serious for pregnant women and their babies.
Adelaide Obstetrics & Fertility will screen for the presence of these infections prior to and during your pregnancy.
If you think you may have been exposed to any of the infections below, please contact us as soon as possible.
Listeria is a common bacteria in our environment and can cause a type of food poisoning (‘listeriosis’).
Pregnant women and their babies are particularly susceptible to harm from listeriosis, so safe food choices and food-handling practices are very important. Speak to us to find out which foods and food preparations to avoid.
Parvovirus B19 is a common childhood disease. The child is usually only mildly unwell with a ‘slapped-cheek’ appearance and a fine red rash on the body. Most people who have had parvovirus B19 are immune for life.
If you are pregnant and have been exposed, please let us know.
Rubella (German measles)
Rubella, also known as German measles, is no longer a common disease in our community thanks to vaccination, which is usually done in the childhood or teenage years.
Rubella can cause serious abnormalities in a fetus if a mother is infected while pregnant.
Testing to see if you are immune to Rubella is a routine blood test during pregnancy.
If you are considering becoming pregnant and you have not been vaccinated, see your doctor to have the test.
Varicella (chicken pox)
Most adults have had chicken pox in childhood and are therefore immune to the illness.
Pregnant women who contract chicken pox are more likely than other people to become seriously ill. There is also a very small risk of harm to the baby.
If you are exposed to chicken pox and think you have never had it before, please discuss this with us within one to two days of exposure so your immunity can be assessed with a blood test. If you are not immune, there are treatments to decrease the chance you will develop chicken pox.
If you have any concerns that you may have been exposed to an infectious disease prior to or during your pregnancy, please call Adelaide Obstetrics & Fertility on 08 8272 7755.