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7 Infections During Pregnancy That Cause Baby Birth Defects

2 min


A soon-to-be mommy has million of things she needs to take care of. Be it the food she eats or the environment that may affect her baby’s health. Her little one’s well-being is of primary importance to her. So, anything to do with that takes up her mind space completely. Unfortunately, there are several things that can happen during pregnancy, including different infections and diseases, which may affect her unborn baby. Since the little one gets everything from his/her mommy through the placenta – be it shelter or nutrition – diseases are no exception to this. Thus, it is important for a woman to be extremely cognizant of the surroundings.

One can get afflicted with a disease through insects, lovemaking, or just through some pure bad luck. But, most of these illnesses can be treated, given that they are detected in time. So, if you inform the doctor at the correct time, he/she can do something about it. Here, we bring you a few of such diseases:

1. Chicken Pox

Though all of us are aware of chicken pox, we don’t really see it as a deadly disease. Despite the contagiousness, the itchiness, and the spots, it is considered to be less of a threat and more of a nuisance. However, in cases where the expecting mother has not been exposed to chicken pox and has not got a vaccine either, the baby may get affected by it.

2. Syphilis

While this disease is known for its impact on adults, syphilis might also affect the baby if an expecting mother is suffering from it. This sexually transmitted infection is caused by the bacteria. It can be passed on through the placenta during pregnancy or through direct contact at the time of delivery. If it goes undetected, it may have some long-term effects. But, if it’s identified in its early stage, it can be treated with antibiotics.

3. Cheek Rashes

Another disease that is not particularly known for being dangerous, these rashes start off with fever, runny nose, etc. Though it is usually the kids who contract it, even adults might get afflicted with this disease. And, a problem does arise if it is a pregnant woman who catches it. Usually, women have an immunity against it and can’t get it. But, it is always good to be on a lookout!

4. Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR)

Though this disease is not common anymore because of the available vaccination, it can be pretty harmful to newborns if contracted during the initial four months of gestation. So, if an expecting mother comes in contact with anyone who has a rash or suspects something, she should immediately consult a doctor.

5. CMV (Cold Sores/Chicken Pox)

It is a pretty common virus and can result in chicken pox or sores. It is not really dangerous for an infant otherwise. But, if an expecting mother hasn’t suffered from the infection previously, it may be harmful to the unborn baby. While there are no medications that can entirely treat it, few symptoms may be alleviated with the help of several antiviral medications.

6. HIV

The HIV test is routinely conducted in any prenatal examination. If the test indicates a positive result, the doctor will give a proper consultation to the mother explaining to her what it means. This disease can be transmitted to the little infant through the placenta during pregnancy, or even when the new mother breastfeeds.

7. Food-Borne Diseases

A pregnant woman might contract a food-borne disease “listeriosis” by consuming a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. It is a particularly rare disease but can be concerning if contracted by a pregnant woman. It might become a premature birth or even a miscarriage risk.

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Don’t get too worked up. If you are on the lookout and continue staying healthy, there is not much to worry. All the best to you all!


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