Diseases That Can Cause Fetal Problems
When a woman is expecting a child, there are several things that she should do to protect both her baby and herself. Eating healthily, exercising wisely, and quitting alcohol and tobacco usage are all good for both a mother and her unborn baby. However, there are diseases that a mother can contract that can cause numerous problems for her unborn child. Avoiding these illnesses is just another way to keep an unborn baby healthy.
Although some of these disorders are unpreventable, techniques like staying away from other sick people or places that might harbor germs can be helpful. Other things include proper food handling, washing hands, and avoiding fecal matter. To keep you informed, here is a brief overview of some ailments that can have serious repercussions for a fetus.
Gestational Diabetes. This is a form of regular diabetes that can hurt a normally healthy pregnant woman. Because this disrupts the blood sugar level of a mother, and in turn her baby, a baby can develop macrosomia, or fat baby syndrome. This puts the child at risk for diabetes and obesity in the future.
Listeriosis. A type of food poisoning caused by bacteria, listeriosis can cause premature delivery, miscarriage, newborn infection, and even death. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to this bacteria; 27% of all cases in the United States occur during pregnancy.
Fifth Disease. Also called parvovirus B19, this causes a rash and not very severe issues in the woman. However, it can lead to anemia in the baby and even miscarriage.
Rubella. Rubella, or German measles, is fairly uncommon now in the United States. This is a good thing because babies whose mothers develop this disease during the first two trimesters can be lost to stillbirth or miscarriage, or be born with birth defects called congenital rubella syndrome.
Toxoplasmosis. Like listeriosis, toxoplasmosis is a food-borne illness. This parasite can lead to preemie birth, low birth weight, fever, jaundice, eye deformities, and mental retardation, among other things. Eating fully cooked meat and staying away from anything that might harbor cat feces (a carrier of toxoplasmosis) can help protect you.
Group B Strep. Group B strep, or GBS, is a bacteria that can live in a woman's vagina or rectum. During delivery, a baby can become contaminated with GBS, which can cause him or her to have breathing issues, kidney and gastrointestinal problems, and even sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis.
If a doctor does not recognize and accurately treat a mother with these diseases, there can be infections, permanent defects, and even death for a newborn baby. If you suspect that negligence on behalf of your doctor has led to such problems with your baby, you may be eligible for financial compensation.