I am getting a little nervous about my class. They don’t have any questions!! Maybe they are still warming up to us,
or maybe it’s late when we finish, or maybe they really are the smart crew!
So today I am going to write about something that one of the
dad’s shared when we went around the circle and talked about what they learned
in class. We watched The Bradley
Method® video production, “Gestation – The First Days of Life” last night, to
go along with Class 3 Topic: Pregnancy.
One dad mentioned that the “something new” he learned last
night came from the movie. He learned that a fetus can be exposed to any virus that the
mom is exposed to through the umbilical cord. In medical terms, it’s called a “transplacental”
infection. The consequences of some
infections mom has, such as a common cold or flu, are less risky to a
pregnancy. Other infections,
syphilis and toxoplasma for example, are more dangerous and can cause
miscarriage or stillbirth.
Some of these infections are time sensitive to the weeks of
gestation. Avoiding contact with contagious people is of utmost importance if
you are trying to get pregnant or during your pregnancy.
For a good list, you can go to http://www.womens-health.co.uk/infect.asp
to read more about common infections and their effect during pregnancy. There is a lot of information on the
internet and not all of it is reliable.
We suggest that you check the validity of what you find with your care
provider – yes – this includes anything on our blog, too.
So on the positive side, what can you do to protect mom and
your baby? If you are trying to
get pregnant, it’s a good idea to know if you have any STD’s before you
conceive so that you can discuss the risks with your care team. If you know what to expect, you and your
care team can develop a management plan for your pregnancy if you decide that
you are willing to accept the risks.
Once you are pregnant, be overly cautious. Although some of these suggestions
sound extreme, keep in mind that the mania only needs to be temporary. You may find that these become a habit,
and hopefully you will all have a healthier life by being more aware of
protecting yourself. From personal
experience, guard mom through her pregnancy and baby through six months of
birth or at least through flu season, which ever comes last.
Here are some common-sense precautions you can take:
it is the most effective way to prevent infection.
The CDC has a campaign slogan: Clean Hands Save Lives. They suggest that you wash your
during and after preparing food
using the toilet
changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the
and after caring for someone who is sick
blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
touching an animal or animal waste
and after treating a cut or wound
Soap and water are the best way to kill germs. A common suggestion is to since the
“Happy Birthday” song two times from beginning to end; the goal is to lather and
scrub them well for at least 20 seconds.
If there is no soap and water available, you could use a
hand sanitizer that has a minimum of 60% alcohol content. Sanitizers do not eliminate all types
of germs, and they are not effective when hands are visibly dirty (1).
your clothes after you have been around crowds. Did you know that
some germs can survive outside the body for 48 hours? They survive best on
hard surfaces, but they can also survive on clothing (2). If you are going to be around a
crowd and then going solo, bring a change of clothes with you. For example, if you are going to
fly, bring clothes for the trip, and then have clothing ready that you can
change into after you have picked up your bags and washed your hands. Working parents can consider changing clothes once they get home when mom is pregnant. We suggest changing clothes before handling your newborn if your baby is born during flu season (peak is generally accepted as November-March). I am not suggesting that you would throw caution to wind off-peak of flu season. From personal experience we are vigilant year-round, and even more so during flu season.
plenty of rest and drink lots of fluid. Your body needs to rest to function
and to fight infection. It
needs fluids to stay hydrated and to eliminate toxins efficiently. If you aren’t getting rid of the
toxins, they are playing games with your immune system. Not a good thing in general, and
definitely not when you are pregnant and working overtime for you and your
4."Stay out of
church and Walmart during flu season." No joke – this is what the
respiratory therapist told us when we were in the hospital with our second
child when he was three months old and fighting RSV. He said that there are so many
people going through those buildings, and people go to church and Walmart
sick or healthy – if they have a need, they are going to be there. By extension, we suggest that our
students and their newborns stay out of any situation where they don’t
have control over who is going to be there.
for yourself and for your baby. It is okay to ask people to stay
away if they are sick.
Whether its as obvious as a fever or phlegm-y cough, or seemingly
innocuous like a little cough or runny nose, keep your distance. As one of our pediatrician friends
told us last week, “If they say they have ‘allergies’, tell them that you
can wait to see them.” We
send a note with any invitation to our home that reads like this, “As much
as we want to celebrate with our closest friends and family, we also need
your help in keeping (mom and/or baby) healthy. We will understand if you choose not to come due to
illness and will look forward to celebrating with you when you are in full
harmful substances. If you see someone smoking, move
away from them if you are not comfortable asking them to move away or stop
in your presence. Examine
labels for food and health and beauty products. Whatever mom puts into her body transfers to the baby
through the placenta in one form or another – there is no barrier. That is why it is so important to
discuss any concerns with your care team – that is why you hired them, so
use their knowledge to your full advantage.
You will never regret taking care of yourself or your
baby. If you look at the big
picture, you may decide that it is better to risk offending someone than
risking your health or your baby’s health just for the sake of “being nice” or
“keeping the peace”.
Interesting internet reads:
of nursing, Lois White, Second Edition, page 361
"A portal of entry is the route by which an infectious agent
enters the host. Portals of entry
include the following:…Transplacental, through transfer of microorganisms from
mother to fetus via the placental and umbilical cord (including HIV, hepatitis
of the central nervous system, W. Michael Scheld, Richard J. Whitley, Christina
M. Marra, page 132
"In utero disease is likely a consequence of transplacental
infection and usually involves skin, brain, eye, liver and adrenals."
(C) www.dhh.louisiana.gov - IsolationTransmissionLearnLink.pdf
Microorganisms present in the blood of the
mother go through the placenta to infect the fetus. In some cases [*] it is difficult to differentiate between
perinatal or transplacental transmission, since both modes of transmission are
known to occur.
- CMV, HBV*
- Rubella, Varicella
material included on this site and blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical
advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to
determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This site and blog contain information about our classes available in
Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this site and blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy
of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.