According to Department of Agriculture (U.S.), people with weak immune systems including pregnant women, are more likely to get affected by campylobacter infection. Abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting due to diarrhoea during are the signs of campylobacter symptoms during pregnancy.
Symptoms of Campylobacter Infection
- Signs of the bacterial infection may appear two to five days after infection occurs. The most prominent symptom of campylobacter infection in pregnant woman is watery or bloody diarrhoea.
- The digestive system infection leads to diarrhoea and loose stools, which may cause abdominal discomfort to expectant mother. A stool culture test should be conducted to confirm the campylobacter infection. Thereafter, it can be treated with antibiotics to prevent pregnancy complications due to campylobacter infection.
- As immune system of an expectant mother makes an effort to kill the campylobacter infection, fever may develop. According to University of Colorado Extension researchers, expectant mothers may experience flu-like symptoms, which include fever and chills.
- Intestinal spasms caused by frequent diarrhoea during campylobacter infection can lead to cramps in abdomen. These cramps usually occur in lower abdomen and as a result pregnant woman might experience difficulty differentiating between uterine contractions and intestinal spasms.
Food Safety during Pregnancy
Mentioned below are food safety guidelines that pregnant women must follow to ensure for a healthy delivery.
- Pregnancy diet must be adhered to.
- Make sure you wash your hands well with soap before handling food, especially raw foods.
- Pregnant women are at high risk of infections from the pathogen, such as unpasteurised milk, raw milk products, seafood, ready-to-eat processed foods and luncheon meats. Expectant women must avoid these foods or should be extra cautious when having these foods.
- Perishable foods, precooked or ready-to-eat foods, should be consumed as soon as possible. These food items should be stored in a refrigerator, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cross-contamination of food should be avoided by washing knives, cutting boards and food preparation areas after any contact with raw poultry, seafood and meat. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be rinsed thoroughly before consuming in a raw state.
- Meats and dried meats should be steamed hot before eating. For heating meats, one can use a microwave or a grill. If you’ve preference for frozen meat, these should be heated first and then cooled before eating.
Campylobacter infection can have an impact on foetal development. Pregnancy complications, such as stillbirth and premature delivery, could be the adverse effects of infection on pregnancy. Therefore, preventing food-borne illness and following food safety is of utmost importance during pregnancy.
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