Pregnant women must be very cautious of their surroundings and must take proper care of themselves. There are many diseases and viruses out there and one must always keep a check on themselves and their environment, as it can be the contributing factor for attracting any kind of infection/disease. The child and the mother should be in an extremely safe environment where their nourishment is taken care of. National Dengue Day is observed every year on 16th May. This year, we will talk about dengue during pregnancy with inputs from Dr. Madhavi Reddy, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Bangalore.
What are the Causes of Dengue?
Dengue is caused by a mosquito bite. This is caused by a mosquito called- Aedes Aegypti and it has a tell-tale. It bites between dawn and dust and is more of a febrile disorder. The dengue mosquito is attracted to stagnant and clean water (not dirty water).
Symptoms of Dengue in Pregnancy
Early detection, especially during pregnancy should not be neglected. Any kind of fever should be given proper medical attention. Proper consultation should be taken by a paediatrician or an obstetrician for any fever. Special attention should be given during the monsoon season, as that is when the dengue cases rise. That is because the dengue mosquito breeds in clean water, and because it has clean water readily available cases rise very quickly.
A high rise in temperature is not good for the mother or the foetus. Dengue can affect the foetus depending upon the severity of the case and the gestational period of the mother. If the case is serious, it can affect the foetus, regardless of which month of pregnancy the mother is in.
There are reports that say that dengue might vertically travel (from mother to baby) in the acute phase (somewhere around the last trimester and birth). Doctors must check babies for fever rashes etc.
It must be noted that there is no danger in breastfeeding the child if the mother has been detected with dengue. In fact, the mother’s milk is most essential for a child as it has nutrients that are required by a new-born child to grow and be safe from and infections. However, if the mother has a serious condition the mother may consider feeding formula to the child.
Precautions To Be Taken
Prevention is better than cure, we have always heard this, and it applies here as well. The most important precaution is to always keep your surrounding clean and clear of any clutter- especially your gardens. These mosquitoes breed in stagnant and clean water, so we should steer clear from storing water in any vessels/pots in the garden or even inside your house.
Pregnant women should be very aware and try to be as safe as possible. Pregnant women must ensure that they wear clothes that cover their legs and their arms so that the chances of any mosquito bite are reduced (be most aware during monsoon season). Applying a repellent can also be helpful.
Also Read: How To Make Mosquito Repellent Cream At Home
Remedies To Aid Dengue In Pregnant Women
The treatment for dengue is hydration and medication for symptomatic fever (Mostly paracetamol is advised). Adequate doses of paracetamol are recommended for the patient to keep the fever in check. Also, paracetamol is safe during pregnancy and can be taken without any hesitance. The constant and main treatment for dengue is increased intake of fluids.
Some more remedies are citronella oil or eucalyptus oil in case the mother does not want to use mosquito repellents/sprays.
Dengue is a serious disease and any kind of infection during pregnancy is unsafe for mother and baby in her womb. Therefore, it is a must to prevent mosquito bites that can cause various mosquito-borne illnesses. Besides, consult a doctor immediately if you notice any symptoms to get immediate aid.
Read More Articles in Women's Health