The danger of certain diseases that the expectant mother can develop during pregnancy is the risk of contaminating the fetus. Among these pathologies, we find toxoplasmosis whose origin is food.
There are significant infections that can affect future mothers during their pregnancy. Some of them can be passed to the unborn child without manifesting themselves and have serious effects. In this article, we will talk about toxoplasmosis and prohibited foods during pregnancy.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite: Toxoplasma. It is very common and does not generate major problems; however, a placenta infection can be passed on to the unborn baby.
In this sense, taking care of food can be the key to preventing this disease. First, we will discuss the effects on the fetus.
The effects of toxoplasmosis in the fetus and the newborn
Affected newborns can, in principle, be born prematurely and be underweight. This disease can also leave scars on the retina as well as jaundice; it can be seen from an external point of view by noticing a yellowish color on the skin. However, all of these manifestations are mild.
On the other hand, there are more serious additional effects, such as hydrocephalus where the little one accumulates fluids in the brain. This in turn causes growth in head size and constant migraines. In addition, some newborns may suffer from pigmentary chorioretinitis, a disease that affects the eyes.
In the worst case, this infection can lead to a very dangerous disease called erythroblastosis. As part of this disorder, the mother produces antibodies that attack the red blood cells of the fetus. Therefore, there will always be a probability of perinatal death.
It should be noted that the highest risk relates to fetuses infected during the first trimester of pregnancy. This is when the transfer of infection can be fatal for the unborn baby.
Toxoplasmosis and prohibited foods: caution with meats
All animals that eat grass contaminated with cat feces are carriers. As a result, the simple manipulation of raw meats can lead to the transmission of the infection to the mother.
In order to avoid this risk, it is always advisable to consume dried meats. Many specialists rely on the freezing process to avoid the proliferation of the parasite on pieces of meat or cold cuts. In any case, among animals, the consumption of pork is that which presents the most risks.
However, it is not only meat products that have this problem. Vegetables, fruits and plants can also be contaminated. Therefore, they should be washed thoroughly, especially if eaten raw.
Foods at risk include shellfish, fish, cheese, unpasteurized milk, and coffee. In the case of fish and seafood, it is necessary to wash them very well and cook them adequately.
“Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite: toxoplasma. Caring for food can be the key to preventing it. “
Tips to avoid toxoplasmosis
A great recommendation is to set aside sushi restaurants during the first months of pregnancy. Regarding fish, it is advisable to eat clean pieces without viscera. Also avoid consuming cold cuts and, if necessary, freezing them before eating them.
The risk of infection occurs even when pregnant women handle only raw meat. It is therefore necessary to wash your hands thoroughly before, during and after handling.
Even handling the soil or coming into contact with the grass can involve certain risks. In this sense, constant washing of the hands and face takes on great importance during the first trimester of pregnancy; an antiseptic soap will be ideal for the situation.
In addition, if there are cats in the house, it is better to consult the veterinarian to verify that the animal is not a carrier. In fact, domestic cats who ingest dry and canned food are unlikely to harbor this parasite.
How can a pregnant woman know if she has toxoplasmosis?
Basically, there is a medical exam that lets expectant mothers know if they are infected. This is a blood test called toxoplasmosis test and most gynecologists require it.
Women who do this have three possible results. If the IgG and IgM antibodies appear negative, the pregnant woman is not a carrier and has not previously contracted the disease. If the result indicates positive IgG and negative IgM, then toxoplasmosis has been contracted in the past and the patient is already immunized.
Ultimately, if the expectant mother is diagnosed as IgG negative and IgM positive, it means that the infectious process is underway. In this case, further tests are done to find out the time and extent of the infection.