If you already have young children, you’ll know how hard it can be to keep things clean.
When you’re pregnant, it’s important to be aware of some of the things you can do to reduce the risk of infection for you and your baby.
To protect your baby from germs:
The bacteria that cause food poisoning live in many places. You can help keep germs at bay by:
There are some foods to avoid when you’re pregnant as they might make you ill or harm your baby.
More about foods to avoid in pregnancy
Many animals including your pets carry infections and bacteria. These can be passed to you, and sometimes to your baby.
Animals won’t always look unwell, so it’s not easy to tell if they have an infection.
Infections spread by animals can cause severe issues when you’re pregnant.
If you make sure you’re as safe as you can be, you can help to reduce your chances of infection.
If you’ve been in contact with animals or their surroundings, wash your hands with soap and warm running water before you eat or prepare food.
You should also keep pet food away from your food and from the places where you prepare food.
Ask someone to clean your pets’ cages, litter trays or bedding. If that’s not possible use disposable gloves and remember to wash your hands well afterwards.
You should clean cages and litter trays in a well-ventilated room with the windows open and lots of air going through. Your cat’s litter tray should be cleaned daily using hot water.
Always wear gloves if you’re gardening in case the soil has had animal faeces in it. When finished, wash your hands and gloves thoroughly.
If you come into close contact with animals when they’re giving birth, such as sheep, cows and goats, you could pick up an infection.
If you’re around animals when they’re giving birth, or you work on a farm:
Any illness where you have a fever and a rash could be an infectious disease which might harm your baby.
If you get a rash or spend time with someone who has one, you should tell your midwife, GP or obstetrician straight away.
They will ask you about:
You may be offered tests to find out if you have been infected.
If possible, stay away from other pregnant women and your antenatal clinic until you have been checked over.
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2 November 2023