Toxoplasmosis is an infection that is caused due to a microscopic parasite called as Toxoplasma gondii.
For people who have healthy immune system, this disease is a mild and without any symptoms.
If you are affected with this condition then it can sometimes infect your placenta and also baby’s body.
There are relatively small number of people who are born with Toxoplasmosis, but this infection can be a devastating one. This can cause stillbirths and long-term damage.
Chances of affecting by toxoplasmosis:
About 15 percent of the pregnant women are immune to toxoplasmosis. But most of the times, the babies of pregnant women who get infected with this disease can not be infected.
There is only 15% chance of transmitting Toxoplasmosis to your baby if you get this during your first pregnancy trimester. If you get Toxoplasmosis during the second trimester then there is 30% chance of transmitting it to your baby and 60% in the third trimester.
If you conceive before three months, then there is small risk of affecting your baby. But, if you get infected with Toxoplasmosis then it is better to wait for six months before trying to conceive.
In the case of transmitting Toxoplasmosis, it takes between 4-8 weeks to transmit your baby. The incubation period to affect the disease after infected with parasite is 5-23 days.
Avoiding Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy:
Here are some tips to avoid the exposure to Toxoplasma during your pregnancy:
- If there are cats in your home, better don’t allow the cat to go outside where it can get affected with toxoplasma.
- Don’t lift the cat litter box. Tell any one of your family member to change it and wash it with boiling water.
- If there is no one to help you then wear gloves to avoid exposure to the litter and wash your hands.
- Try to avoid exposure to cockroaches and flies. They can spread cat feces or contaminated soil.
- Don’t eat undercooked or raw meat and also unwashed vegetables and fruits.
- Thoroughly wash your hands before eating and after handling cats, soil or raw meat.
- Don’t eat raw eggs and don’t drink unpasteurized milk.
- Don’t rub your eyes or face while preparing the foods and clean the place afterwards.
Treating Toxoplasmosis in a pregnant woman:
A pregnant woman who is infected with Toxoplasmosis will be prescribed by an antibiotic called as spiramycin. This medicine reduces the risk of transmitting it to your baby.
If the disease has transmitted to your baby and you are only 15 weeks pregnant then your doctor may recommend you amniocentesis. This process involves the removal of amniotic fluid around your baby by using a special needle and then the fluid may be tested for toxoplasmosis.
If your baby is infected with this condition then using some antibiotics will help in reducing the severity of disease.
Sometimes doctors will recommend termination of the baby, if the baby has recognized with many abnormalities.
Though you have toxoplasmosis, you can safely breastfeed your baby as it won’t transmit through breast milk.