The child can’t just get the bacteria from the mother, “she explains.

The child can’t just get the bacteria from the mother, “she explains.

Toxoplasmosis test

Cash registers take over the toxolasmosis test, for example, if a woman works in agriculture. It can also be useful if she owns a cat. "If you have nothing to do with animals, the test is unnecessary" emphasizes Jahn-Zöhrens. Often, gynecologists would advise to do this without considering the individual circumstances of the woman who has to pay for the test herself.

The infection is caused by parasites that animals, especially cats, can carry and that they excrete with their feces. Contaminated foods such as fruit and vegetables or undercooked meat are also possible sources of infection. Depending on the time of infection, if left untreated, it can lead to serious damage to the central nervous system and eyes in the child months and years after birth.

"We definitely recommend the test" says Christian Albring, President of the Professional Association of Gynecologists. If the test does not show any infection, a follow-up test every two months makes sense, adds Professor Klaus Friese from the women’s clinic at Munich University Hospital. Friese advises pregnant women who do not take the test not to clean a litter box themselves, to pay attention to their eating habits and to wash their hands well after every contact with soil.

Cytomegaly test (CMV)

Albring also considers this test to be very recommendable. According to Friese, individual health insurers such as the AOK Hessen are already paying him. The infection with pathogens from the herpes virus group is responsible for "one of the most serious changes in newborns". Among other things, head and brain changes that lead to lifelong impairments are possible, in the worst case the child dies in the womb. So far, however, there is no therapy.

The Munich doctor has determined that in Germany there is a CMV infection for every 200 pregnancies. That is less than expected, but in relation to the entire country and a birth rate of 600,000 to 650,000 per year, a lot. "I would test for this virus" therefore also says Friese. Adults who went through CMV infection as a child are quite well protected.

Hepatitis vaccination

A vaccination against hepatitis before pregnancy protects against virus types A and B. In the last trimester of pregnancy, a blood test for the infection, which is usually caused by viruses, is part of the check-ups provided in the maternity card. However, Albring advises taking the test at the beginning of pregnancy. Because hepatitis increases the risk of premature birth and can lead to liver damage in the child.

According to the portal, transmission from mother to child is more common shortly before or during the birth. Friese considers the health insurance to be sufficient. "If you know that the mother is infected, you can vaccinate the child immediately after birth" he says. Hepatitis C cannot be vaccinated, but it can be treated with medication.

Streptococcal Test

Group B streptococci can cause life-threatening blood poisoning in a newborn. Pregnant women are often advised to get tested for it around the 36th week. "We don’t think this makes sense because we don’t know whether the patient will have it during the birth" says Albring. For many women, it usually takes four to five weeks after the test to give birth – then she can also get an infection.

Jahn-Zöhren’s midwife sees it similarly. "The test sometimes gives a pseudo-certainty" warns them. Even if the mother does not have streptococci, this does not release the child from special supervision over the newborn. "The child cannot get the bacteria through the mother alone" she explains. And Friese also says: "If the pregnancy is normal, it would be completely sufficient to test shortly before the birth." If an infection is found, be it standard in his clinic to treat a woman with an antibiotic during childbirth to protect the child.

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Rabies has long been eradicated. And otherwise the risk of getting an infection through a pet is relatively low in Germany. However, experts agree: cuddling is allowed, but hygiene must be observed.

For most people, pets are full family members: cuddling with them is part of it – and sometimes the dog even sits on the sofa or the cat sleeps in bed with them. beautiful russian brides However, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems should not overdo it when caressing their four-legged friends in order to avoid any health risk. From the point of view of experts, kissing is prohibited – and caresses should always be followed by careful hand washing.

At the end of January 2018, experts from science and authorities discussed possible health risks that pets can pose at a conference at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Tiho). These can be accidents, especially bites, but also allergies and infections transmitted by animals, so-called zoonoses.

Where a reportable infection comes from is usually unclear

Although there is a reporting system for infectious diseases in Germany, the source is not always discovered. It usually remains unclear whether a patient was infected from another person, an animal or through food, says Hendrik Wilking, who researches zoonoses at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin and advises institutions.

In Germany, the pathogen Toxoplasma gondii is probably the most dangerous in connection with pets, says veterinarian Wilking. "Such an infection can be very severe in people whose immune systems are suppressed." The cat is the host of this parasite. Humans can get infected directly from cats or when they eat meat contaminated with the pathogen.

A new disease with Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy is problematic. According to an RKI study, slightly more than 4,000 pregnant women go through toxoplasmosis every year, and over 300 newborns are born with clinical symptoms of the disease. "This includes damage in the neurological area" says Wilking. "Pregnant women should ensure that cats are treated hygienically."

Cats can transmit Lyme disease

In addition, according to another RKI study, cats increased the risk of Lyme disease more than dogs. "The cats pick up the ticks outside and they are transmitted when they cuddle, for example." Should pets be completely abolished because of the risk of infection? "Absolutely no way" stresses the expert. Research has shown the health benefits for the owners. According to this, pet owners have a higher level of life satisfaction, they move more – if only because of walking and taking care of them – and they also have more social contacts.

Humans have been living with dogs and cats for thousands of years, exotic reptiles have only become more popular in the past few decades. In the course of this, according to the RKI, Salmonella infections have also increased in babies and toddlers because the majority of snakes, geckos and bearded dragons excrete the pathogen. It triggers severe diarrheal diseases. The Berlin veterinarian Frank Mutschmann, who specializes in reptiles, says: "Reptiles should not be kept in the nursery, not in the bathroom and especially not in the kitchen." It is also important to buy the animals from reputable dealers.

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Rabbit flu, rat mites and skin fungus

Maximilian Reuschel provides information at the conference under the motto "Do our pets make us sick?" about rodent-borne zoonoses. According to the Tiho scientist, serious clinical pictures are not to be expected when keeping guinea pigs and co. At most a rabbit cold can be transmitted. Hamsters are often infested with tropical rat mites. Their bites could cause light, reddish pustules in humans. "In wild animals, the risk of zoonosis is significantly higher" emphasizes Reuschel. For example, hedgehogs could transmit skin fungus. In the United States, raccoon roundworms were found in children who had played in the sandpit.

Around four percent of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes. Although the disease disappears after childbirth, women are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on. Researchers have now found out why breastfeeding protects against this.

Gestational diabetes – this is the technical term – is one of the most common pregnancy-related diseases. The sugar metabolism usually regulates itself after the baby is born and settles back into the normal range.

15 years of protection from diabetes through breastfeeding

However, every second affected woman will develop type 2 diabetes in the ten years after giving birth. Mothers who breastfeed for at least three months can reduce this risk by 40 percent. The protective effect that is created lasts up to 15 years. Researchers were able to prove this some time ago. However, it was unclear why this is so.

Changes in metabolism

A team of researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum München has now been able to demonstrate that breastfeeding leads to long-term changes in women’s metabolism. To this end, they examined metabolic products from 200 women who had breastfed for more than three months and compared them with those who had shorter or no breastfeeding periods at all.

Breastfeeding is inexpensive protection

The authors of the study report that the differences were clear. "The results of our study provide information on disease-relevant metabolic pathways that are influenced by the breastfeeding process and thus could be the basis of the protective effect" sums up study director Sandra Hummel.

Their conclusion: Breastfeeding is a cost-effective way to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in women with gestational diabetes in the long term.

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So simple and so effective: With our tricks you can easily make your everyday life easier during your pregnancy. What, for example, has a bra lost in the freezer? Read for yourself!

The best life hacks for pregnancy
Photo series with 6 pictures

1. Hair tie

Pull a hair elastic through the buttonhole of your pants and slide one end through the other. You can now close the button with this loop. This way you can wear your favorite jeans with your tummy too!

A hair tie holds pants: With this trick you can wear your favorite jeans with your tummy too. (Source:

By |2021-02-24T21:05:27+01:00May 25th, 2020|blog|
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