Protecting your baby is one of your most important jobs as a parent. You want to make sure your new baby is healthy and safe. While you can’t control everything that will happen to your child, you do have a lot of power to keep your baby safe from harm.
Good hygiene and regular medical care go a long way toward protecting your baby from infections. There are a few other things you can do as well, but proper care and common sense should help protect your baby.
Dr. Alan Patterson and the rest of our team are your partners in ensuring good care for your baby. February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, so in honor of that, we’d like to offer this guide to help you protect your baby from infections.
Your baby gets some of their immunity from you until their own can be built up. That means that it’s important that your immunity is up to date. Most likely, you had all the required vaccinations when you were a child yourself. However, some of those vaccinations may need a booster shot.
You should check to make sure you have immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox. Most pregnant women need a booster shot of Tdap, which is tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. Additional vaccines may have been developed since you were a kid, too, such as hepatitis B, which you may wish to get. Dr. Patterson can let you know which immunizations you need as part of your prenatal care.
Staying away from people who are sick is good advice, but it can be difficult to do sometimes, especially when you have a new baby. In the early days after your baby is born, limit the amount of time spent in crowded public places where many people may be sick.
You may need to say no to sick visitors who want to see your baby. Remind them that your baby needs to be protected from illness and encourage them to visit when they’re well again.
You should avoid certain foods due to the risk of foodborne infections they can present. Some of the most common foods you need to avoid when you’re pregnant include sushi, soft cheeses, and unpasteurized milk.
While having pets around is generally safe for you and your baby, you may need to change how you handle them. When you’re pregnant, you should avoid cleaning cat litter boxes due to the risk of a disease called toxoplasmosis, which can be dangerous to your unborn baby.
You should also avoid coming into contact with strange or unknown animals, particularly wildlife and pet or wild rodents and their droppings. These can carry diseases even if you wash your hands well afterward.
Breastfeeding your baby is one of the healthiest things you can do for your baby. Breast milk contains antibodies that aren’t present in baby formula, which can help to boost your baby’s immune system.
The verdict is in and the evidence is clear: Immunizations are not only safe and effective, but they’re essential for your baby’s good health. Your baby will be given his or her first vaccine for hepatitis B shortly after birth. Be sure to follow up with your baby’s pediatrician about which vaccines should be given and when.
Keeping your baby safe from infection is not difficult when you take the proper precautions. Talk to Dr. Patterson at your next prenatal appointment if you have additional concerns. Make an appointment today by calling our office in Coral Springs, Florida, or request an appointment online.