Listeria In Pregnancy | Symptoms & Treatment

Listeria In PregnancyListeria In Pregnancy

Listeria in pregnancy or listeriosis is a disorder in pregnancy, which is caused by Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

It spreads because of eating the food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria are also able to survive in cold Temperature.

Foods such as unpasteurized (raw) milk, and fish, uncooked meat, uncooked vegetables, lunch meat, and soft cheeses are more likely to be contaminated with these bacteria.

Listeria can cause a problem for you and your baby. It though is not very common but the risk is more with pregnant women.

Worried About Listeria In Pregnancy:

Many women get worried about listeria during pregnancy. They worry about it having an effect on their baby and having birth defects.

Listeria in pregnancy occurs in about 17% of the pregnancy cases. It can also pose some serious issues on your health and pregnancy.

It can cause serious complications and birth defects to the baby such as Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Premature delivery.

But, there might also be the case where the baby doesn’t get affected by the listeria.

There might also be the case where your newborn might also be infected with listeriosis. Though there are various treatments for listeria during pregnancy.

Read Also: 17- Foods Not To Eat During Pregnancy

How Common Is Listeria In Pregnancy:

Precautions should be taken by pregnant women to avoid infection from listeria, so many women question how common is listeria in pregnancy.

It is not very common in pregnancy & there are less reported cases of listeria.

The rate is somewhat at 14-17%. Though the chances of listeria affecting your baby are somewhat higher as the bacteria can transfer through the placenta.

Even though the rate & chances of Listeria is less in pregnancy, one must always choose to take precautions and avoid unpasteurized food items.

Read Also: 15-Essential Foods To Eat During Pregnancy

Listeria Symptoms In Pregnancy:

Listeria is something which has different noticeable symptoms depending on the situation. The symptoms are different in case of a normal person & different in case of a pregnant woman.

The first thing to consider about the listeria bacteria is that its symptoms might start to show between 2 days and 2 months. Some listeria symptoms in pregnancy are as follows:

  1. Chills
  2. Fever
  3. Muscle pain
  4. Nausea & Vomiting
  5. Stiff neck
  6. Body pain

These are the symptoms which answer the question of How Do You Know If You Have Listeria When Pregnant.

If the Symptoms of listeria are spotted then you might think To Test For it.

For that purpose listeria, a blood test must be done to check for the final results.

Read Also: Massage During Pregnancy | Labor Massage

Listeria Facts:

It becomes a worrisome issue for women. They stress about the effects that listeria would pose on the pregnancy and the health of the baby.

So there are some Listeria facts that you should know to be aware:

  1. Listeria is an infection caused by a bacteria and it can be caused by contaminated foods,  which are unpasteurized such as milk items and deli meats.
  2. Listeria has the ability to pass through placenta which makes it more vulnerable for the baby, Which can cause preterm birth & stillbirth to even causing Miscarriage.
  3. The vulnerability of a woman to listeria during pregnancy increases during her third trimester of pregnancy. The reason being the downfall in the immune system’s defenses.
  4. Soft cheeses such as queso fresco are a strict no for pregnant women as they can become the cause for listeria infection.
  5. But one shouldn’t panic a lot regarding listeria while pregnant, there is a very little chance of you getting infected with listeria.

Listeria Pregnancy Statistics:

Listeria is one of those infections which women worry about, but they are not so common.

As the listeria pregnancy statistics suggest that though listeria is not a very common disorder but it is almost 20 times more likely to affect & infect pregnant women.

Almost 27% of the listeria cases are of pregnant women.  The effect that it lays on the health of the baby is serious, It poses a considerable threat to the fetus.

It is also related to birth defects. The Listeria pregnancy statistics show that even though the chances of you facing listeria are low, it is something that you should take care of & take precautions.

What Are The Odds Of Getting Listeria While Pregnant:

Listeria is caused by the bacteria “Listeria monocytogenes” by eating unpasteurized food as they don’t eliminate the listeria bacteria.

Foods such as soft cheese, deli meat, hot dogs etc. are not recommended to be consumed especially while pregnant.

Hence, one might question that What are the odds of getting listeria while pregnant. There are 1/8000 chances of you getting infected with listeria.

In terms of percentage, there are 21% of cases of listeria where the problem turns into Severe fatality. Though this rate is not very high it might worry some.

Read Also: 1st (First) Trimester Of Pregnancy | Precautions | Dos And Don’ts

Listeria Treatment In Pregnancy:

It is something which needs to be treated properly in time. As it can pose some serious threats to the health of your unborn baby.

Antibiotics are used to treat Listeria,  some listeria treatment in pregnancy are as follows:

  1. Penicillin, ampicillin, and amoxicillin are widely used to treat and control listeria in pregnancy. These work on a cellular level and control further spreading of the bacteria.
  2. For treating listeria, high dosage of antibiotics is given as the medicine needs to pass onto the umbilical cord & placenta. This is to control & check the effects of Listeria.
  3. Gentamicin is also added to the treatment, though there is conflict regarding the toxicity of gentamicin and deny its usage especially in cases of pregnancy.
  4. The dosage of ampicillin is recommended at 6 g or more per day for treatment of listeria in pregnancy but under the guidance of a doctor/ medical practitioner only.


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