Urinary tract infections during pregnancy

By • Published: February 25th, 2011
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it sure can have its down sides. Along with morning sickness, mood swings and fatigue, many moms-to-be also suffer from urinary tract infections.

Commonly called U-T-I-s, these bacterial infections can affect the kidneys and bladder, as well as the urethra and ureters… the tubes that carry urine within and to the outside of the body.

Hormonal changes in pregnancy can make a woman more susceptible to U-T-I-s, and so can her growing baby. As the child grows inside the womb, the expanding uterus presses against the mother’s bladder. When this happens, mom may have trouble fully emptying the bladder, creating a prime opportunity for bacteria to accumulate.

Pregnancy also increases the chances a U-T-I will turn into a kidney infection, a painful condition that may permanently damage kidneys.

Antibiotics are standard treatment for U-T-I-s, even during pregnancy. Treating a U-T-I is even more important during pregnancy because kidney infections raise a woman’s chance of delivering an underweight baby.

To prevent U-T-I-s, pregnant and non-pregnant women alike should wear cotton underwear and… this may be impossible if you’re pregnant… loose clothing. Also, make sure you use the restroom whenever you feel the need… don’t wait.

Lastly, consume plenty of water and vitamin C. Many doctors recommend cranberry juice as a good source of vitamin C for preventing U-T-I-s.

Research has revealed other benefits of consuming cranberries and their juice, including fighting dental plaque and a bacteria linked to ulcers and stomach cancer. So drink up moms-to-be, and you may have one less pregnancy woe to endure.