Infectious Disease Specialist Questions Stomach Disorders

If I have a stomach infection is it likely to affect my unborn baby?

I am 5 months pregnant and I have recently been suffering from a severe stomach infection that has resulted in diarrhea. Is this infection likely to spread to my unborn baby?

4 Answers

Stomach infections are self-limited and rarely complicated for the most part should not affect your baby unless it affects your overall health status during the pregnancy. Nutrition hydration and active follow up with your physician should be adequate not to cause a problem with your pregnancy.
There is no proven effect of gastroenteritis on the fetus. A large study in Sweden confirmed this in 2001. There may be a slight risk of early delivery. The exception to this study is infection with Listeria.

Some infections are of special concern as they possess very specific traits that can cause harm to the unborn baby. Luckily, our bodies have several defense mechanisms that can protect the unborn baby and only a handful of microorganisms can cause harm to the fetus or the pregnancy. Some infectious diseases are of special concern because they are specific to the genitourinary system or because they occur more frequently or are more severe in the pregnant woman. Talk to your OBGYN so he/she can determine what course to take for your specific case. Without knowing what organism is causing your stomach infection, it is impossible to say what are the risks.
No, the infection will not be transmitted to your baby. Make sure you drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated - that is important for both you and your baby.