Dec 20, 2010 No Comments
If you work with dangerous substances such as chemicals or in a job which requires you to do heavy lifting, you could be risking your health and the health of your child. Your employer must offer you an alternative job if yours is a recognized risk. If you are concerned about risk at work talk to your doctor, your employer, or union representative.
A common concern among working women is that sitting all day in front of a VDU screen such as a computer terminal or word processor will harm the developing fetus. The most resent research shows no evidence of this being a risk, but you may need to have your microwave checked out for any minor radiation leaks, although with modern equipment these are very unlikely.
While you are pregnant you should avoid eating unpasteurized milk and products made with unpasteurized milk; pate made from meat, fish, or vegetables; soft and blue vein cheeses; soft-whip ice cream; precooked poultry and cook-chill meals; and prepared salads (unless washed throughly) because of the risk of listeria.
Listeria monocytogenes is the bacterium which causes listeriosis in humans and animals. Animals that carry the bacterium are likely to infect the milk they produce and the meat that is produced from them. The bacterium is usually destroyed during the pasteurization of milk and milk products. However, if food is contaminated and than refrigerated the bacteria will continue to multiply. Listeriosis can also be spread through direct contact with animals that are infected.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease that occurs in both humans and animals. It can be extremely dangerous if it is contracted during pregnancy because it may cause miscarriage or severe fetal abnormality. The disease is spread to humans by eating undercooked or raw meat and through coming into contact with cat faeces. The infection can also be caught from sheep at lambing time. As it is quite possible to have the disease without knowing it, you should have a blood test to find out whether or not you have immunity. If you are immune, you definitely cannot infect your baby.
If you find that you are not immune, you should take a number of precautions during pregnancy.
Avoid any meat that has not been cooked throughly and wash your hands, cooking utensils, and surfaces after preparing raw meat. Wash fruit and vegetables to remove all traces of soil. Avoid unpasteurized goats’ milk and goats’ milk products. Finally, wear rubber gloves when gardening and wash your hands afterwards. Cover your children’s sand boxes in the garden to prevent any cats from using them as litter trays. Always wear rubber gloves when handling cat litter, and wash your hands and the gloves afterwards.