Information for expectant mothers.
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A child is growing, and mum’s immune system now has to work for two. Protecting the baby is at the heart of it all. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can encourage the development of various complaints. A woman’s health also has a significant influence on the smooth progress of the pregnancy. A healthy and balanced vaginal flora reduces the risk of infection for you and your child.
Protective lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli) are essential for a woman’s healthy flora. They reduce the pH level, creating an acidic environment, which makes it impossible for many germs to spread. This reduces the risk of vaginal infection. A deficiency in lactobacilli, on the other hand, favours the growth of unwanted bacteria, disturbing the balance of the vaginal flora. This is the case in bacterial vaginosis, for example. Here, the good, protective lactobacilli are squeezed out, so that pathogens (germs) such as the bacteria gardnerella vaginalis can spread, making disease more likely. During pregnancy, bacterial vaginosis can cause premature delivery and therefore requires close medical supervision. Studies have shown that the long-term application of protective lactobacilli can increase the rate of healing and prevent relapses.
What is a mixed flora?
Mixed flora is one stage before bacterial vaginosis, with a reduced count of Döderlein bacteria (protective lactobacilli). In this stage of the disease, experts believe that suitable treatment, for example with lactobacilli, can turn things around and produce a return to healthy vaginal flora.
It is especially important for pregnant women to ensure that their vaginal environment is effective in defending against infection. As long as the natural flora is balanced, it is difficult for germs to multiply and the risk of complications is reduced. This is particularly important in the early stages of pregnancy. Regular independent measurement of the pH level is quick and easy. With the vaginal pH test, you can recognise changes quickly and consult your gynaecologist for further checks in confidence. Some health insurers will cover the cost of the pH test, which you can carry out in the convenience of your own home. It also makes sense for women who want children to check the vaginal environment as a preventive measure and counteract any imbalance before it causes problems. With the protective lactobacilli contained in Vagiflor® vaginal suppositories, you support a healthy vaginal environment in a natural way. Vagiflor® vaginal suppositories may be used during pregnancy after consultation with your gynaecologist.
Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, yeast infections in the genital area, known as vaginal thrush, often occur. Even though this yeast infection is unlikely to have any direct impact on the health of the newborn, treatment is important; untreated yeast infections can encourage other infections, which can themselves lead to complications. A few weeks before the birth, many doctors check to see if there is a fungal infection, even if no symptoms have yet been experienced. The newborn could contract oral thrush (an infection in the mouth and throat with a specific yeast fungus such as Candida albicans) or irritant diaper dermatitis (also known as nappy rash, this is a skin rash in the diaper area affecting infants and toddlers). If a fungal infection is identified, there is still sufficient time for effective and lasting treatment.
It is possible to use a well-established anti-fungal agent such as clotrimazole to treat a yeast infection in any trimester of pregnancy. The typical symptoms of a yeast infection, such as torturous itching and redness of the genital area, are very unpleasant. They do not last, though, and can be treated without concern.
Bladder infections (cystitis) also occur more frequently during pregnancy; a doctor should always be consulted. Various factors, such as changes to the immune system, hormonal influences and any potential disruption to the physiological balance of vaginal flora, favour the occurrence of cystitis during pregnancy. At the onset of characteristic symptoms such as a burning sensation when passing urine and more frequent urge to urinate with very little urine actually passed, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible to prevent the bacteria from passing from the ureter into the renal pelvis with the risk of pyelitis. As a general principle, bladder infections during pregnancy are treated with a suitable antibiotic to counter potential severe complications.
Any indication of disease occurring during pregnancy must be investigated and treated by a doctor. The doctor supervising treatment will decide which medication is appropriate for the pregnancy, in view of clinical experience with the medication in question. Should medication be required, the trimester of pregnancy will also be taken into account. Many women prefer to do without medication during this time out of concern for the well-being of the unborn child. In many cases, thorough and sensitive advice can reassure the expectant mother, because safe and suitable therapy is important to the health of both mother and child.
For many couples, pregnancy is one of the most poignant experiences they ever have. Health and well-being are important prerequisites for a relaxed pregnancy. Enjoy carefree anticipation with the support of Vagiflor®.
Many illnesses are twice as unpleasant during pregnancy. On top of the illness itself, there is the concern for the baby. As a rule, a pregnant woman is already more susceptible, because her own immune system prioritises the protection of the unborn child. To be safe, it is recommended that a doctor is consulted in the case of any illness, because there are specific diseases that require medical treatment so as not to have a negative impact on the pregnancy. In a best-case scenario, illness can be prevented. Vaccinations are one possibility to achieve this, and should be considered as soon as the decision to have children is made.
It is advisable to check immunisation status for the following illnesses before pregnancy:
Vaccination not only provides extensive protection during pregnancy; in some cases, the antibodies are passed on to the newborn at birth. These antibodies mean that the child is protected for the first few months before its own immune system has become established. This is known as passive immunity. It covers the period until vaccination is possible for the infant. Over the coming years, the child develops its own immune defence. During this period, all those who comes into contact with the child protect the child’s health with their own vaccinations. Infants, for example, most commonly acquire whooping cough from their parents. The grandparents should also ensure they have been vaccinated and that the vaccinations are up to date.
You will find the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) here.
The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) expressly recommends flu vaccination for all pregnant women in the second and third trimester. In individual cases, the flu vaccination can be given during the first third of pregnancy, for example if a chronic disease indicates advance protection. Genuine flu (influenza), in contrast to the common cold, is a serious disease and could have a negative impact on the course of the pregnancy. Flu viruses cannot pass through the placenta, meaning that they cannot reach the unborn child. Infections and high fever can, however, result in premature delivery.
During pregnancy, the immune system of the expectant mother is subdued to protect the embryo. This also explains why influenza during pregnancy is often more severe, increasing the risk of complications. The viruses are mostly transmitted by means of highly contagious droplet infection (speaking, coughing, sneezing) and smear infection (viruses often lurk on objects such as door handles, shopping trolleys, etc.). Flu is one of the most common respiratory illnesses.
Essential symptoms of the illness include:
In some cases, the course of the flu may appear mild, which is why a visit to the doctor and appropriate treatment are always advisable during pregnancy. Experts suspect that a lasting fever increases the risk of developmental problems. Fever reduction is therefore recommended, in consultation with the doctor. Suitable measures include, for example, compresses and paracetamol. Ibuprofen can be taken until the 28th week. When prescribing medication, the doctor will be assuming that the therapeutic benefit outweighs the risk, so that the health of mother and child is being protected. Medications, including paracetamol, should not be taken during pregnancy without a doctor’s advice.
Pregnant women should pay attention to general hygiene as a preventive measure, for example washing hands thoroughly and avoiding contact with sick people. Vaccination viruses do not reach the foetus either, so that there is no cause for fear of negative consequences. Flu vaccination protects against the disease taking a severe course during pregnancy, and also protects the newborn through passive immunity during the first few weeks of life. Infants are much less likely to suffer from flu if the mother has received flu vaccination during pregnancy.
Lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli) are essential for the health of the female genital area, as they determine the acidity of vaginal flora. The acidic environment of the vagina prevents germs from becoming established there.Read on
The healthy vagina is certainly not germ-free, but it has a natural protective function. A healthy balance depends on an acidic environment in which harmful yeasts and bacteria cannot survive.Read on