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Could Poor Cat Handling Habits be putting your Unborn Baby at Risk?
“A baby is born with a need to be loved- and never outgrows it.”- Frank A. Clark. Although there is no doubt that this quote is true… it is also very true that a baby needs to be taken care of early on inside the womb.
Prenatal Infection Prevention is essential to the wellbeing of your baby, and can determine its physical and emotional happiness in the womb, once it’s born and as the child grows. These pre-emptive measures not only protect your unborn baby but also mom-to-be; Prevention awareness includes guiding the expectant mom with advice on proper nutrition, food handling practices and general hygiene habits, including that of good pet hygiene habits.
“Do you have to get rid of your cat during your pregnancy? Not necessarily!”- affirms Dr. Guillermo Lievano at his practice Elite OBGYN in Miami, FL. “But making sure that you do follow proper cat handling habits is crucial. Have other people empty the cat litter or, if you must do it yourself, be sure to wear gloves and a mask, and clean it daily, always washing your hands afterwards. Keep your cat inside your house, so that it doesn’t prey on infected birds or mice, also keep your cat off of dining surfaces. Feed your cat only commercial grade food- never raw food, this helps prevent your cat from getting infected. Always wash your hands after playing with or touching your cat and do not get a new kitten or cat during your pregnancy.”- recommends Dr. Lievano.
Contact with cat feces, eating or handling raw meats, cross-contamination and coming in contact with contaminated soil or water can cause infection- primarily contracting an infection called Toxoplasmosis (it’s called congenital toxoplasmosis when its transmitted from mother to fetus). This can have rare but serious consequences for the unborn baby such as mental retardation, malformation, deafness, vision problems and even stillbirth. The probability of infection increases in the 3rd trimester but the risk of the fetus developing these grave consequences increases early in pregnancy.
Dr. Lievano suggests the following pre-emptive measures during your pregnancy:
· Limit consumption and exposure to under-cooked, cured or raw meats
· Prevent cross-contamination when cooking/ properly wash cutting boards
· Limit gardening, handling soil and unclean vegetables or sprouts
· Boil or filter water
· Avoid unpasteurized product consumption (milk, cheeses, etc.)
· At home and when traveling, make sure to only eat at hygienic eateries
· Wash your hands regularly, especially when cooking, touching your face, nose or mouth and handling pets
Toxoplasmosis is probably the most heard of prenatal infection, but the most common of prenatal infections is GBS (Group B Streptococcus), in which 1 in 4 women carry it and most women don’t even have any symptoms. This infection lives in the intestine, vagina or rectal areas and should be screened for between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy. GBS is the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not all babies are infected, but to those who are the results are very severe including preterm delivery, stillbirth miscarriage and even perinatal death. GBS is easily screened for in your Obstetricians office by vaginal culture easily treated in labor to prevent transmission with penicillin.
“Keeping track of your unborn baby via periodic assessments and regular visits with ultrasounds and doppler heart rate monitoring also help along the way. At Elite we offer integrative delivery packages, high-risk prenatal care and top-notch Specialist referrals. We’re always here for you and baby!”- reassures Dr. Lievano.
Dr. Guillermo Lievano, DO, is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is on the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. Dr. Lievano received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Barry University, Miami Shores, FLand his Medical Degree from Des Moines University Osteopathic Medical Center, Des Moines, IA. He accomplished a traditional Osteopathic Rotating Internship at Palmetto General Hospital (Nova Southeastern University), Hialeah, FL and completed two residencies in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at both Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, MD and at University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, FL. Following his residency Dr. Lievano practiced at prestigious South Florida women’s healthcare centers including the All Women’s Healthcare of South Florida and Women’s Personal Physicians LLC, where he was partner.
In 2009 and 2010, Dr. Lievano received the honorable “Patients Choice Award” and, in 2010, the “Compassionate Physician Award”.
Currently, Dr. Lievano has an independent practice “Elite Obstetrics & Gynecology in Miami” and has privileges at multiple prestigious South Florida hospitals, including the world-renowned Baptist Hospital of Miami, FL. He is also member of the Baptist Hospital of Miami Robotics Steering Committee and of the Universal Robotics Program Materials and Equipment Committee.
Dr. Lievano’s areas of expertise are minimally invasive surgery, advanced laparoscopy and high-risk obstetrical care.
For more information or to make your appointment call Dr. Lievano at +1 305-270-3562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.drlievanoobgyn.com