What Should I Do If I Get Salmonella During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it’s vital to monitor your food intake for the wellbeing of your developing baby. Experiencing illness after a meal can be alarming. Heightened caution is understandable in light of the recent U.S. salmonella cases linked to cantaloupes and cured meats, particularly for those expecting.

The Risks of Salmonella for Expecting Mothers

Contracting food poisoning is unpleasant for anyone, and it’s even more complex for pregnant women. Fatigue is already an issue, and the common morning sickness can mimic the symptoms of foodborne illnesses. Expecting mothers should be particularly careful with foodborne illnesses like salmonella due to the potential risks to their unborn child. While transmission of the infection from mother to fetus is uncommon, it does carry a small but serious risk of resulting in critical conditions such as sepsis (blood infection) or meningitis in the child.

At AFC Urgent Care Arden, we’re here to offer guidance on how to proceed if you suspect you have contracted salmonella.

Contracting Salmonella During Pregnancy

Navigating the dietary do’s and don’ts of pregnancy is essential to decreasing the risk of foodborne diseases such as salmonella. Salmonella can come from undercooked meats and eggs, as well as fruits and vegetables that haven’t been thoroughly cleansed.

Consuming salmonella-contaminated food could lead to feeling unwell within several hours or days. The symptoms are generally similar to those in non-pregnant people, but there’s a slight chance of it impacting your baby. It’s wise to consult with your OB/GYN to ensure everything is alright with your pregnancy.

Recognizing Salmonella Symptoms

Symptoms of salmonella include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches

These symptoms typically emerge 6 hours to 6 days post-infection, with most people having symptoms between four to seven days.

Preventing Salmonella During Pregnancy

Ensure Safe Food Preparation

Many salmonella infections are attributed to improperly cooked foods. It’s important to source meat and produce from reputable providers and cook them completely. Washing all produce is also a key step in eliminating bacteria.

Exercise Caution Around Animals

Pets and other animals can also be sources of salmonella. Always wash your hands after interacting with animals, and for the time being, it’s best to avoid close contact like pet kisses. When visiting places with animals, like petting zoos, it’s important for everyone to practice good hand hygiene afterwards.

Keep Cleaning Tools Bacteria-Free

A clean living environment is crucial for your health, but it’s important to remember that cleaning tools themselves can become a breeding ground for bacteria such as salmonella. This pathogen can thrive on moist surfaces, like rags and sponges, and can be transferred to food or hands, so ensure these items are kept clean.

Avoid Raw Eggs

To lower the risk of infection, steer clear of foods that have raw or not fully cooked eggs. This means saying no to yummy goodies like homemade mayo, Caesar dressing, and raw cookie dough. Also, be careful with dishes that are only partially cooked, like sunny side up eggs or quiches that aren’t fully cooked.

If you have questions or concerns about contracting salmonella, visit AFC Urgent Care Arden today.