Perinatal depression can be prevented

Mental health is essential for everyone including pregnant women. Perinatal or pregnancy depression affects about 1 in 8 new mothers annually in the United States. It can have a devastating effect on the mother as well as the infant.

Risk factors that can be used to identify individuals at risk for perinatal depression include:

  • a history of depression
  • history of physical or sexual abuse
  • unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
  • stressful life events
  • intimate partner violence
  • complications during pregnancy

Additionally, low socioeconomic status, lack of social support, and bearing children during adolescence have been associated with a greater risk of developing perinatal depression after delivery.

The Edinburgh postpartum depression test can screen effectively for your risk of having postpartum depression.

In addition, the interactive Zhung Self-Rating Depression Scale Quiz checks the level of depression to help decide how severe it could be.

Coronavirus 2019-COVID & Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Coronavirus COVID-19

UPDATE AS OF February 2020

There is still much unknown about 2019-COVID and pregnancy. Probably for now the best and most recent answers on 2019-COVID and pregnancy can be found on the CDC website.

On 2/3/2020 it was reported that a pregnant woman with Coronavirus infection was delivered by cesarean section in China at 37 weeks. Both mother and baby are doing well.

On 2/12/2020 The Lancet reported on 9 cases of COVID-19 in the third trimester pregnant women. All were delivered by cesarean section. Symptoms of COVID-19 infections in pregnant women were similar to non-pregnant individuals. There was no evidence for intrauterine infection in these 9 cases caused by transmission from the women to the baby. Also, there is no evidence that a cesarean delivery is needed to protect the mother or the fetus.

In February 2020, most information we have on pregnancy and coronavirus derives from information on MERS and SARS coronaviruses.

One was a report of 5 pregnant women from Saudi Arabia which concluded that MERS-CoV may pose serious health risks to both mothers and infants during pregnancy. Two of the 5 mothers infected with the virus died.

Pregnant women with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) appear to have a worse clinical outcome and a higher mortality rate compared to non-pregnant women.

Though there were a limited number of pregnant women among these cases, it seems pregnant women are more likely to become infected and those who became infected with SARS were more likely to get sick.

Pregnancy is a time of low immune function which generally includes:

  • older people
  • diabetics
  • people with HIV infection
  • people with long-term use of immunosuppressive agents
  • pregnant women

How to make sure you eat food safely

There are always many opportunities to gather and share food, if it’s during the holidays or in between. Whether you eat in someone’s home, at work, or at a restaurant, it’s important to get educated and be careful about what you eat.

Food poisoning is a frequent occurrence and each year millions of people in the United States get sick from contaminated food. Symptoms of food poisoning may be mild or severe and may include upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration.

Here are some general precautionary measures:

  • Buffets and the Two-Hour Rule: Perishable foods like meats should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Hot and Cold: Keep Hot Foods HOT and Cold Foods COLD.
  • Cold foods:  should be held at 40 °F or colder.
  • Leftovers:  Don’t forget to discard all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, and casseroles left at room temperature longer than 2 hours.

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