Fever is generally not considered as a very serious condition while you are pregnant. However, when this normal fever turns into a little more serious condition such as jaundice, then it needs to be dealt with more care. When you have jaundice during pregnancy its natural to feel little worried about your baby. Good news is you need have to worry a lot about your condition. With the right treatment, care, and lifestyle changes you should feel as safe as any pregnant women without jaundice.
What is jaundice?
Jaundice is a symptom that your liver is infected. There are two types to it. One is infectious jaundice and the other type is metabolic jaundice.
When virus or bacteria infects your liver, it leads to infectious jaundice. However, Jaundice also happen due to many other reasons which include smoking, drinking alcohol, excessive drug consumption, consuming fat-rich foods in excess, gall bladder stone, swelling in the gallbladder, malaria, fatty liver, and many other reasons. Jaundice that results from these conditions belongs to metabolic jaundice.
Jaundice due to Virus
In countries like India where the environment is badly polluted, viruses play a major in the occurrence of jaundice. Viral jaundice is usually caused by hepatitis viruses. There are many types of hepatitis virus namely A, B, C, D, E. Among these A and B are more prominent reasons for jaundice in India.
It occurs due to Hepatitis-A type virus. It can attack anyone irrespective of their age or gender. It is necessary to be more cautious when it happens during pregnancy.
Ways through which Jaundice attacks
Microbes or viruses for jaundice will be present in the stools of an affected person. These viruses will spread to other areas through flies and insects. When these insects sit over food items and drinking water facilities, the viruses and microbes attached to them will infest the foods and drinking water. A person who is low on immunity can get infected after consuming these food items. Viruses responsible for jaundice is also infectious, so it can spread from person to person or spread through an area infested with viruses, bacterias, and other harmful microbes.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
- Loss of appetite
- Fever, vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Itchy feeling throughout the body
- Eyes and skin will turn yellow
- Urination will be in dark yellow color
- White colored stools
Blood test for Jaundice
It is always better for a pregnant woman to take the appropritate blood tests for jaundice as a precautionary measure. And most Doctors will advise for it as well.
Treatments and Preventive measures
There is no specialized treatment for jaundice. A complete rest for four weeks time spam with right diet should cure you out of the condition. You can opt for alternative medicines during this time span to speed up your healing process. However, make sure you are taking in these alternative medicines with the advice of a reputed Doctor.
Are there any Vaccinations to Prevent Jaundice?
Among all other jaundice types, Hepatitis – A is a less dangerous type of jaundice. It will not affect the pregnant women or the fetus. Hepatitis A vaccination helps to prevent this condition. Inactivated Hepatitis A Vaccine must be taken before pregnancy. For those who are affected by Hepatitis A after pregnancy should take HBIG vaccination within two weeks of its occurrence. The second course of this vaccination should be taken after one month time period.
Cleanliness is the Best Preventing Measure
- Drink only boiled drinking water to prevent Hepatitis A.
- There should be a minimum hygiene standard that should be maintained during cooking and serving foods.
- Protect your foods from flies, insects, and microbes by properly covering and wrapping it before and after consumption.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after having your foods.
- Refrain yourself from eating out in low quality food chains, and do not opt for fast foods especially when you are pregnant.
People affected by jaundice would have badly damaged their liver and its functioning. So, they should avoid fat rich foods like eggs, yogurt, curd, butter, and ghee, as they take very long time to digest. They should consume only easily digestible foods like rice, steamed vegetables, porridge, tender coconut, buttermilk, sugarcane juice, glucose, and fruit juices.
It occurs due to Hepatitis B virus. And it is really dangerous.
Ways through which this Jaundice Occurs
This virus spreads through blood, breastfeeding, sperm, and fluid secretions in the vagina. When a pregnant woman has this type of jaundice, its more likely the fetus has it as well. Additionally, this Hepatitis-B virus can also spread through sex and through blood transfusion. It can spread through careless mistakes like when syringes used on the infected person is not distilled or cleaned properly and used directly on a normal person.
Effects of Hepatitis B
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting, fever, diarrhea
- Stomach pain
- Excessive tiredness
- Eyes and skin will turn pale yellow in color.
- Yellow colored urination
- White colored pooping
- Itching sensation in the skin
- Excessive pain in the joints
These symptoms will disappear after some time. But the disease will slowly start to progress and become more aggressive. This disease doesn’t give out any signs of its progression once it is inside your body. However, it can get seriously life-threatening once it matures. Advanced stages of this disease will lead to Liver Cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
What are its effects on Pregnant women?
It can lead to loss of consciousness or coma during labor pain. Additionally, it can lead to urinary infections.
What are its effects on the fetus?
- There can be a miscarriage.
- Premature birth.
- The fetus can die during pregnancy.
There is no medication or treatment that will completely cure Hepatitis B. But there is vaccination that completely prevents Hepatitis B. Woman can take this before pregnancy.
If the mother has Hepatitis or jaundice during delivery, it can spread to the fetus as well. To stop this the newborn should be given Hepatitis B immunoglobulin vaccine within 12 hours of its birth. Along with this Hepatitis B vaccination should also be administered. Both these vaccinations should be administered in separate legs.
Premature Birth of a Baby
If there is a premature delivery, and the baby weighs less than 2 kgs, then the first installment of the vaccination should not be administered immediately after its birth. The first installment of the vaccination can be had with 30 days of baby’s birth. Second vaccination can be administered within 45 days, and the third vaccination can be had after 6 months.