Tuberculosis & pregnancy: Here is what you need to know
A diagnosis of tuberculosis is dauting, no less and when you are given such a diagnosis when you are pregnant, it can leave you in a very anxious...
A diagnosis of tuberculosis is dauting, no less and when you are given such a diagnosis when you are pregnant, it can leave you in a very anxious state of mind, especially with respect to your baby's health and well-being.
First, if you are pregnant and if you are having symptoms of tuberculosis, it is important to diagnose tuberculosis at the earliest possible. There are several tests that are available which are perfectly safe for all pregnant women.
Also, it is important not to defer treatment, as this is not only putting your unborn baby at risk but also your own health.
As we all know, Tuberculosis leads to severe malnutrition and the undernourishment is not good for both the baby and the mother. The overall nutrient, calorie and energy needs are higher for a pregnant woman than a non-pregnant woman.
So, the first step is an accurate and early diagnosis. Women are usually screened for HIV early in the pregnancy. If they are HIV positive then they are immediately put on treatment, so that the unborn baby is not at harm. TB symptoms are stark and hence diagnosis should be as early as possible.
If your doctor suspects that you may have tuberculosis, she may order a few tests for you to confirm an active tuberculosis infection.
Sometimes your doctor may choose not to do an X Ray for you and that would be OK, since sputum cultures and blood tests have evolved so much that diagnosis will be accurate.
Treatment for active tuberculosis infection is different in pregnant women. Certain antibiotics are known to harm the fetus and hence are not recommended.
Your doctor will or prescribe the correct antibody regimen for you and you need to continue this even after the baby is born and until your doctor has not declared your tuberculosis free.
Also it is perfectly safe for women on treatment to breastfeed the baby. In a chance that your newborn is born with Tuberculosis, your doctor will immediately begin treatment for the same.
If you are on treatment for tuberculosis during pregnancy, there is lesser chances of your baby being born with pregnancy.
It is important to eat healthy balanced and nutritious meals duringthe course ofyour pregnancy and when you are breastfeeding for your own health and for the baby's health.
In addition to monitoring your pregnancy, your doctor may also order tests for tuberculosis to make sure that you are coping well.