Salmonella poisoning and your pregnancy

Salmonella is a painful bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, fever, and cramps in the abdomen, and sometimes prove to be dangerous.

Learn more about Salmonella poisoning during pregnancy so you don’t need to panic and can avoid it.  You can pass on the salmonella poisoning to your unborn baby, in most cases, the unborn baby becomes vulnerable to meningitis.

What Is Salmonella Poisoning:

Salmonella, also officially known as Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning that is caused by the bacteria with the same name. The bacteria leads to infection in your intestinal tract. In most cases, the salmonella is already present in your intestine and normally comes out along with the feces.

Whether or not you are pregnant, most of the signs and symptoms of salmonella are the same, but the effects could be severe during pregnancy.

Signs And Symptoms:

Here are some of the most common symptoms of salmonella poisoning that you can keep a watch out for:

  • Diarrhea
  • Pain in your muscles
  • Pain in your stomach
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Blood or spotting in the stool

Prevention Of Salmonella Poisoning:

Here are a few ways in which you can prevent or cut down your risk of contracting salmonella poisoning while you are pregnant:

1. Handle Food In A Safe And Clean Way:

  • Before you chop food items or cook them, you wash them thoroughly.
  • While you are preparing or cooking food, it can often come in contact with other food items that could lead to cross-contamination and increase your chances of contracting salmonella poisoning.
  • Be careful to handle food items separately so that you can reduce the chances of cross-contamination in food.
  • Clean your food prep area, especially after handling raw meats or eggs so there is no cross-contamination

2. Keep Your Hands Clean:

  • Always wash your hands properly before you handle any food item while cooking or eating.
  • Wash your hands properly if you are handling raw meats or animal produce.
  • In addition to washing your hands right after you come in contact with such food items, wash them as many times as possible throughout the day.

3. Avoid Undercooked Or Raw Food:

  • The salmonella bacteria are mostly present in foods that are undercooked or raw and can significantly increase your chances of contracting the poisoning.
  • When you cook the food thoroughly, especially meat, fish and poultry products, it will kill the bacteria and reduce your chances of contracting the poison.
  • When you have milk or juice, make sure you have only pasteurized products, so that you have a lower chance of contracting the infection.

 Sources Of Salmonella Poisoning:

1. Contact With An Infected Animal:

  • Direct touch with an animal that is infected with salmonella.
  • Animals can spread this bacteria through its feces, through the soil, water, food, or bedding that it comes in contact with. 
  • The most common animals that are known to get infected with salmonella poisoning are poultry (chicken, geese, ducks and the like), and reptiles (turtles, snakes, lizards and the like).

2. Eating Infected Food:

  • Raw or under cooked meat, fish and poultry as they are the most carriers of salmonella.
  • Raw or under cooked eggs or dishes made of raw or under cooked eggs can also lead to salmonella poisoning.
  • Avoid unpasteurized milk, dairy products, and juices.
  • Food that has come into contact with the feces of an animal that is affected by the salmonella bacteria. 
  • You can also contract salmonella poisoning if the food that you are cooking comes in contact with the bacteria during preparation.

When Are You More Likely To Contract Salmonella Poisoning:

Here are a few situations that may make you more susceptible to salmonella poisoning:

1. Unhygienic Sanitation System:

Unhygienic sanitation places are often breeding grounds for bacteria, and it is a common place where you can get exposed to the salmonella bacteria. Make sure you use only clean toilets and maintain basic hygiene levels especially when preparing food.

2. There Is A Pet Or A Reptile In Your Home:

House pets or animals you come in contact can be carriers of the salmonella bacteria, and petting them can also lead to you contracting the salmonella poisoning.

3. Low Immunity Level:

If you have low immunity, your body will not be able to fight the salmonella bacteria.

Dangers Of Salmonella Poisoning:

While salmonella poisoning can often resolve on its own, it can turn into a serious health issue especially when you are pregnant, affecting both you and your unborn baby:

  • Meningitis that can be caused by bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the blood)
  • A very extreme case of dehydration
  • Reactive arthritis ( joint pain and swelling)
  • Bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the blood)


Treating Salmonella Poisoning:

Here are a few ways in which your doctor can help you to come out of the problem when you are pregnant:

1. Antibiotics:

If your doctor feels that you are suffering from a case of bacteremia, which means that the bacteria has spread to your bloodstream, you may have to start a course of antibiotics. Even as doctors try to avoid giving you antibiotics while you are pregnant, in some cases it may be the best or the only choice. Your doctor will also try to make sure that the antibiotics prescribed are as safe as possible.

2. Replenish The Lost Fluids:

One of the symptoms of salmonella poisoning especially when you are pregnant is that it leads to an extreme form of dehydration. If you have severe dehydration, whether from diarrhea or otherwise, your doctor will first try to replenish all the fluids that you have lost from your body. To do so, your doctor may ask you to get admitted to hospital so that you can be put on intravenous fluids that will help to replenish the lost fluids faster.

2 thoughts on “Salmonella poisoning and your pregnancy

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