Contracting cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection during pregnancy poses a risk to the developing baby, as some of these babies are born with permanent health problems such as hearing loss and developmental delay. CMV is a virus found in bodily fluids, including urine, saliva, blood, mucus and tears. It is spread through close contact with bodily fluids. The main way pregnant women catch CMV is from small children’s saliva and urine. So women who work with children, or who have a family already, need to be especially careful during pregnancy. For information about how to minimise this risk, click here.
The infection that causes toxoplasmosis is found in the poo of infected cats and in infected meat. You can also catch it from soil that has been contaminated by cat poo.If it spreads to your baby it can cause serious complications including miscarriage, especially if you get infected early in pregnancy. For more information about toxoplasmosis, click here.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. If you have genital herpes during pregnancy, there's a risk your baby could develop a serious illness called neonatal herpes; that's why is is important that you alert your GP or midwife if you think that you have genital herpes infection during pregnancy. Women whose first infection with herpes occurred before pregnancy can usually expect to have a healthy baby and a vaginal delivery because they will transfer protective antibodies to their baby during the pregnancy (unless the baby is born extremely prematurely). For more information about genital herpes, click here and for more information about neonatal herpes, click here.