Medical Problems

Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria found in soil, vegetation and sewerage.
It can cross the placenta, reaching and causing infection in the baby. This can result in miscarriage, premature rupture of membranes and premature birth. Generally an infection with Listeria results from eating contaminated foods and in the adult most commonly results in a fever headache and flu-like symptoms. As it often presents with these vague symptoms it is easily missed but fortunately this is a rare infection in Australia.
Listeria bacteria are sensitive to heat and cooking food properly will destroy it. Meat should be cooked thoroughly and if you are using the microwave to reheat, ensure that the food is heated through to the middle.
Refrigeration does not kill Listeria bacteria. It is one of the few bacteria able to grow on food in this environment. Therefore leftovers should not be eaten more than 12 -24 hours after cooking. Foods at salad bars / Delicatessens and any chilled ready-to-eat foods like soft serve ice-cream, are best avoided.
Good food hygiene is mostly common sense.

  • Wash your hands before preparing any food.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables before eating.
  • Food should be well cooked.
  • Separate chopping boards for meat from other foods.
  • Store cooked food separately from raw food.

Placenta Praevia

This describes where the placenta lies in relation to the cervix. When the placenta covers the cervix (partially or completely) or has its edge close to the cervix then it is called placenta praevia. If you have a persistent placenta praevia then you will need to be delivered by caesarean section. There are some significant risks, both during pregnancy and delivery, associated with this condition. Don’t read about it unless you have it and if you have it, discuss the risks with your doctor before scaring yourself with all the information available in books.

Pre-Eclampsia

Pre-Eclampsia has also been known as PET and Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH).  Regardless of the name, this condition is a little tricky to understand.

What causes it?

Pregnancy – at least that’s the simple answer!
The real answer is rather more complex and poorly understood. It involves the mother’s immune response to the foreign antigens in the baby / placenta. These antigens are derived from dad. The end result is a disorder of small vessels resulting in poor blood flow in the affected organs resulting in damage to those organs.
The organs most commonly affected are:

  • Brain, Kidney, Liver, Placenta