Now is the time to start spending more time outdoors. Even if you’re pregnant, you want to get out and enjoy the sun, go hiking, picnicking, and doing all the activities you love. Pregnancy should never hold you back from spending time outdoors.
One thing to note, however, is that ticks do not discriminate between pregnant and non-pregnant women. They search for a warm body that can supply them with food.
Because deer ticks live where there is grass, weeds, and brush, you have more chances of encountering them while outside. This also means you have more chances of contracting Lyme disease while pregnant.
Conflicting reports are stating Lyme disease can be passed on from a pregnant mom to her unborn baby. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims the placenta can be infected, but it is extremely rare for an unborn baby to contract Lyme from the mother.
The good news is that the transmission is stopped when you take antibiotics, making early detection extremely important.
The bad news is that if Lyme disease is not treated early, the symptoms can become severe and may interfere with your health, and ultimately, interfere with the quality time you can spend with your baby. If you are pregnant and think a tick may have bitten you, seek treatment now. If you aren’t sure you were bitten by a tick but have unexplained symptoms, it’s crucial you seek treatment anyway.
Below are symptoms of Lyme disease. Don’t dismiss these symptoms, even if you think they may be related to another cause.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
Many pregnant women will notice a red circular rash around the area where the tick bit them. But this is not a requirement and does not show up on everyone. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to other symptoms.
Soon after you are bitten by a tick infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, you may experience headaches, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, swollen lymph glands, and swelling or stiffness in your neck or joints.
The longer you go untreated, the more severe the symptoms become. Lyme disease can become chronic over time. You may feel too tired to get out of bed and too sore to perform ordinary tasks. Depression and anxiety increase, as well as chances for nerve damage, memory problems, facial paralysis, and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
Any of these symptoms can make it challenging to care for your baby.
Again, the sooner you get tested and treated for Lyme disease, the better. Don’t wait until after you deliver your baby to get help.
Treating Lyme While Pregnant
Treating Lyme disease involves the use of antibiotics. For women who are not pregnant, strong antibiotics like doxycycline are used. The more potent antibiotics are not usually given to pregnant women. Instead, antibiotics like Amoxycillin can be given because they won’t affect the health of your baby.
There are also alternative Lyme Disease Mexico treatments, administered by Lyme-literate doctors with advanced, modern equipment, that can aid in your recovery while pregnant. Examples include therapeutic apheresis, anti-oxidant protocols, and IV vitamin infusions that boost your immune system to fight off the infection naturally.
One of the best ways to fight Lyme disease is through prevention.
How to Prevent Lyme Disease
By taking simple prevention steps, you can avoid Lyme disease and won’t have to worry if it can be passed on to your baby.
Skin cancer, like melanoma, is a hot topic. There are many media reports on how to avoid skin damage and cancer while outdoors. There are also many steps you can take to prevent Lyme disease.
Let’s look at some of the best prevention tips:
- Tick Repellants – Tick repellants do not have to be sprayed on your skin to prevent Lyme disease. You can spray your clothing with Deet or other repellants that repel ticks. Many tick repellants on the market are safe for pregnant women even when applied directly to the skin.
- The Right Clothing – When you head outdoors, wear clothing that will cover most of your body. Instead of wearing flip-flops, opt for sneakers or boots. Wear lightweight clothing, so you don’t get overheated, but also cover your arms and legs. Also, wearing light-colored clothing helps you spot a tick.
- Avoid Overgrown Areas – The more grass and weeds around, the better the environment for ticks. If you go outside, stay in the areas that are groomed. This includes your own yard. The better you take care of your yard by mowing the grass, the fewer chances of ticks near your home.
- Tick Checks- While you are outdoors, do brief checks of your body and clothing. If you can spot a tick early, you can get rid of it before it bites you. Ticks can roam on the body for days before biting, so checking all your body parts is essential.
As soon as you come in from the outdoors, remove the clothing you were wearing and throw them in the dryer. The high heat kills the ticks. Plus, changing clothes gets ticks away from your body sooner.
Taking a shower soon after returning home is also helpful. This gives you the perfect place to check all the hidden parts on your body where ticks like to hide.
Don’t forget to check your pets too! Ticks search for any warm body, including animals that can bring them into your home.
If you do find a tick on your body, use tweezers to remove it. If it has embedded under your skin, make sure you remove the whole tick, including the head. Place the tick in a storage container to show your doctor after making an appointment for Lyme disease evaluation.
Prevention actions like the ones above can give you the confidence to enjoy the outdoors while your pregnant. Start having fun today!