U-M expert can discuss infection prevention in moms, babies

February 12, 2013

ANN ARBOR—During Prenatal Infection Prevention Awareness Month in February, University of Michigan nursing assistant professor Lisa Kane Low is available to discuss issues related to pregnancy.

These topics include: Simple steps to prevent infection in themselves, unborn babies and infants; dietary restrictions; new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations urging flu shots for all pregnant women; labor that provides women a more natural childbirth experience; and pregnancy planning guidelines to avoid infection.

Some women hear about the risks like those associated with handling litter boxes: The cat feces (and also raw meat) may contain the parasite toxoplasma gondii, and exposure can result in toxoplasmosis, Low said. Infection can cause serious problems in developing babies.

About 25 percent of pregnant women carry beta-strep bacteria, a type of bacteria related to strep throat. When passed to the baby, infants experience serious side effects or even death, Low said.

Low chairs the Clinical Standards and Documents Section, Division of Standards and Practice, American College of Nurse Midwives, and serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Childbirth. Her research focuses on optimal childbirth experiences. She’s a certified nurse midwife at the U-M Health System.