Listeriosis in pregnancy

Listeriosis during pregnancy

In pregnancy, it is very important to eat wisely and check that you are not eating anything that is contaminated. Listeriosis in pregnancy can be a serious food borne infection.

Getting this infection can be dangerous as it can harm both you and your baby. You might have a premature delivery, your baby can be born with this infection or it can even lead to stillbirths or miscarriages.


Common symptoms of listeriosis in pregnancy include:

  • Mild flu
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache and muscle ache
  • Fever

In case your nervous system gets infected, then you might experience dizziness, stiff neck or even convulsions.


Listeriosis is caused when you are infected by a bacterium called Listeria monocytogene, found in soil and water. They get into vegetables through soil. Ultimately, animals eating those plants get infected by the bacteria. So, having unpasteurized milk and uncooked vegetables can expose you to the bacteria and cause an infection. Cooking and pasteurizing usually kills the bacteria, though there are chances that the bacteria may in some cases survive after cooking.

Treatment of listeriosis in pregnancy

Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics given during pregnancy. They can help in preventing the fetus and the newborn from getting infected.


  • Eat properly cooked food as cooking generally kills the bacteria
  • Eating leftover food can also lead to Listeria infection. Also, refrigeration does not harm the bacteria in any way. Thus, it is advisable to reheat the food till it is steaming hot
  • Avoid having unpasteurized milk as there can be bacteria present which might have come from an infected cow
  • Wash the vegetables and fruits properly before eating them
  • Avoid having street food as they can be contaminated
  • Keep your dishes, dishcloths, refrigerator away from any sources of contamination and clean them regularly. Wash your dishcloths with hot water every day and dry clean your dishes and utensils with a clean dishcloth.

Listeria is one of those bacteria, which can thrive in extreme temperatures, thus it becomes a bit difficult to deal with them. But you can avoid the infection just by following the above tips.

Have a safe pregnancy and for all pregnancy related information download Pregnancy Health, Diet and Fitness by Ango!