Do Antibiotics Harm the Baby?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
Hi. I am 29 weeks pregnant. At 28 weeks + 2 days, I visited my doctor because I felt pain somewhere in vagina. He made an ultrasound examination and noticed that uterus was slightly tensed; then he found out that I was dilated 1 finger. He prescribed Hexoprenaline which I take 4 times a day (each is 0.2 mg). Then I took urine and blood test. I wasn't surprised because of low level of erthrocytes because this is something that follows me from the beginning, but urine test result was very bad. 18-20 leukocytes, there was a sign (+) which means there is a bacteria or infection of the urinary tract. My doctor gave me an antibiotic and after seven days I will repeat the urine test.

Are there any consequences for the baby because I am taking these medicines. This is my second baby, and I really prefer life without chemicals and medicines. I take them only if I really have to. Therefore I am concerned how these medicine will reflect on the fetus development.

What could be the reason for this situation. Is something wrong with me or with the baby? On the ultrasound, the baby's parameters are regular and everything is in accordance with the age of pregnancy. On the other hand, I really work hard and have an extremely stressful job. I work in the office 8 hours or work on the field (driving my car in rural and hilly areas on extremely bad roads). I believe that this job caused all this problems and my stupidity for acting like I am not pregnant and I can do everything others can.

ANSWER

Bladder infections should be treated promptly during pregnancy, as they can quickly become much more serious and endanger the life of the mother and baby. As far as we know, the antibiotics do not hurt the baby.

There are lots of reasons why the infection may have started, and most of them are not in your control. All you can do to prevent these infections is to be sure to wipe from front to back every time and drink lots of water.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.