Since pregnant women are more at risk for developing urinary tract infections (UTI) than their nonpregnant peers, you’ll want to take care to keep your excretory system in tip-top shape.
- Go when you get the urge since “holding it” for too long allows UTI-causing bacteria to breed in the urine.
- Drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. One study found that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice three times a day may also protect against UTIs.
- Always wipe from front to back since wiping back to front can drag bacteria from the anal area into the urethra.
- Avoid tight-fitting jeans and nylon underwear which can trap moisture and give bacteria a chance to grow. Instead, choose loose-fitting clothing and cotton or cotton-lined underwear.
Think you might have a UTI?
Warning signs include:
- difficulty while urinating
- burning sensation while urinating
- cramps or burning sensation in the lower back or abdomen
- cloudy or foul smelling urine
If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately. Untreated UTIs can lead to kidney infections and preterm birth.
Promote good bladder health by avoiding added sugars and refined carbohydrates and eating fruits and vegetables in every color of the rainbow each week. Supplements with vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and probiotics can also ward off UTIs.
Many thanks to Michael Lu, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and public health at UCLA and lead investigator of the National Children’s Study at the Los Angeles-Ventura Study Center, for sharing his expertise.