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Mommy Alert! Pregnant Women Beware

Today, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged obstetricians and gynecologists to tell all their pregnant patients about steps they can take to avoid contracting cytomegalovirus, a virus that causes birth defects in 5,000 to 8,000 American babies born each year.

A Reuters article cites contact with the saliva or urine of young children as a leading cause of the infection, which passes from the pregnant woman to her fetus. It said:

The CDC said such infection occurs in about 1 in 150 babies born in the United States, some of whom develop hearing or vision loss, mental disability or other problems. It is the leading infectious cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States, according to the CDC.

To see what the CDC recommends to prevent pregnant women from becoming infected,


The CDC recommends that pregnant women wash hands often with soap and water, especially after contact with saliva or diapers from young children, to not kiss children under age 6 on the mouth or cheek to avoid saliva, and to not share food, drinks or utensils with young children.

Join The Conversation
Neural Neural 9 years
Yeah, I don't see myself stopping kissing my daughter.
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 9 years
Very off-topic, but the picture of that pregnant mom and her little boy is SO CUTE!
MotoLinz MotoLinz 9 years
Geez - I can appreciate the information and suggestions, but I can't imagine not even kissing my kid on the cheek. "Sorry, honey - I can't love on you because it might be bad for Baby." Probably not the best way to make them comfortable with the new sibling's entrance into their world...
techkim techkim 9 years
I use glove to change diapers with my perschoolers. Its a little hard to stay away from spit but I wash my hands a ton. I don't kiss any of them as I don't want their sickies but I won't stop kissing my son.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
:rotfl: Lauren! Exactly. Let's see here...there are over 4 million babies born here every year. In 2006, there were 4.27 million babies born in the US. Even if all 8,000 of them had an issue with this, you're still only talking about less than 0.2%. That's like a fifth of a percent. So, neglect and abuse your existing child to prevent a fifth of a percent of a chance of a problem with your unborn child...? No thanks.
ahost ahost 9 years
I don't think you need to be as strict as not kissing your own children. But awareness to avoid certain situations and to wash your hands extra carefully after contact is not a bad idea. I am thrilled the issue of cmv is being brought up. I would have loved knowing about it when we were trying to get pregnant, and would happily made sure I washed my hands better and didn't kiss on my friends children to save the heartache and worry we had to endure. I had two miscarriages before my full term pregnancy. 11 days after ovulation I got a call from the clinic saying I had to go to an infectious decease dr because I had cmv (which I never heard of). I was told I had to get a letter declaring me healthy before I could even come back and that I absolutely could not get pregnant. Of course I already was and to hear the recommendation might be to terminate the pregnancy if it showed I had a primary infection was horrible. I made my dr redo the test to get a more current result and it luckily turned out negative. I find it slightly disturbing that they do not mention in the article, that the danger is if you have a primary infection, not if it is a secondary infection. As most people get the infection as small children, primary infections are fairly rare. But the numbers obviously still warrants more awareness.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
AliCherri1 AliCherri1 9 years
Okay, lets see... don't kiss children under age of 6 = save baby in your belly from possible birth defects... I'd do it!
Greggie Greggie 9 years
"to not kiss children under age 6 on the mouth or cheek to avoid saliva" Yeah, ok CDC. There are things where I'm willing to take the risk. Kissing my child and showing affection is one.
SugarKim4203 SugarKim4203 9 years
Sounds like their telling you to not be a mom
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