February is Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, an observance to promote awareness of infections transmitted from mother to baby. Prenatal infections include bacterial or viral illnesses that can be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy or during the delivery process. Due to the serious consequences for mother and baby, prenatal infection prevention is a critical component of maternal and child health promotion.
As an adjunct to good health, WIC can help increase awareness among pregnant women about infections that can potentially be passed from mother to the unborn child, and inform them about the simple steps they can take to protect their unborn child or newborn from infections that cause serious health problems.
The CDC offers a collection page dedicated to the common infections mom may encounter during pregnancy (available in Spanish), these include Zika, Strep, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Listeriosis. The page offers a number of downloadable resources and handouts (many available in Spanish), links and information about how moms can protect her fetus or newborn from these infections.
The Office on Women’s Health has a page dedicated to prenatal care and tests (also available in Spanish) which provides information and resources on topics such as choosing a prenatal care provider, prenatal checkups and high-risk pregnancies.
Woman who are HIV positive are at higher risk for other infections that can also pass from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. The Office of Women’s Health offers both basic and in-depth HIV/AIDS information and resources related to how women can prevent, be tested for and manage the disease. This web page is also available in Spanish.
WIC staff can provide women who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS with important information and education on nutrition, infant nutrition, and food safety as well as referrals to health care and other social services. WIC State agencies can review WIC Nutrition Risk Criteria 352b Infectious Diseases - Chronic to see how WIC nutrition services can help improve the health and birth outcomes of participants with HIV/AIDS.
HHS, CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
HHS, Office on Women's Health
USDA, Food and Nutrition Service