Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is MRSA and is it dangerous if you're pregnant?"
I found out that I'm pregnant around two months ago and a friend said that I could get MRSA from going to the hospital and it could be dangerous for my baby. Is this true? What exactly is MRSA?
MRSA stands for methicillin resistant staphylococcus auerus. It is a type of staphylococcus bacteria that has learned to be resistant to a special class of antibiotics. Because it has learned to be resistant to these drugs, there are special antibiotics that must be used to treat MRSA. Today, MRSA can be found just about anywhere. In general the MRSA that can be found in hospitals is considered the more difficult to treat. MRSA typically infects open skin wounds. Thus, unless you have a wound, or you have been in the hospital for a prolonged period of time, your chances of developing an infection are small. Health care workers are exposed to it every day and rarely ever develop an infection. It is also worthy to note that MRSA rarely (if ever) infects a baby that is still in the uterus. Other bacteria such as group B streptococcus are more likely to infect the baby. The best way to protect you and your baby from any infection is to wash your hands frequently. This is the type of question that you should bring up with your OBGYN before you begin planning your birth. The two of you can discuss all the important measures you can take to prevent transmission of any bug to your baby. Good luck.