As summer arrives and vacations abroad are being planned, pregnant woman and woman trying to conceive are curious about the effects Zika Virus and pregnancy.

The Concern for Zika and Pregnancy

Microcephaly is an abnormal smallness of the head, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development.

In a recent study by the Center for Disease Control reports that “scientists announced that there is now enough evidence to conclude that Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects and has been linked to problems in infants, including eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth. Scientists are studying the full range of other potential health problems that Zika virus infection during pregnancy may cause.”

In addition to microcephaly, other problems have been detected among fetuses and infants infected with Zika virus before birth, such as eye defects, hearing loss, and impaired growth.

How to Protect Your Baby from Zika

  1. Avoid travel to an area with Zika: The CDC recommends special precautions for pregnant women. Women who are pregnant should not travel to any area where Zika virus is spreading. 
  2. Prevent Mosquito Bites: Use natural mosquito repellant, long clothing, and essential oils to prevent bites. More info on how to protect yourself from Zika here.
  3. Avoid Sexually transmitted Zika: If a male has traveled to a place with Zika, it is best to avoid sexual contact or use protection for at least 6 months.
  4. Wait to conceive: If the woman or man contracted Zika, it is advised to wait 1 year for the virus to clear before trying to conceive. If the man or woman has traveled to a place with Zika, it is advised to wait 3-6 months to conceive.
  5. If you are pregnant: There is no vaccine for Zika, see a healthcare provider for further instruction.