Women can also pass on to their babies certain disease during pregnancy. If a woman is infected, for example, with rubella during the first month of pregnancy, there is a 80% chance her baby will be infected as well. If this happens, her baby may develop problems including cataracts (possibly leading to blindness), heart defects and deafness – known together as congenital rubella syndrome. Part of your pre-pregnancy check-up will include tests to check for evidence of previous infection that could harm the pregnancy.
You can eliminate the risk of passing on some diseases by making sure you are immunised against them before conception. It is important to immunise early because some immunisation shots cannot be given once you are pregnant. Others take time to administer. So plan ahead.