Staying healthy during a pregnancy is every woman’s goal however between 2 to 4% of pregnant women develop urinary tract infections (UTI).  If untreated, there is an increased risk for premature contractions and an early delivery.  However, by using some simple measures your chances of developing a UTI are greatly reduced.

S = Stop drinking soda while you’re pregnant.  Carbonated beverages irritate the bladder and increase the chance of developing an infection.  A small adjustment in your diet can bring about huge benefits regarding avoiding an early delivery.

M=  Make it a habit to empty your bladder as often as you can (especially after being intimate).  Although it is not the most romantic thing to do, medical studies have shown that it does works.

A=Asymptomatic.  A fancy word meaning that you don’t have symptoms but the condition is present.  Your urine is usually tested during each prenatal visit and if significant bacteria or protein is found, you must receive antibiotic medicine.

R=Report all symptoms of lower abdominal and/or back pain.  Getting up in the middle of the night with frequent trips to the bathroom requires further evaluation.

T=Take all of your prescribed medicine if you are being treated for a UTI.  Many women stop taking antibiotics before the end of the prescribed period (usually three days) and develop the infection again.  Untreated urinary tract infections could potentially end up in the kidneys which is a very serious medical condition and usually requires hospitalization.

When you use these “SMART” tips to avoid or treat a UTI, you reduce the chances of developing premature contractions, thus improving your chances of delivering a healthy full term baby.