The increase of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections in otherwise healthy pregnant and postpartum women is a growing concern. First noted in 2006, the spread of C. diff from being solely a hospital-acquired infection to an increasingly community-acquired infection, has led physicians and scientists to begin studying the incidence of the disease in peripartum women.
While the percentage of pregnant women impacted is relatively small, the fact that C. diff is not a reportable disease according to the federal government, means that the actual incidence is unknown. Further complicating the disease in pregnant women is the concern that available treatments like Flagyl and Vancomycin may pose a risk to the fetus.
A possible driver of the increase of C. diff infections in postpartum women is the explosion of cesarean sections over natural childbirth. In some regions, as many as 50% of all births are done by cesarean. In general, c-sections require longer hospital stays and prophylactic antibiotics, both key risk factors for C. diff infections.
In the three years since starting the Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation, we’ve heard from several women who were afflicted with C. diff after giving birth, including Amy Burke. But Megan is the first woman to share her story with us that actually had C. diff while she was pregnant. We’re happy to report that both Megan and her child came through the pregnancy healthy, despite the harrowing situation her family found themselves in.
Megan, a 29-year-old mother of three in Pennsylvania, tells us how she went from healthy to sick, angry, frustrated and depressed, as she navigated her pregnancy and a potentially life-threatening infection. She also shares how she fought her way back to wellness.
Please read Megan’s story, share it on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, using the buttons below, and please make a donation to PLF to help us continue to raise awareness of C. diff and, ultimately, prevent other women from sharing Megan’s painful experience.