18.3.3 Treating a bladder infection
Encourage the mother to drink 1 large cup of clean and healthy liquid at least once every hour while she is awake. Liquids help wash infection out of the urinary tract. Water and fruit juices are especially good to drink. Encourage her to eat fruits that have a lot of vitamin C, like oranges, guavas (‘zeitun’) and mangoes.
If the infection does not start to improve quickly, or if the woman has any signs of kidney infection, refer her to the health centre, where tests can be performed to confirm the infection, and begin effective treatment with antibiotics (medicines that kill bacteria). The longer you wait to treat an infection, the more difficult it will be to cure.
If you have been trained to treat mild bladder infections with antibiotics, the dosage is:
- Amoxicillin: 500 mg (milligrams) by mouth three times per day for 5 days; this antibiotic may be supplied in tablets of 250 mg or 500 mg, so take care to give the correct number of tablets. Never give another antibiotic – only Amoxicillin.
Using antibiotics to prevent recurrent bladder infections
If the woman has had frequent urinary tract infections in the past, you can give her preventive treatment with antibiotics to prevent further infections during her pregnancy. The dosage is:
- Amoxicillin: 250 mg once a day at bedtime taken by mouth for the remainder of the pregnancy and for 2 weeks after the baby is born.
If antibiotic treatment fails to cure the signs of infection, or if the woman gets another bladder infection later in the pregnancy, refer her to the Health Centre for urine tests. She may need treatment with a different antibiotic.