If you are pregnant and have chickenpox (varicella) — a highly contagious viral infection that causes an itchy, blister-like rash — you and your baby might face serious health risks. If you develop chickenpox during pregnancy, you are at risk of complications such as pneumonia.
Is chickenpox safe for a pregnant woman?
Chickenpox can be serious for your health during pregnancy. Complications can occur such as chest infection (pneumonia), inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) and inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). Very rarely, women can die from complications.
What to do if your pregnant and your child has chickenpox?
Speak to your midwife or GP immediately if you:
- are pregnant and may have chickenpox.
- are pregnant and have been near someone who has it.
- get chickenpox up to seven days after giving birth. (NHS Choices, 2016)
Can chickenpox cause a miscarriage?
Chickenpox can be risky in pregnancy if the mother is unvaccinated and has not already had the disease. Most likely, it will not cause miscarriage, but it can cause birth defects and stillbirth, depending on the timing of exposure and other factors.
Can a baby get chicken pox in utero?
A: A baby can be born with congenital varicella syndrome if a mother infected with chicken pox passes the varicella virus to her fetus. Q: Why is congenital varicella syndrome a problem? A: Varicella can be spread from a pregnant mother to her fetus through the bloodstream.
Where does chicken pox usually start?
The rash may first show up on the chest, back, and face, and then spread over the entire body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. It usually takes about one week for all of the blisters to become scabs. Other typical symptoms that may begin to appear one to two days before rash include: fever.
When is chickenpox contagious period?
A person with chickenpox is considered contagious beginning 1 to 2 days before rash onset until all the chickenpox lesions have crusted (scabbed). Vaccinated people who get chickenpox may develop lesions that do not crust. These people are considered contagious until no new lesions have appeared for 24 hours.
Is it better to get chicken pox as a baby?
Chickenpox is common and mostly affects children, although you can get it at any age. It usually gets better by itself after 1 to 2 weeks without needing to see a GP.
Can you leave the house with chicken pox?
If your child has chickenpox,it is recommended that you inform their school or nursery, and keep them at home for 5 days. If you have chickenpox, stay off work and at home until you’re no longer infectious, which is until the last blister has burst and crusted over.
What infections can harm my unborn baby?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), infections that are known to harm the developing baby include, but are not exclusive to:
- bacterial vaginosis, which might cause preterm labor.
- contagious diseases, such as hepatitis, syphilis, herpes, and HIV, which can infect the fetus.
Can siblings go to school if one has chicken pox?
Keep your child home from school or nursery until the last spot has scabbed over – this is usually around 5 days after their chickenpox appeared. Avoid playdates and playgroups so you can minimise the spread to other children.
Does chicken pox cross the placenta?
When varicella infection occurs just before delivery, infants may be exposed to the virus as it crosses the placenta, but the infant may not remain in utero long enough to receive protective maternal antibody. As a result, these infants may become severely or even fatally ill in the postnatal period.
How can a pregnant woman avoid chicken pox?
If you have chickenpox during pregnancy, your baby’s provider may treat your baby right after birth with medicine that has chickenpox antibodies. The medicine can help prevent chickenpox in your baby or make it less dangerous.