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Q&A: Is it safe to be around the chickenpox while pregnant?

Is it safe to be around a child who has the chickenpox while I'm pregnant?

Re: Is it safe to be around a child who has the chickenpox while I'm pregnant?

The Bump Expert

It really depends on whether or not you’ve had the virus inthe past and at what stage of pregnancy you’re at. If you had chicken poxyourself when you were young, then your body’s most likely immune to the virusnow and you’ll be far less likely to contract it. But if you’re one of thelucky few who’ve never had the pleasure of being housebound for a week,scratching like crazy, then you may still be at risk of contracting the virusin adulthood -- and being pregnant with the chicken pox is fun for no one.

If you do contract the virus, it’s mostly a problem if youcontract it within your first 20 weeks or shortly before delivery. If you getit within that 20-week mark, baby faces the risk of getting congenitalvaricella syndrome, which is characterized by malformed limbs, vision problems,skin scars, muscle and bone defects, and mental retardation. If you contract the virus shortly beforedelivery, baby faces the risk of contracting an infection that could belife-threatening. However, baby can be treated with an injection of immuneglobulin, which may prevent any side-effects.

Our advice: To play it safe, do your best to avoid contactwith anyone who currently has chickenpox. Not sure if you ever had the virus? Your doctor can give you a blood testto determine if you have the chicken pox antibodies.

Kerry Dougherty

Q&A: Is it safe to be around the chickenpox while pregnant?

About 2-3 weeks before I had my daughter my mother who I am extremely close w. contracted shingles. She didn't get them bad just a small spot on the top of her hand by her thumb and a small section on her outter arm. Now she had already had the chicken pox but shingles is a form of the virus. I didn't contract the virus but my mother who was in the delivery room with me when I had my daughter had passed it on. It was 2 weeks exactly that my daughter came down w. chicken pox. (no itching or fussiness at all just the markings she had) and the doctors made me take her to children's for them to do research for they have never seen an infant so young come down w. the virus. in the end she spent the night at the hospital which was completly pointless and to me felt like torture to my poor daughter. She was completely fine when she turned 1 she got the chicken pox vaccine which docs said may or may not stop her from getting the virus but more then likely she wont. In the end I would stay away from anyone who does have the virus but don't stress it can be treated and is not as bad as they make out to be. trust me I know i've been there

kristenm88 |

Q&A: Is it safe to be around the chickenpox while pregnant?

Not if you are immune. You can get a blood test to find out. I was "equivocal" which meant I was below the range of "Yes, immune" but above the range of "not immune." Since I'd had chicken pox as a child, rather than the vaccine, my doctor let me sign a waiver to get IVF. Otherwise they would have made me get a booster shot and wait a month first. Chicken pox can cause terrible defects and miscarriage if you catch it before 20 weeks, and also something bad can happen if you catch it the last 2 weeks before delivery. Like, the baby can catch it and die, or something. I forget. Not worth the risk if you can avoid it, or if you are willing to wait the month for the 2 shots and wait period before trying.

Ludicrous Mama |