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Pregnancy Problems

During pregnancy, your health is number one priority. That’s why we went straight to top pregnancy health experts for all the details you want to know about the most common pregnancy problems. In our pregnancy problems guide, you can read about a slew of pregnancy conditions – everything from hemorrhoids to gestational diabetes. Find out what any pregnancy symptom could possibly mean (are you swollen just because you’re expecting, or is it a sign of some complication?) and find out whether or not it’s worth a call to your OB. If you already know you’ve got a pregnancy complication or health condition, our comprehensive articles will give you the scoop on its causes and how it can affect you and baby. Plus, get treatment tips straight from medical experts and pregnant women like you. Yup, we've got answers to all your questions about pregnancy health problems right here!

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Chicken Pox or Shingles During Pregnancy

Find out if you might have chicken pox or shingles -- and if you do, how you can treat it safely during pregnancy.

What’s the best way to treat varicella during pregnancy?

Most of the time you just have to wait it out. Eventually symptoms will go away on their own (in about 5 to 10 days), although you can use calamine lotion or similar products to help alleviate the itching caused by the rash. An oatmeal bath can also help curb the itchiness.

What can I do to prevent getting varicella?

Unfortunately, once you’re pregnant you shouldn’t get the chicken pox vaccine, so if you don’t have immunity, it’s important to avoid anyone who does have the virus. Thankfully, most people are now vaccinated against it or have already had it. Make sure your partner and anyone else you live with is immune.

What do other pregnant moms do when they have varicella?

“I got shingles in my first pregnancy at 14 weeks. No idea how I contracted it, but I do teach, so any little cherub could have shared that with me. I was just put on some herpes medicine that escapes me, and my baby is totally normal and fine.”

“I’m 18 weeks pregnant, and my doctor just diagnosed me with shingles. Which is painful, but mostly just stressful. I asked about birth defects; she said there is a risk, but very small.”

“I had shingles during my last pregnancy, and it was awful. And buying Valtrex (I think this is commonly used for genital herpes) with my giant pregnant belly was a little awkward!”

Are there any other resources for varicella during pregnancy?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

American Pregnancy Association

Plus, more from The Bump:

Is it safe to be around chicken pox during pregnancy?

What should I do if I’m exposed to chicken pox during pregnancy?

Are vaccines safe during pregnancy?

-- Robert Wool, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts University

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Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.