What if you Get Chickenpox During Pregnancy?

It is quite necessary for an expecting mother to stay away from all sorts of diseases during pregnancy. Chickenpox, or varicella, is an infectious disease you should be really careful of during this time. If you contract the disease during a very early stage of pregnancy, the risk is relatively less, but as pregnancy progresses, the risk of damage from chicken pox increases too.

It is prudent to see a doctor at the earliest, if you have caught the disease and follow his advice. But how would you know if you actually have the disease or not? And what exactly you should do, if you happen to have it? Here is some information that you may find important to know if you are pregnant –

chickenpox during pregnancy

Symptoms of Chicken Pox

As we have heard from your childhood, prevention is better than cure. But sometimes you cannot prevent diseases, especially those like chicken pox. So what if you have this disease during your pregnancy? How can you be sure? Let us look at the symptoms of chicken pox:

  • The first give away sign of chicken pox is the rash, which look like small boils. Generally these rashes appear first on the faces, thereby making them easier to find. They can also appear at the top half of the body and generally can spread to the lower parts. Within one or two day people generally have blisters all around their body that generally pain and itch. If , however, you have taken a vaccine, the rashes can be quite mild and look like mere mosquito bites.
  • The infection generally last for 10 to 12 days, and then subsides gradually. Other symptoms of this disease include fever, dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting tendencies, headaches etc. patients who have asthma can have attacks of it.
  • Some people are worse affected than others by chickenpox. There can be serious after effects on some people resulting in, among other diseases, pneumonia and encephalitis.

What to do if you are in the Middle of you Pregnancy and have Contracted Chicken Pox?

You cannot be vaccinated during your pregnancy. Therefore you are not completely immune from chicken pox. Therefore it is important for you to know what you should do if you have caught the disease

  • First and foremost, visit a doctor. They will probably prescribe some medicines from the paracetamol group for your fever, and calamine lotion for the rashes.
  • Sometimes the doctors suggest an injection for the patients. This is a varicella zoster immune globulin or VZIG injection, which is basically a blood product that contains antibodies of chicken pox. This injection is supposed to reduce the infection in your body. The only problem is that its reaction to the baby inside the womb is not confirmed yet. However, the studies so far suggest that the effects are not negative on the baby.
  • Your doctor can also offer you an antiviral drug called aciclovir. This helps in reducing the fever that you might have and other related problems. This acts better if administered soon after you have been diagnosed with chicken pox.

Finally, even after all these your baby is born with chicken pox, the doctor will probably give it a VZIG injection too. But, what is important is both the mother and child gets proper medical attention.

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