Why do we get chickenpox during pregnancy? How can we avoid getting it?

Why do we get chickenpox during pregnancy? How can we avoid getting it?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet is very important during pregnancy. However, doing this does not always protect you and the little one inside from the disease and infections. One of the viral diseases, you should be concerned about during this time is chickenpox. So, is chickenpox dangerous during pregnancy?

chickenpox during pregnancy

What is chickenpox?                                                                     

Chickenpox is caused by a virus called varicella-zoster, and it can be highly contagious. It is not a dangerous disease and lasts only for a short time in healthy kids. However, it can be dangerous for adults, including pregnant women, which can lead to serious complications.

CAUSES OF CHICKENPOX IN PREGNANT WOMAN

Chickenpox is highly contagious and might affect the baby in your womb. If you have already taken a vaccination against it, the chances of you contracting chickenpox are less.

It’s the weaker immune system of the pregnant woman, that aggravates the risk of contracting this infection, even if you have taken the vaccination earlier in life.

You are at a greater risk of complications if you catch chickenpox when you are pregnant if you

• Smoke cigarettes
• Have a lung disease such as bronchitis or emphysema
• Are taking steroids or have done so in the last 3 months
• Are more than 20 weeks pregnant

If any of these apply to you, you may need to be referred to the hospital.

CHICKENPOX AND PREGNANCY

During pregnancy, your body’s immune system gets suppressed to avoid fetal rejection. This lowers overall immunity and makes you prone to infections. This means you are prone to more contagious diseases during pregnancy.

The possibility of serious complications from chickenpox is low, but it is important that you are aware of them.

chickenpox during pregnancy

One such complication is getting pneumonia can result in fetal morbidity. Other complications could also include preterm labor, premature birth, and retarded growth of the baby.

As far as your baby is concerned, the risk depends on the time of contraction of the disease. If you develop chickenpox in early pregnancy between the 8th and 20thweek (first and second trimester), your baby is at risk of congenital varicella syndrome, a rare birth defect.

It might lead to underdeveloped legs and arms, scarring of their skin, incomplete development of their brain, and eye inflammation. The baby may suffer from mental and physical disabilities along with seizures. The risk of stillbirth and miscarriage also increases. However, the chances or risk of developing this syndrome in your baby is very less.

How can we avoid getting chickenpox?

You may probably, need not worry about chickenpox if you have already got it before or if you’ve got the chickenpox vaccine done. Both of these cases can help make you immune to chickenpox. Immune means being protected from infection.

If you are immune to an infection, it means you can’t get it. About 90% of pregnant women are immune to chickenpox. A vaccine is medicine you get, that helps protect against this disease

• If you have been infected with chickenpox once before, then you are most likely immune to it.

• If you are not sure, if you have ever been affected with chicken pox, your doctor can perform a blood test to determine, if you have the chickenpox antibodies. If the test shows that you have antibodies, in that case you are immune to chickenpox.

chickenpox vaccination

How can you avoid chickenpox during pregnancy if you aren’t immune?

First, get a blood test to find out if you are immune to chickenpox. Get tested if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. If you are not immune, you can get a vaccine. It’s best to wait for one month after the vaccine and before getting pregnant.

If you are already pregnant, don’t get the vaccine until you give birth. In the meantime, take precautions and do not get in contact with anyone who has chickenpox.

If you are not immune to chickenpox and you come into contact with someone who has it, tell your Doctor right away. Your Doctor can treat you with medicine that has chickenpox antibodies or with antiviral acyclovir. It’s important to get treatment within 4 days after you’ve come in contact with chickenpox to help prevent the infection or make it less serious.

Summary:

Causes of Chickenpox even after being vaccinated:
You are at a greater risk of complications if you catch chickenpox when you are pregnant if you

• Smoke cigarettes
• Have a lung disease such as bronchitis or emphysema
• Are taking steroids or have done so in the last 3 months
• Are more than 20 weeks pregnant

What is chickenpox?

CAUSES OF CHICKENPOX IN PREGNANT WOMAN

CHICKENPOX AND PREGNANCY

How can we avoid getting chickenpox?

How can you avoid chickenpox during pregnancy if you aren’t immune?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet is very important during pregnancy.

Chickenpox is caused by a virus called varicella-zoster, and it can be highly contagious.

Chickenpox is highly contagious and might affect the baby in your womb.

Malathi

Malathi A Ganesh is a B. Com Graduate, NTT, M.A (Lit), PGDEA (PG in Education Administration), PGDCA (PG Diploma in Computer Application), DTE (Diploma in Teaching English), ICEPT (International Certificate in Education Preschool Teaching) from Singapore and B. Ed. She has been in the field of education for the past 20 years and has an experience of running her own pre-school She is the Founder & Director Academics of Smartkidz Educare India Pvt Ltd with 275+ play schools Pan India. She is an Educationist and a Child Psychologists by profession who wants to fulfill her dream of giving Quality Education to children in their earlier years. She is also into conducting positive parenting workshops, which talks about effective child rearing. She has conducted numerous parenting workshops in all her pre schools, schools and MNC’s.

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