I am 36 weeks pregnant and have today been diagnosed with Shingles
Has anyone else had a similar experience? There doesn't seem to be much advice online and the doctors didnt exactly explain everything to me. I have been prescribed some antivirals but other than that apparently I just have to hope they go before baby arrives.
I am so scared that he will come early and then be taken away from me until my shingles have gone.
Shingles won't harm your baby it usually means you've previously had the herpes virus and it's laid dormant and 'flared' due to stress on the body or your lowered immune system. It could lead to he baby being immune though - bonus
You can't go near other pregnant women though as you can't catch shingles but you can get chicken pox from being in contact with someone with shingles - this is in my immunity and infectious disease book in a pregnancy chapter hope this puts your mind at ease.
I was diagnosed last week with shingles at 35 weeks. I also was not given very clear advice from the doctor. First doctor gave conflicting advice and said to take 1 codeine per 4 hours but on prescription packet it said 1-2 codeine per 4 hours - he also said I couldn't have the anti viral drugs. I called back because I was unclear on how many codeine I could safely take and spoke to another doctor who double checked and said I could take 1-2 codeine per 4 hours and also wrote me a prescription for the anti viral drugs!
I've also been using calamine lotion / cream on the blisters.
I really sympathise with you as I found the nerve pain incredibly painful and have really struggled to sleep and stay comfortable. Luckily I now seem to be on the mend and the blisters should hopefully clear up before I go into labour, so I don't think the baby will be able to catch chicken pox from me.
I had a midwife appointment today and they are going to check if I need to have an additional scan as a result of having singles - will keep you posted.
I can't advise on shingles in pregnancy but I did get it when DD was about 8 weeks old. I made sure I didn't have any skin to skin contact with her so always kept a vest top over my stomach (my rash was right across top of abdomen) when feeding her and took sensible hygiene precautions. She never caught it. Dr said as I was breast feeding the immunity I was building passed to her and possibly helped prevent her catching it. Just telling you this in case your dc comes early. Wishing you and pp with it a speedy recovery as it is miserable.
The calamine is soothing and it's preventing the itching now that my blisters are drying out - I went for a cream rather than a lotion as I felt it was a better consistency to apply.
Fingers crossed you don't reach the stage where you need codeine to cope with the pain. Although I was told it wasn't a risk to the baby (cos they give you much stronger opiates during labour for example), I know it doesn't feel right taking medication during pregnancy.
Also, my midwife called me back today and said I don't need to go for a further scan as it would only be a potential risk to the baby if I'd got shingles earlier in the pregnancy.
Both the antivirals and codeine are safe in pregnancy. There is a small risk that if you take lots of codeine regularly, the baby can withdraw from it, but that's unlikely in this situation by the sounds of it.
You have antibodies so the baby is protected and won't catch chicken pox from you while it's still inside.
Hopefully the blisters will have all healed by the time of delivery, otherwise you will need to avoid any contact the baby has with them, as neonatal chicken pox can be nasty.
Calamine lotion or porridge oats (in a sock) in the bath are soothing.