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Are pregnant women routinely checked for chicken pox immunity in the UK?

(28 Posts)
moggle Fri 19-May-17 11:19:25

Hoping a midwife, or someone out there with their maternity notes can answer this! I know when you're pregnant they test your blood for rubella immunity, do they also check for chicken pox immunity? DD has raging chicken pox, we're TTC, and my mum says she can't remember if I've definitely had it. Me and my bro are convinced we both have chicken pox scars, but we also both had pretty bad acne as teenagers so could be from that! I don't have my maternity notes to double check, but if they do routinely check (was pg in 2014), then I should be fine.

Thanks in advance!

Joyofscreamingjoy Fri 19-May-17 11:24:01

My blood was tested at 12 weeks but I don't think they necessarily do anything about the results unless there is a need. So for example when I was pg I came into contact with someone who had chicken pox & I'd never had spots etc. Midwife just checked with lab and they said I was immune so all fine. I don't know if they would do checks for ttc, maybe ring dr surgery to check?

LetsSplashMummy Fri 19-May-17 11:25:57

I don't think they do by blood test - my midwife routinely asked if we had had it and I had a little asterix or something for having had it again as an adult (autoimmune illness and immuno-suppressants), so it was mentioned a couple of times. I wasn't due to have a vaginal birth though (where I think poxes on the way out are the risk) so maybe if I was there would have been more fuss.

GreenGoblin0 Fri 19-May-17 11:33:09

they don't routinely check for chicken pox

AnUtterIdiot Fri 19-May-17 11:36:44

I think they just ask if you had it as a child.

NotAnotherUserName5 Fri 19-May-17 11:38:13

No they don't! I was in this situation a few weeks back.

Call your maternity unit, they still hold your booking in bloods and can run tests for immunity in their labs

Bluebeedee Fri 19-May-17 11:39:42

No they don't, my nephews had chicken pox when I was about 6 weeks pregnant. You'll need to ask for a blood test to check

moggle Fri 19-May-17 11:41:58

crap, thanks.

AnUtterIdiot yes i thought it might've been that in which case I would've blithely said yes I've had it just assuming...

Thanks NotAnother I will do that.

moggle Fri 19-May-17 11:43:20

Thing is I have definitely been exposed to DD's infection, probably for at least a week, so I think if I get a blood test NOW they wouldn't know if it was antibodies from previous infection or current one... hm well I will ring hospital and see what they say.

moggle Fri 19-May-17 11:44:49

TBH I suppose now it's a bit late to do anything. If I haven't had it before, I will definitely be getting it, so I will probably have to hang on and enjoy the ride...

MadameJosephine Fri 19-May-17 11:46:56

Hi, midwife here.

We don't routinely test for chicken pox immunity (and actually stopped testing rubella on 1st April this year too) but will test if a pregnant woman thinks she has been exposed. Am I right in thinking you are not currently pregnant OP? If so then probably best to discuss with your GP, they might have record of childhood chicken pox or bd bald to arrange testing if appropriate.

MadameJosephine Fri 19-May-17 11:47:29

*be able to arrange

madolddogwoman40 Fri 19-May-17 11:50:25

Midwife on mat leave so it might have changed in last few months - but booking bloods not routinely tested for chicken pox, however sample is then stored so your immunity can be checked without needing further blood. Ring your midwife/ANC and ask her to request tests.

Monkeypuzzle32 Fri 19-May-17 11:56:01

Sorry to jump on this but can you catch chicken pox off someone who's child has CP? I'm 9 weeks today and my friends daughter has had CP in the last few weeks.

moggle Fri 19-May-17 12:07:54

Monkey I don't think so as it's transmitted by coughing and by the blister liquid (urgh). So if your friend doesn't actually get CP herself you should be fine.

Thanks Madame. The actual situation is that I'm in the 2ww from a cycle of IVF. Ridiculous timing, my daughter went to my mum's on sunday evening and stayed til Monday evening, while we had the transfer of embryos done on Monday. She came back to us monday evening with the first spots. So no way we could have stopped the process (even if the clinic had recommended it). And by that time I had already spent the contagious period pre-rash with her.
I mentioned the full situation to my GP when we went to an appointment for DD yesterday but she didn't offer any proactive suggestions unfortunately but maybe I'll gather my courage to call them later (I quite pissed off the receptionists I think yesterday calling multiple times to insist on an appointment for daughter as some of her spots were looking infected)

Monkeypuzzle32 Fri 19-May-17 15:23:05

thanks Moggle I have always had an irrational fear of CP as Ive never had it!

moggle Fri 19-May-17 16:14:40

There is a vaccination available, Monkey, although you would have to have it done privately. I don't believe it completely eliminates the risk, but means if you do get it, it's a less nasty illness. I believe CP is worse if you're an adult... and chances are your little one will get it at some point, so might be worth looking into.
After this week with DD and her nasty dose of it (and not even that bad compared to some stories!) I'd certainly look into getting any future children of ours vaccinated against it.

Monkeypuzzle32 Fri 19-May-17 17:27:35

Moggle I'll ask the midwife when I get to see one, thank you .

MadameJosephine Fri 19-May-17 21:13:42

Best of luck with you 2ww flowers

The likelihood is that you are immune, most adults are so try not to worry. Perhaps the IVF clinic could arrange to test you to put your mind at ease?

Chunkamatic Fri 19-May-17 21:15:53

My dp has never had chicken pox and didn't get it when both our boys did. So you could be immune.

Jessiecat27 Fri 19-May-17 22:01:13

I hadn't even thought of it! I had it as a child and then had it as a teenager, guessing I'm just really prone? Wondering if I should mention that next time I see my midwife!

PacificDogwod Fri 19-May-17 22:03:53

No, it's not routinely checked for but most adults will be CP immune even if they never had the actual illness.

If you think you might be pregnant your GP can arrange a blood test.

Monkeypuzzle32 Fri 19-May-17 23:12:09

Good luck Moggle mine is a 3rd time lucky ivf.

Sidge Fri 19-May-17 23:16:50

The chicken pox vaccine (varicella) is a live vaccine so you can't have it if you're pregnant monkey.

Monkeypuzzle32 Sat 20-May-17 07:09:54

Thanks Sidge il ring and ask the midwife

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