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Pregnancy

Pregnant with chickenpox

9 replies

HelenP1 · 03/06/2003 16:51

I am 20 weeks pregnant and have chickenpox (along with my 4 year old daughter) having successfully avoided it for 35 years. I can't believe it! Has anyone out there had a similar experience? I am assured that there is minimal risk at this stage of pegnancy but you can't help being anxious about it.

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M2T · 03/06/2003 17:16

HI HelenP1 - just checked the web and between 20wks and term there is NO RISK to baby. Before that... it's 2% chance of developing Chicken Pox Syndrome.
If you have been exposed to Chicken Pox before you may have developed antibodies with out contracting the illness (80% chance you have been exposed already). If so there is no risk to the baby during any part of the pregnancy.

If you're worried you can get a simple blood test at the Docs which will determine whether you have been exposed before. If not they van give you antibody treatment.

HTH

Are you itchy??

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pie · 03/06/2003 17:35

I've read that as long as it clears up before about 5 days before you delivery that it is ok, otherwise you baby could be born with chickenpox.

Here is some info I checked out when my DD caught chickenpox and I was 8 weeks gone. I'd already had it, but was still worried. Call you doctor for more reassurance. For anything to go wrong because of chickenpox is thankfully rare.

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karenfev · 03/06/2003 18:06

you poor bunny! i bet you feel poo having the pox in this heat! i was 23 when i had it (not preggers though) and i felt really rotten! lots of nice cool baths with bicarb in will help with the itching and you can take your 4 year old in with you if your bath is big enough!

get well soon

hugs (from a distance!)
karen

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happyspider · 03/06/2003 18:32

my dh husband got chickenpox when I was 23 weeks pg, the GP said it was fine for me to get it myself as it's dangerous until 14 weeks, (when the baby is forming) and in the last month of pg, since you can pass it to the baby at birth.

The doctor said that the safest time of the pg to have chickenpox was between the 4th and 7th month, therefore I was safe.

At the end I didn't get it because I had it when I was 6 and was immune to it (called my my mum and she told me after a big scare from my side!)
so I cannot give you advice on what to take, however, don't worry as at your stage there are no risks at all.

Good luck!

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runragged · 03/06/2003 19:18

Poor you, just be careful apparently, and I did not know this until my friend got it it can be quite dangerous for adults so if you feel really unwell at all don't just assume it will pass.

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GeorginaA · 03/06/2003 19:37

I'll second runragged. It's important that any adult with chickenpox should see their GP - your baby is safe at 20 weeks, but there can be complications with adult chickenpox so it's important that you look after yourself. If you see your GP quickly enough there are things that you can take to greatly ease the severity of the illness so do go see him/her!

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HelenP1 · 04/06/2003 19:09

Thanks for all your feedback. I knew I had not had chickenpox and got my blood tested for immunity at the 12 week booking in apointment which confirmed I was not immune. I didn't actually think I would ever catch it though! Anyway I saw both the emergency GP (Bank holiday weekend) and my GP as soon as I suspected it was chickenpox and both spoke to obstetricians about any course of action. Of course obstetrician did not want me near the maternity unit as I was contagious and said they would do nothing about it at this stage of pregnancy anyway. I was 19 weeks when I came down with it so I guess I am just out of the possible danger time. Still would be nice to be re-assured by an obstetrician though. I went today for my 20 week scan and all seems ok generally. Thanks for all your well wishes, they are much appreciated. Thankfully the itching has settled down but my body doesn't seem to be healing too well in this humid weather or maybe my body can't cope with pregnancy and healing - who knows.

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GeorginaA · 04/06/2003 19:30

HelenP1: although children generally get over chickenpox within about 7 days, adults generally take longer (can be up to 2-3 weeks for them to go completely apparently).

So it actually sounds like you're recovering quite well! Hope you get better soon

Found a couple of fact sheets about symptoms in adults here:

Chickenpox, Shingles and Pregnancy

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GeorginaA · 04/06/2003 19:31

Argh ... the links got messed up... can copy and paste from these!

www.prodigy.nhs.uk/ClinicalGuidance/ReleasedGuidance/webBrowser/pils/PL270.htm

www.prodigy.nhs.uk/ClinicalGuidance/ReleasedGuidance/webBrowser/pils/PL269.htm

The first is specific to pregnancy, the second relates in general to chickenpox in adults.

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