As of now, most women are immune due to which there are very fewer chances of getting chicken pox during pregnancy. It may happen to 7 to 10 cases among 20,000 pregnancies.It is quite risky to get exposed to chickenpox while you are expecting a baby. Chickenpox is a disease which can affect you as well as your baby so you should always keep a track of chicken pox and nurture the health of your baby with all its best. You can have a simple study of this infectious disease to stay safe from chicken pox during pregnancy.
A Guide for Chicken pox During Pregnancy
Who is at the risk of getting chicken pox during pregnancy?
While you are pregnant there are some of the risk factors which can lead you towards chickenpox.
- If you get in touch with a person who is contaminated with the disease.
- Before pregnancy if you never had the chicken pox.
- If you are not vaccinated for chicken pox before conceiving
- If you are a working woman especially a teacher or a lecturer.
As chickenpox is an infectious disease and it spread through the air it is better to stay away from a person suffering from it. The risk of chicken pox during pregnancy is next to impossible if you have suffered from that disease before pregnancy or you are vaccinated with it so you don’t have to worry much.
If you are pregnant and work in a school or college then try to stay away from children suffering from it. Also, in offices eat and stay hygienic to keep yourself away from the disease.
The risk to the baby in different stages of pregnancy
The chickenpox is something which can cause complication to the mother as well as the baby. The risk of infection is high when you have chickenpox in the first 20 weeks of the pregnancy. In this period, the developing child may get infected with ‘foetal varicella syndrome’. The syndrome is rarely seen in most pregnancies. The chances are less than 1% in the first 12 weeks and 2% in 13 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
After 20 weeks of pregnancy, if a woman is exposed to chickenpox, the unborn child has 1% chances of getting damaged through the varicella syndrome. The other risk involved in getting chicken pox during pregnancy is a premature delivery of the baby that is before 37 weeks. Most complications are seen during the last stages of your pregnancy.
If before seven days or after 7 days of giving birth to a baby you are suffered from chickenpox then chicken pox in babies are also seen. Call your doctor at the first whenever you see chickenpox at any stage of your pregnancy.
Symptoms of chicken pox
The most common chicken pox symptoms are having rashes. But before the rash appears there are certain signs which are seen:
- Feeling of illness and discomfort (malaise).
- Decreased appetite with a reduced desire to eat.
- A headache
After the rash appears the other symptoms are:
- Breathing problem
- Pain on the rashes
These symptoms make the pregnant woman feel much weaker as he already has the weakness and other pregnancy symptoms. Special care should be taken and whenever needed they should concern the doctor.
Causes of chicken pox
The most asking question among people is how do you get chickenpox?
- Fluid from the blisters
The root cause of chickenpox infection is the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The virus is contagious and thus it spreads when you come in contact with the infected person. Also, the chances of getting infected are more before 1 or 2 days of the formation of the blisters. The blisters also spread the disease but the chances are little less and the contamination end with the formation of crusts on the blisters.
Mostly by coughing and sneezing the chickenpox get in the air to harm the other person. So it is preferable for a pregnant woman to keep maximum distance with the infected person if you don’t want chicken pox during pregnancy.
What does chicken pox look like?
If you have never suffered till now with chickenpox then you must be wondering what chicken pox looks like?
- The spots and rashes are seen on the face, stomach, chest etc.
- Starting from few, the rashes spread in the whole body.
- The spots are itchy, red and small in size.
- After the spots, the blisters are seen which are too much itchy and they appear above the spots which make the condition worst.
- The blisters then start drying and slowly become like a crust.
- The crust is then fall off in 10 days.
The cycle can go again to form new spots and cause the same problems. At such situation taking help of a doctor again should be taken into concern.
How long the chicken pox does blisters last?
Though the symptoms before the rashes are only for 2 to three days when blisters appear on the spot they stay for about 10 to 14 days and are scabbed down as crusts. When blisters shed from your body, you are no longer contagious. The blisters appear in large number like waves and also if some start to shed down the new ones are tend to see on other parts of your body.
If you are an adult and suffering from a severe one then the blisters will last for 21 days. This period is usually known as the incubation period.
Precautions during pregnancy to prevent chickenpox
If you are not immune to chickenpox and expecting then you should have a talk to your doctor about the safety of you and your unborn little baby. If you are not sure about your immunization then a small blood test can be done to check the result.
In case you get chicken pox during pregnancy, your doctor will try to reduce the severity of the disease with the help of oral antiviral drugs. The risk of complication also gets reduced with proper medication. To take medicines are quite important.
The doctor will also prescribe you the immunization to get protected from the illness. If chickenpox is seen at the time of delivery then after the birth the baby is protected by treating with immune globulin product. Special care should be taken to lessen the chances of chickenpox in babies.