Measles During Pregnancy: is My Baby Ok?


Viruses are the biggest cause of concern now-a-days, measles is caused by a virus. It is a highly contagious disease. It can be very unpleasant and often leads to serious complications.

Since it spreads from person to person one needs to be very careful. Everyone is at risk of getting measles, but the people who are not vaccinated are at higher risk. It can be prevented by vaccination. Remember, MMR vaccine is include in childhood vaccination programme, this vaccine will prevent you from getting infected.

Measles During Pregnancy: Symptoms,Causes and Prevention

measles during pregnancy

 Symptoms of the disease are

Starting from runny nose to rashes symptoms becomes severe as the disease progresses.

  • A runny or blocked nose: most common symptom of measles. In start you have cold like symptoms.
  • Sneezing
  • watery eyes:
  • swollen eyelids:
  • sore, red eyes: that may be sensitive to light
  • fever: temperature reaching upto 40C(104F)
  • aches and pains
  • cough
  • loss of appetite: you may not fell like having food
  • fatigue: feeling of tiredness
  • greyish white spots in mouth
  • Measles rash: The measles rash appears around 2 to 4 days after the initial symptoms and normally fades after about a week.

What causes measles?

Measles is caused by the rubella virus. It spreads via sneeze and cough, the droplets coming out of your mouth contains virus and those are infective. If by chance you come in contact with the droplets, you can get the virus in your body and then suffer from measles. Fetus can acquire infection, from her infected mother, virus can be transmitted to fetus through blood. Rash is the reason for spreading of disease, as people with rash can spread the disease to huge number of people. They can spread the virus before they even know that they have it.

How measles can harm a baby of pregnant women suffering from measles?

Pregnancy complications:

  • Miscarriage or stillbirth:  unknowingly abortion can occur or if the baby reaches full term there is possibility that baby born is dead(still birth)
  • Premature birth: you may deliver before 37 weeks as a consequence of disease.
  • Low weight: your baby can be born with low birth weight

Birth defects can occur in the fetus:

  • Delayed growth: your child may have growth abnormalities i.e. his age may increase but he may not develop mentally or his height and weight won’t increase.
  • Intellectual disabilities: your child may have difficulty in learning, reading, or speaking. he may not be able to adapt easily to surrounding.
  • Heart defects: a child may have defect in the functioning of heart since he is born. Defect such as hole in the heart, most common.
  • Deafness: the condition of lacking the power of hearing or having impaired hearing. There’s possibility that your child’s hearing skills won’t develop.
  • Poorly functioning organs: infection can also impair the overall functioning of many organs.

During pregnancy if you come in contact with someone who is suffering from measles, immediately contact your doctor they can advise you about treatment to reduce your risk of developing the condition.

How it can be treated?

There is no specific treatment. Treating the symptoms is possible. Your doctor will advise you to stay at home, rest and take acetaminophenon to get relief from aches and pain. Pregnant women may be treated with antibodies called hyperimmune globulin that can fight off the virus. This can help reduce your symptoms.


As we all know, prevention is better than cure. So, even measles can be prevented.

  • Best way to prevent it is to get vaccinated during childhood. The MMR vaccine is given as part of the routine NHS childhood vaccination programme. If you’re not sure whether you were vaccinated in the past, having the vaccine again won’t cause any harm. But make sure that you vaccinate your child.
  • Stopping measles spreading to others:

If you are already suffering from measles, try to prevent others from getting infected. You must be thinking what can I do?

  • Then you can avoid going to school or workplace for few days, so that infection don’t spread.
  • Avoid contact with people mostly children, women of child bearing age etc.

You do whatever you can to prevent the disease and help to reduce the spread of infection.


If you have above symptoms, then visit your doctor as early as possible. Follow his advice and take the vaccine. As you have the responsibility of two lives, one is yours and other is your unborn child. Take care and live healthy.

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!