Chickenpox In Pregnancy Third Trimester

Submitted by Nick on January 18, 2012

Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral infection that is caused by the varicella virus. When infected with chickenpox at first you will experience a very sick feeling followed up by very high fever. Then you will notice small red blisters all over your body. These blisters are itchy and if anyone else touches them they could get infected too. So it is very important to keep the person suffering from chicken pox isolated in a room. It takes about 2 weeks to recover from it. And as you recover the blisters get compressed and ultimately fade away. Chicken pox is not a fatal illness however it is more severe in adults than children.

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There is a strong belief that chickenpox is an illness that happens only in childhood. But it could happen to adults as well and is considered even more dangerous when it happens to pregnant women. The effects of chickenpox during pregnancy can be fatal to both the mother and the child. However chicken pox during pregnancy is rare as most people suffer from chickenpox in their childhood.

From the time a woman gets pregnant her immune system gets very weak and looses its ability to fight infections and viruses so she can contract any illness easily. Chickenpox during pregnancy can cause the pregnant mother and the baby a lot of harm. It usually affects the mother's lungs which can cause a severe case of pneumonia. If the mother contract the virus in the first 20 days of her pregnancy or anytime in the first trimester then there is a very high chance of the baby having birth defects such as deformed facial features, deformed arms and legs, low birth weight, eye problems, brain dysfunction and skin scars.

But it gets more dangerous for the baby if she gets chickenpox in the third trimester, this could happen anytime during the last 5 days before the delivery or even 2 to 3 days after. In this case the varicella virus gets transferred directly to the baby. Infants in this condition are given a dose of anti-varicella antibodies commonly known as VZIG when they are born. This helps them fight off the infection. The baby will develop similar symptoms like high fever and small blisters. If the baby's immune system is strong then it might be able to fight the virus however in some cases the baby does not survive.

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