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Old 07-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #1
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Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

I would just like to know your thoughts?

My mom has shingles and I have a mw appointment tomorrow and she would like to go with me and have lunch together. Despite the fact that her dr said it was no concern to pregnant women and I have not found any concerning info on the net, everyone keeps telling me not to meet up with her. I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to put my baby at risk and my son has not had the chicken pox (and he is not vaxed, no flames please!). I know the chicken pox is not that serious if you get it when you're young, so I'm not that concerned about my son. I just worry about the baby.

Has anyone here had shingles during pregnancy (or do you know someone that did)? Is it, like her dr said, not serious and not a concern? I want to believe her dr of course, but everyone else keeps saying "don't risk it". What would you do?

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:49 AM   #2
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

My BFF is an RN w/ unvaxed kiddos. She is 38 and due to extreme stress just developed shingles. Per the info I got from her an adult who has already had chicken pox is at no risk but that an unvaxed child could get chicken pox from her. The weird thing is that CP is spread among children by air born virus(cough/sneeze) type transfer but that shingles is passed on and contracted as chicken pox by contact. Make sense? If you have had chicken pox then you should be fine but if you prefer that your unvaxed child not contract chicken pox then I would skip it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:58 AM   #3
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

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Originally Posted by MDever View Post
My BFF is an RN w/ unvaxed kiddos. She is 38 and due to extreme stress just developed shingles. Per the info I got from her an adult who has already had chicken pox is at no risk but that an unvaxed child could get chicken pox from her. The weird thing is that CP is spread among children by air born virus(cough/sneeze) type transfer but that shingles is passed on and contracted as chicken pox by contact. Make sense? If you have had chicken pox then you should be fine but if you prefer that your unvaxed child not contract chicken pox then I would skip it.
this. My Dr does an immunity test with the early bloodwork to see if you have a CP immunity. If you have that, I'd be totally fine with it
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

An unborn baby can get CP. So even though mom is immune and is fine, the baby can get them. Although Singles spread by the liquid that comes from the sores, so in most cases it's not likely that you would touch it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

You do not "catch" shingles. A person who has shingles can pass chicken pox on to a non-immune person, but they can't give shingles to anyone else. Shingles is caused by a re-activation of the chicken pox virus that lies dormant within your body after you recover from the disease. Since it sounds like you have had chicken pox in the past, you already have the dormant virus in your body. You could potentially develop shingles at any time, but it would be caused by your immune system losing its ability to keep the virus in check. It would not be caused by any additional exposures to people with shingles or chickenpox.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:50 AM   #6
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Working in healthcare, we were always told when pregnant to avoid or be extremely careful when a patient had shingles.
Even workers not pregnant use contact precautions.

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Old 07-25-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

Thanks for the advice. My mom said she's pretty sure I had the chicken pox as a child but she's not going to say 100% sure because she didn't take us to the dr for it. I don't remember if my dr tested for chicken pox immunity or not.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:15 AM   #8
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

Oh and if you do get chicken pox during pregnancy, is there a time when its more dangerous? Like would it be more of a risk during the 1st, 2nd or 3rd trimester? Just curious if anyone knows, because I know there are risks to the unborn child.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:20 AM   #9
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

Personally, I would not risk it; just not worth it IMO if anything happened to your unborn baby.

I was told that one cannot get shingles if they've never had pox... but that yes, they can get pox from shingles.

The pox vax has a high rate of ineffectiveness & I'd rather my child get pox... I would NOT risk it though while I was pregnant. I will add that if your mom has shingles it is around & you have probably been exposed just being in public... but being around someone who knowingly has it is a risk I would not take. I know my gma had it recently & we waited a long time (2 months) to see her after her skin was all cleared up. In hindsight we were exposed to her at a wedding just days before her rash appeared, but not once we knew about it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:36 AM   #10
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Re: Shingles During Pregnancy, Dangerous or Not?

I wouldn't risk it, I think. I DID have chicken pox as a child, but I got tested when TTC DS1, and I did NOT have immunity. Unless you have been tested and know you have immunity, I would not expose yourself.
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