German Measles immunization in pregnancy

Rubella, probably better known as German measles, is a very common infection in children and most children either contract it in childhood or are immunised against it. German measles if caught, particularly in the first three months of pregnancy, can cause malformations in your baby.

Most rubella infections today appear in young, non-immunized adults rather than children. In fact, experts estimate that 10% of young adults are currently susceptible to rubella, which could pose a danger to any children they might have someday. These may include deafness, blindness and heart problems. It can only be caught if you are not immune to it.

Your family doctor should have a record of your immunisation. Your mother or father may remember if you had German measles as a child. Once you have had rubella or been immunised against it you should be immune to it. If you do have the typical symptoms, they start to show up about 12 to 23 days after you're exposed to the illness. It is extremely rare to lose immunity. If there is any doubt, immunity to German measles can be checked with a simple blood test. If a woman is not immune she should get immunised before trying to become pregnant.

Rubella | German Measles Immunization in pregnancy and effect on baby

Immunisation cannot be given during pregnancy, as the vaccine is live and could also potentially cause problems for the baby. After being immunised it is essential to use effective contraception for 3 months. Babies who are infected with rubella during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy develop congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), in which they can end up with a variety of problems, including deafness, blindness, heart defects, mental retardation, growth deficits, and a host of other disorders.

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