German measles (Rubella) is uncommon, as most women have been vaccinated against Rubella as a child. It is a viral disease that, if contracted in the first trimester of pregnancy, can cause birth defects involving the heart, brain, vision or hearing. A Rubella titer is included in your prenatal blood work and will show if you are immune. If you think you have been exposed to Rubella, please call to check on the status of your immunity. If you are not immune, you will be vaccinated after delivery.
Chickenpox (Varicella) is a disease that most women have in childhood. If you had chickenpox at any time in the past you are immune. If you are exposed and have not had chickenpox, please call the office and you may have a titer drawn to show if you have immunity. Having chickenpox in the first trimester has only rarely been associated with miscarriage or congenital problems. Pregnant women who contract the disease can develop chickenpox pneumonia, which can be quite serious and even life-threatening.
Mumps are uncommon during pregnancy, because most women are immunized against the disease as a child.
Fifth’s Disease (Erythema Infectiosum) is a virus caused by Parvovirus B19. Approximately 50% of adults have been infected at some time in their life – usually between age five and nine years. Approximately 5% of women who are casually exposed and have not previously had the disease will become infected. School teachers and other professionals who work with children are most likely to be exposed. If you think you have been exposed, please call the office and talk with a phone nurse.
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by many different viruses. A high number of mothers who test positive for Hepatitis B surface antigen will unknowingly infect their newborn babies. You will be tested for this antigen in your initial panel of tests.