January 22, 2021

Does Measles Affect Pregnancy?

Does Measles Affect Pregnancy?

Measles, also known as rubeola, is a highly contagious viral illness. Vaccination rates have decreased over the past decade, so the incidence of measles has increased in the Pacific Northwest and New York City.

Below, we’ll outline the reasons why measles during pregnancy can be dangerous, how they affect mothers and newborns, and some things you can do to avoid issues with them during pregnancy.

What Can Measles Do to a Pregnant Woman?

Measles infections during pregnancy don’t cause birth defects, but pregnant women and newborns are more susceptible to medical complications from measles than the general population. Some of these complications include pneumonia and hospitalization.

How Can Measles Affect a Newborn Baby?

Measles infections during pregnancy can also cause miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, and an increased risk of preterm delivery.

Tips for Preventing Measles During Pregnancy

Here are some things you can do to help protect yourself from measles during pregnancy.

• If you haven’t received two doses of the measles vaccine, get your second dose before trying to become pregnant.
• If you’re uncertain whether or not you’re immune, get a measles antibody test before trying to become pregnant.
• If you’re not certain whether you’re immune to measles, avoid large crowds while you’re pregnant.
• If you’re not immune to measles and are exposed to the virus while pregnant, talk with your doctor about getting an immune globulin shot to prevent the development of measles.

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Learn More About Measles in Pregnancy from Baptist Health

If you’ve been exposed to measles during pregnancy, find your nearest Baptist Health Women’s Health provider today.

Useful Resources and Next Steps:

How to Help Boost a Baby’s Immune System
5 Different Breastfeeding Positions For Your Newborn
Meet with one of Baptist Health’s Lactation Consultants 

Learn More.