Rubella – A Threat To The Unborn Child

Rubella disease in a pregnant woman is a serious threat to the unborn child. It can drastically limit vision to the point of blindness. Severe hearing damage, as well as heart defects and other impairments in mental and physical development, have been found in newborns whose mothers contracted rubella during pregnancy.

The Risks Of Rubella Disease

The risk of rubella damage is particularly high for the baby during the first 17 weeks of pregnancy. That is, even if his mother does not yet know of his existence. In many cases, a rubella infection of the mother causes serious damage, which sometimes only becomes apparent in the child much later in the form of developmental disorders.

Prevention

The only way to effectively prevent the risk of rubella for unborn children is to vaccinate all girls before they reach sexual maturity. In addition, all women should have a blood test before their first pregnancy to determine whether they are really immune to rubella. If this is not the case, they must be vaccinated. Afterwards, they should wait another three months before becoming pregnant so that the protective rubella antibodies can form. As part of the prenatal examinations, this test is also done, but for a non-immune woman this is too late. This is because it is no longer possible to be vaccinated during pregnancy.

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In the case of suspected or actual infection with rubella, the only option is to administer an injection with rubella immunoglobulin. However, this passive immunization is only successful if it is administered within a few days of infection. Also, the effect is not one hundred percent certain. Two to three weeks after the administration of rubella immunoglobulin, a blood test is then taken for control.

Other childhood diseases can also harm the unborn child if the pregnant woman contracts them. For example, it is advisable for women who have never had chickenpox to also be vaccinated against this childhood disease in good time before becoming pregnant.

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