Chickenpox and Pregnancy

For more information on chickenpox, see the factsheet Chickenpox.

What do you need to know about chickenpox and pregnancy?

  • Pregnant women who have never had chickenpox can develop severe illness if they get chickenpox while pregnant
  • Chickenpox can also affect the developing baby if the mother becomes infected in the first half of pregnancy
  • The newborn baby can develop severe chickenpox if the mother has chickenpox around the time of delivery

What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Before you are thinking of becoming pregnant, have a blood test to check your antibodies for chickenpox to see if you are protected
  • If you are not protected from chickenpox, you should consider the chickenpox vaccine.
    • This vaccine cannot be used in pregnancy
    • Women who receive this vaccine should wait 3 months to become pregnant
      • A reliable form of birth control should be used during this time
  • If a pregnant woman is not protected against chickenpox and finds out she has been exposed to someone with chickenpox, she should call her doctor immediately