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If my son has chicken pox, is my unborn baby at risk?
Q: I’m 37 weeks pregnant. Even though my 3-year-old son had the chicken pox vaccine, I believe he has a case of it. I’m worried that I’ll give them to my baby. What should I do?
A: Have you had chicken pox? If so, you won’t get them. If you’re unsure, check with you parents, siblings or pediatrician. If you can’t get a definitive answer, get a blood test to help make the diagnosis.

If you are susceptible to chicken pox, you should speak to your doctor about receiving an immune globulin, which will lessen your chance of getting sick or help reduce the severity of your case. Chicken pox in the third trimester of pregnancy can increase your risk of getting a lung infection so you’d need to be under the supervision of your doctor. The virus does not typically affect the baby this late in pregnancy.

At the time of delivery, it’s important to protect the newborn by keeping him/her away from anyone who has uncrusted pox. That means the baby cannot be in the same home with the child, or in contact with the child, until the pox are crusted over. In this situation, you can get helpful advise from the pediatrician and hospital personnel.

Of course, you must make sure that your diagnosis of your son’s condition is correct. Check with his pediatrician to determine if he truly has chicken pox.