Rubella, also known as German measles, can pose significant risks to a developing fetus if contracted during pregnancy. The virus can cross the placenta and infect the unborn baby, leading to a condition called congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS can cause various birth defects such as deafness, heart abnormalities, cataracts, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays.
The severity of the impact depends on when during pregnancy the infection occurs. The first trimester poses the highest risk of complications. If a pregnant woman contracts rubella within the first 11 weeks of gestation, there is an increased likelihood of severe birth defects or even fetal death.
To protect yourself and your baby from rubella, it is essential to ensure you are immune through vaccination or previous exposure. If you are not immune and have been exposed to someone with rubella or suspect you have contracted it yourself, seek immediate medical attention.
Your doctor will conduct blood tests to determine if you have developed immunity or if you have an active infection. If you are not immune or have an active infection confirmed by laboratory tests, your healthcare provider may recommend monitoring your pregnancy closely with regular ultrasounds and other diagnostic tests.
In some cases where there is a high risk of fetal complications due to maternal infection during early pregnancy, termination may be considered after careful counseling with healthcare professionals.
Remember that prevention is key in protecting yourself and your baby from rubella. Ensure that your vaccinations are up-to-date before planning a pregnancy. If you are unsure about your immunity status, consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action.
In summary, rubella can be dangerous for a pregnant woman and her baby, particularly if contracted during the first trimester. It is crucial to take immediate action if you suspect exposure or infection and work closely with your healthcare provider to minimize the risks and ensure the health and well-being of both you and your baby.