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Baby planning: German Measles (Rubella)

It is strongly recommended that if your pregnancy is planned, have a blood test to determine if you are immune to rubella before you start trying to conceive. Although rubella is not dangerous for you, it can have very serious implications for your unborn baby if the infection is contracted during pregnancy (the risk being highest in the first three months).

If you are found to lack immunity, you will be given the rubella vaccine. The rubella vaccine contains a small amount of inactivated live virus that your body recognises as foreign and to which it builds up an immunity. It takes three months to build up the immunity and during this time it is unwise to risk exposing a developing baby to the rubella virus. You can safely try conceiving after this time.

Rubella can cause heart and brain defects, deafness and cataract in your unborn baby.

Symptoms of German measles:

The symptoms of German measles show up only two to three weeks after exposure and include slight fever, swollen glands and a mild rash. Sometimes the symptoms may go unnoticed.

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