Rubella, also known as German measles, is a rare illness that causes a spotty rash, cold like symptoms and aching joints.It usually gets better in about 1 week.It spreads through coughs and sneezes. Catching rubella during pregnancy can be very dangerous for your baby.
In addition, there have been large outbreaks of measles across Europe in the past few years. If you're not immune to measles and become infected while you're pregnant, there's a risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, your baby being born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy) or your baby having a low birthweight.
For this reason it is essential that your MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) immunisations are up to date BEFORE you become pregnant.
rubella is rare, outbreaks do, and can, happen at any time. Catching rubella while you are pregnant can
harm your developing baby. It can cause
the following problems for your baby:
risk of harm is worse if you are to catch rubella early in the pregnancy as
this is when the baby is doing all of its major growing and developing. Rubella is not thought to be a risk to your
baby if you catch it after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
MMR vaccine is given as part of the childhood programme and protects against
measles, mumps and rubella. Most people
would have had the required two doses of the MMR vaccine in childhood which
provides lifelong protection. However
some people may not be up to date therefore it is advised you check this before
you become pregnant.
two doses of the MMR vaccination have been given, then there is a 99%
protection rate against mumps, measles and rubella.
generally do not give pregnant women MMR vaccines, as it is a live vaccine,
unless the risk of not having the vaccine outweighs the risk of having a live
vaccine while pregnant.
you are not up to date with your vaccinations and go on to have the MMR
vaccine, you will need to wait at least one month before falling pregnant.
you are currently pregnant and are not up to date with your MMR vaccinations,
you can have the vaccine once your baby is born. You will need to organise this through your
the vaccination is the most effective way of gaining protection. If you are pregnant and have not been
vaccinated, to help protect yourself in the meantime avoid contact with anyone
you suspect has rubella and any of their belongings or surroundings and ensure
you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
you experience a rash during pregnancy, which has not been caused by a known
reaction to a change in detergent or sanitary products, it is worth contacting
your GP or midwife for assessment.