How rare is chickenpox during pregnancy?

It’s rare to get chickenpox when you’re pregnant. In the UK, it’s estimated that about 3 in every 1,000 women (0.3%) catch chickenpox during pregnancy.

Most pregnant women are immune to chickenpox

Chickenpox mainly affects children. In the UK, more than 90% of pregnant women are immune to the virus that causes chickenpox, because they had the condition as a child.

If you were born and grew up in a tropical or subtropical area, you’re less likely to have had chickenpox as a child. Examples of these areas include India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and some areas of Thailand.

Once you’ve had chickenpox, you cannot catch it a second time.

Complications from chickenpox are rare

If a pregnant woman does get chickenpox, complications are rare. Most pregnant women who get chickenpox recover, with no adverse effects for the baby. 

Read more in What are the risks of chickenpox during pregnancy? 

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 24/10/2014

Next review due: 23/10/2016