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meningitis & septicaemia can kill in hours!

People who are faced with meningitis and septicaemia have to act fast to help save a life.

Pregnancy and viral meningitis

15 comments

Posted by Cary Smyth on 07 April 2011

Hi everyone. I have spent some time on this wonderful website, and can only offer condolences to so many people that have struggled through such difficult experiences.

I am pregnant, and have had viral meningitis at week 17. It was from the group enterovirussus, but we do not know the exact strain yet. I had quite severe simptoms for two weeks (vomitting, severe headache and neck stiffness, sensitiviry to light, but no fever) and am now, after four weeks still very tired - although pregnacy in itself can be quite tiring.

It is difficult for me to find information on the effect this would have had on our baby. Most people say it should all be fine, what worries me is that my gynaecologist seems to be the person most concerned that there may be long-term damage done, with a risk of permanent disability.

Does anyone have some information on this, or at least be able to point me in the right direction?

Thank you, and blessings to all

15 comments

Posted on 31 January 2014

Comment by Sarah Olierook

Hello, not sure whetever this forum is still activie, but would like to tell in short my story as a daughter. I just turned 30 and felt I had to do more research to my biological mother's case, that's how I found this website and forum.
When she was pregnant with me in 1984, she had viral meningitis and encephalites (I don't know the exact kind). Despite heavy medication I was born healthy and still am.

Unfortunately the damage to my mothers' brain was irreversible after she 'recoverd', and she finally gave labour not knowing that she was pregnant. Her short term memory was severely damaged and she could't function normally at home, as a result she went to a mental hospital permanently. Of course this is an extremely heavy case, and I don't want to cause any stress since in this forum mainly mothers are active. Each case is so specific. I just wanted to highlight that also in the long run there doesn't necessarily have to be any health issues.

Best regards from the Netherlands,
Sarah

Posted on 09 December 2013

Comment by Sondra Goldstein

My daughter in law was just hospitalized with viral meningitis in her week 23 of her pregnancy.
Does anyone know of the health effects for the mother and developing baby as a result of viral meningitis in week 23 of pregnancy?
Thanks
SG

Posted on 19 November 2013

Comment by Nora Jenson

Hello,

I was recently diagnosed with viral meningitis (caused by the enterovirus strain) at 12 weeks and 4 days. None of the doctors I have spoken to have actually seen a case of a pregnant woman with viral meningitis, although they all tell me it should not affect the baby. Can anyone please post their experiences, and let me know if your baby suffered any consequence? I am a nervous wreck.

Thank you.

Posted on 06 September 2013

Comment by Galina Vlasenko

Hi,
I have contracted a viral meningitis when I was 16/17 weeks pregnant and was given 3 sets of strong antibiotics (including amoxicillin).
I was very much worried about my baby developing any side effects from both the illness and the treatment.
Going on the website didn't help, it made me feel even worse, because there were all sorts of horrible stories.
Therefore, I made a promise to myself that if all goes well or standard I would definitely write about this, to support other worrying moms.
Today my daughter is almost 5 months old. She was born, just like her brother, by being induced one week late. At birth she had no abnormalities and had a high apgar score (I don't remember exactly how much) and passed all the newborn standard tests. So far she is a very curious child and doesn't seem to be any different in terms of health/development from her older brother.
Obviously, she is still very little, so it is hard to say whether she will have any issues in the future, however, if she does they might not be linked to meningitis.
Finally, I just wanted to wish good luck to all the loving and worrying moms and also to wish good health to them and their future kids :)

Posted on 19 May 2013

Comment by Elena Koronaiou Daffe

I am 24 weeks pregnant from Athens Greece and had been diagnosed with virus meningitis 11 days now.They keep me hospitalised with 3 rd generation antibiotics and from all the meetings i had the gynaecologists they did not seem to worry so much.They said only if the disease meet the pregnancy at the 1 st trimester they would be afraid.Anyone who knows more let help us.Good luck to us and our unborns.

Posted on 11 April 2013

Comment by Sonia Haubner

I contacted viral meningitis in 2004 with my now 9yr old daughter. I was treated with IV meds and meds for my spinal epidural headache. They'd given me a spinal tap to determine if I had viral or bacterial meningitis.

She was born full term and my OB had told me not to worry.

She had speech delay along with high sensitivity to clothing and how it felt on her skin, pajamas, socks, etc... I thank God for tag less clothing! Her frustrations were high, temper tantrums higher and she showed early signs of anxiety.

To add to her list, she had food allergies and asthma. She recently had an anaphylactic reaction that triggered a panic attack. Also she has been recently diagnosed with Restless Leg Syndrome... Poor girl :(

We held her back because of her emotional issues. She is currently in second grade. But she still has issues with coping skills. Her ability to deal with conflict, inability to understand school work and certain social issues I believe, all correlate with the nervous system and how meningitis effected her.

I too, wish there was more information out there to help us. We are now seeking help through a behavioral therapist and because her issues are now spilling into the classroom, we have requested a full eval from the school.

Posted on 18 September 2012

Comment by Heather-Fiona Egan

Hello Cary,

I hope your story had a happy ending. Mine did.

I contracted meningitis at 38 weeks pregnant and like you they could not say whether it was bacterial or viral meningitis. They gave me the drugs just in case.

Things got quite hairy, but I am happy to say, my daughter was born by emergency c section (after I spontaneously went into labour on my due date) and arrived a very healthy 10lbs 13oz!

She is now 4 and living a full and active life with no side affects.

I still sometimes wonder about how lucky we were and how other people deal with this particular problem.

Posted on 14 September 2012

Comment by Katie Sprink

In 2005 I had viral meningitis at approximately 21 weeks pregnant. I was hospitalized for 10 days. My daughter was born 30 days early and was in NICU for a few days, and hospitalized outside NICU for another week, or so.
She walked late (15 months) and talked late (2 years). She had her tonsils and adenoids removed at two (after which she started talking a TON).
She will be seven years old in November. She skipped Kindergarten and went straight to first grade (she's in second grade now, doing wonderfully). She plays piano beautifully, she dances ballet and plays soccer. She is a pleasant, sweet, intelligent person.
I do believe though that her anxiety and physical discomfort stem from having been sick during my pregnancy. Unfortunately, we are not likely to get specific answers about the effects of viral meningitis on a fetus during pregnancy for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that studying the effects of (any) virus during fetal development can be complicated because the susceptibility of a fetus to harm from various sources changes with development. By this I mean a fetus who was 3 weeks, versus 20 weeks, versus 38 weeks would be impacted differently by virus AND by treatment itself.

Posted on 30 August 2012

Comment by Valerie villela

Im jus concerned cuz im tryn to get pregnant an im probaly only two weeks...an i jus tookthis shot.im hopen everythang is ok...im still in concern

Posted on 06 June 2012

Comment by Alida Rautenbach

I had viral meningitis while pregnant 28 weeks. My son is now 5 and was born with clubfeet and some neurological damage. He has speech delay problems, strage this was mentioned and developmental delay issues. Fine motor skills severely delayed, was only potty trained at 4 and still struggles with some issues that he should have mastered long ago. I would like to know what the outcome of the pregnancy was for Carry Smith that posted the question. We still have so many unanswered questions an unfortunately doctors that did not even try to answer these. I have been hunting for answers ever since is birth, since he has not been ¨diagnosed with any real diagnosis¨except a wait and see phylosophy...

Posted on 11 April 2012

Comment by Debbie Hawks

I know a girl who is about 12 weeks pregnant who had spinal meningitis at the age of 3. She lost her hearing as a result of having it. Will this in any way affect the baby she is carrying? She hasn't seen an ob-gyn yet so I am worried about the baby. Thank you.

Posted on 08 April 2012

Comment by Ann Stager

I wish there was a further discussion on this topic b/c I currently have viral meningitis at 27 weeks pregnant and have been dealing with it so far for 6 days, 3 of which I spent in the hospital. They could not even tell me the cause other than its definately viral and not fungal or bacterial by cultures. I would like to know the
viral source...but they said the cultures cannot pinpoint this. Anyone else with experiences with this during pregnancy please post your stories. Thanks

Posted on 21 October 2011

Comment by Karen Goodrich

Cary,

I had viral meningitis at the beginning of my third trimester. It was so rare at that time (1996) that there was no one to ask questions of or even anyone who had their baby survive. As you may know it is painful and there are so few medications that can help with the pain. I was in ICU for 2 weeks and on the maternity floor for 1 1/2 weeks.

I gave birth 21 days early by C-section. Adam scored high in his apghar and seemed just fine until he was 4 months old. He then started to shows sign of a panic disorder. He would break out in a sweat and flick his fingers if I left the room. This behavior was not a concern to the pediatrician (I had one of the best), it continued to get worse as he aged, if I left the house he would become so distraught he would pass out. They finally ended up putting him on a low dose relaxant for the bad times. His behavior reactions always seemed to be tied to one trigger or another. It could be a smoke detector going off, a thunderstorm, or even flames from a match. The pediatrician guessed he would out grow it. Adam is now 15 and he has not had any lingering effects in the last 3 years. Viral Meningitis works on your nervous system and such can affect many things, many of which are just minor things that you have to adapt to. I would not worry and medicine has come a long way since my experience. I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Karen

Posted on 07 October 2011

Comment by Sahl Martin

My wife had viral meningitis at week 38. They gave IV antibiotics as a precautionary until bacterial meningitis was ruled out (4 days later). They stated possible side effect for the baby from the antibiotics was hearing damage. My son is 10 now with no hearing deficit, but a minor speech developmental delay which we wonder about. The meningitis itself did not seem to harm the fetus/newborn at all.

Posted on 08 April 2011

Comment by shirley gieron

Hi Cary
MRF does have a recovery booklet which can be emailed to you or posted if you live in the UK/Ireland. We could aslo talk through your worries on our 24 hour helpline 080 8800 3344(UK) 1800 41 33 44(RoI) or email helpline@meningitis.org
The Helpline Team

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