Although we normally think of chickenpox as a harmless childhood disease, it is a highly contagious viral illness that can pose dangers and risks to your unborn baby – if you catch it for the first time during pregnancy.
According to national data in the pre-vaccine era (before 1995), an estimated 95 percent of all Americans caught the chickenpox before age 20. After the chickenpox vaccine (varicella vaccine) was introduced in 1995, the rates of chickenpox have decreased dramatically. Studies have indicated the varicella vaccine may protect from chickenpox for at least 11 years.
Once you catch chickenpox, the virus stays dormant or asleep in your body for the rest of your life. In other words, you are immune from the virus and cannot catch it again.