Zika Information for Pregnant Women

Zika virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and the virus may have negative effects on the baby before or after birth. While there is no active local transmission of Zika in Wisconsin, the disease can still affect residents who may contract it through travel to an area with Zika or sexual contact with a partner who has traveled to an area with Zika.

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, especially while pregnant: fever, rash, joint pain, and/or red eyes. Zika infection during pregnancy can contribute to the following:

  • Increased risk of miscarriage.
  • Increased risk of birth defects including microcephaly and other brain defects, vision and hearing problems, and impaired development.
Pregnant woman undergoing ultrasound

If you are pregnant, do not travel to areas with Zika.

If you are currently pregnant it is important to minimize your risk for exposing yourself or your baby to Zika. Since Zika can be sexually transmitted, it is necessary to know the travel history of your partner and/or to practice safe sex (using condoms) for the duration of the pregnancy.

See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more details for areas with active Zika virus transmission.

If you are trying to become pregnant, consult your doctor before you or your partner travel, or avoid travel.

For a healthy pregnancy, women trying to become pregnant should follow the same guidelines as women who are already pregnant.

It is safe to use insect repellant if you do travel while pregnant.

For more information, see Wisconsin Zika Information for Travelers

Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy and sexual transmission of Zika virus.

The use of an effective form of birth control can prevent unplanned pregnancy and the use of barrier methods such as condoms can prevent the sexual transmission of Zika.

For more information, see Wisconsin Zika Virus Prevention

Breastfeeding is beneficial and safe.

To date, there have been no reports of Zika transmission to an infant thorough breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has many benefits for an infant, and even women living in areas with local Zika transmission are encouraged to breastfeed.

Pregnancy Resources

Last Revised: February 28, 2017