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Avatar universal

Could Lyme disease be passed onto unborn child

Hi All, I ask this question because, if this has been lurking in my system for many years and I have not been treated for it, could this be passed to my children? I have a 7 1/2 yr. old son and 4 1/2 yr. old daughter

. When my son was 18 months old, he had a rash that pretty much covered his body, (not a bull's eye rrash) but we did not know wwhat could have caused the big red bumps on him.

Since then, he has had some problems with his behavior  (almost like ADD) and when he was born and up to the two yrs. old, he was a very quiet child, not a cryer at all, and was not fussy what so ever.

His skin has become very pale, and he complains of headaches all of the time, especially if he is too active. He is a very smart kid, but at times he combines his words and makes two words into one, he also complains of his legs falling asleep alot and joint pain, which I always attributed it to growing pains.
He does worry me, but I am his mom and of course we worry about things that are probably nothing. But with my shift of what might be a dx. of lyme, makes me wonder.

Also, as for my daughter,,, she has had a swollen lymph node in her neck since she was just a tiny little baby. I brought her a few yrs. ago to see an ENT doctor because of course, I became concerned, and he felt is was nothing to worry about. Phew!!!!!! however, now that I have been looking into lyme disease as my culprit to all of my ongoing issues, this too makes me wonder about this swollen lymph node my daughter has.

I honestly do not make mountains out of molehills, but I will try to fit the puzzle pieces together the best way I can to make sure my children do not have to go through what I have gone through for soooooo many yrs.

Its sad to say the best yrs. of my life (having my two children) have been the worst part of my health! I pray for answers and I pray that God only gives me these problems for me to handle and not my children.

Thanks for taking the time to read this,
10 Responses
Avatar universal

I understand that it is possible to transmit Lyme to an unborn baby.  I know someone that happened to, but the baby is now grown up and is fine.

In your situation, I would have my children tested by an LLMD and go from there.  Better to know than not, because what you don't know about, you can't take care of.

Your children are lucky to have you because you are aware and thinking and not ignoring what could be happening.  

When I found out I had Lyme, I dragged my family in to be tested too, and whaddaya know, even tho I was the only one obviously ill, I wasn't the only one with Lyme!  So me being really, really sick had a purpose:  it showed me the way to take care of my family by getting everyone tested, diagnosed and treated.

Perverse, I know -- but with Lyme, you gotta your victories where you find them.

Be brave!  I know how hard it is, but you can do it.  Take care.
Avatar universal

I appreciate your kind words, and It feels so good to be heard with my concerns.
My children are my life, and we do live in an area that  we have to worry about ticks.

If all of my neurological symptoms are because of lyme that was never detected and my kids had it passed to them, I will probably go through the feeling of guilt.

I never even mentioned having cat scratch fever to my neuro. because I am 39 now, and when I had it, I was 17. How dangerous could lyme disease be, if not treated for this many years.

Do people with lyme get tremors in one hand only?... I have it in my left hand.
Can lyme cause an EEG to be abnormal?,... I have had 4 abnormal (was told my slurred speech that lasted 2 weeks) was a simple partial seizure.

Do you get hyperreflexia and nystagmus from Lyme? I have both

Does it cause disc bulges?. I have 3

Sorry for all of the questions, I have soooo many! :)

I will try to be brave, I have to be for my babies :))

Hugs, Pam
Avatar universal
The symptoms are different for everyone ... so don't worry if you have something others don't, or don't have something others do.  It also changes over time.

I don't know that Lyme gets more dangerous over time, just that it has settled in and made itself at home.  But to tell you the truth, I imagine that anything more than a couple of weeks after the initial infection will take a while to treat, so whether it's been a year or ten years, it may not make much difference in treatment.  It is what it is.

Neurologists are often not great believers in Lyme being a long term problem.  Their standard approach is a few weeks of antibiotics and done.  That is the medical standard set by the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) regarding Lyme, and they say that if you still have symptom after a few weeks treatment, it's your body continuing to react to the bacteria that are no longer there.  This makes no sense to me, since the simplest explanation would be that the bacteria are still present, but the IDSA and the neurologists are stuck on their autoimmune concept.  Oh well.  

It is indeed possible to get tremors and tingles and twitches on one side and not the other.  There's no rule that the infection has to show the same symptoms on each side of your body symmetrically.  Mother Nature doesn't work that way.  About seizures, I don't know personally, but if you search 'lyme seizures', you will see lots of hits.  

I get eyelid twitches sometimes, but not nystagmus.  Everyone is different, and each person is different at different times.  Nobody told Lyme it was allowed only one set of symptoms that could never ever change.

If you are up for reading, there's a paperback book by Pamela Weintraub called 'Cure Unknown' (a really badly chosen title), about her family and their encounter with Lyme.  She is a trained medical writer who has been an editor at OMNI, Discovery, Psychology Today etc., and written books on medical topics.  She and her family got Lyme and were misdiagnosed for a long time.  The book is her family's story, the stories of others with Lyme, and the backstory of the medical infighting that leaves us feeling abandoned sometimes.  As I read the book, I kept thinking, "Yeah!  That happened to me too!  I'm not crazy!"  It's oddly comforting that way.  

You'll begin to figure it out as you go along, and still Lyme will bring surprises.  Keep focussed on taking care of your kids, and taking care of yourself so you can take care of all of you.  You can do this!  Look how well you have done through all the years you have been so ill.  As the saying goes:  When going through h*ll, just keep on going.
Avatar universal

You are great! Thank you
. I will take your advice and will get to my family doc. and discuss all of this with her and mention about my kids.

Take Care of you too,

Pam :)

Avatar universal
It is very well known in the Lyme community that it is passed on to children. My grandamother had it..my mom has it..I have it and my children have it. Sorry to say but if you have it your children will too.

I am treating my whole family including my mom and dad very successfully for lyme.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
I STRONGLY disagree with the preceding post saying "if you have [Lyme] your children will too."  

ILADS [dot] org, the main organization for Lyme specialists, has a document posted on its website, written by Joseph Burrascano, MD, one of the leading Lyme MDs.  It says in part:

"It is well known that Borrelia burgdorferi [the bacteria that cause Lyme] can cross the placenta and infect the fetus.  In addition, breast milk from infected mothers has been shown to harbor spirochetes [Lyme bacteria] that can be detected by PCR [tests] and grown in culture.  

"The Lyme Disease Foundation in Hartford CT had kept a pregnancy register for eleven years beginning in the late 1980s.  They found that if patients were maintained on adequate doses of antibiotic therapy during gestation, then no babies were born with Lyme.  My own experience over the last twenty years agrees with this.

"The options for treating the mother include oral [pills], intramuscular [shots] and intravenous [IV] therapy as outlined above [in the article].  It is vital that peak and trough [high and lows] levels be measured if possible at the start of gestation [pregnancy] and at least once more during treatment."

Therefore Lyme CAN be passed on to babies through pregnancy and breastfeeding, but is not ALWAYS passed on if precautions are taken.  
Avatar universal
Thank you both for sharing this information. I guess at this point, if the test is positive, then I will be getting my kids tested as well.

I have another question :)

Does the rash always present itself in a bulls eye form, or could it show in different ways as the years being undx'd pass.? Also, if a child has it, do they look pale in the face?

Do they complain that when they have to "pee" they stand their for 5 mins. waiting for it to come out and nothing happens, but as soon as they walk away, they have to go again?

I appreciate all of your feedback

Thanks , Pam
Avatar universal
The nonLLMD standard for diagnosing Lyme was established with very high standards, including the requirement of a circular red rash.  The standards were purposely set high to be sure that ONLY cases of Lyme were counted, so that the gov't Centers for Disease Control (CDC) could track how many true cases of Lyme were occurring where.  (They wanted to be sure to count only absolutely clear Lyme cases so that the research data was as accurate as possible, just like tracking the spread of flu each winter -- you want to count only the true flu cases and not just a case of the sniffles.)

This high standard makes sense for tracking the spread of an epidemic, but it means that applying that high standard to patients for diagnostic purposes leaves a fair number of truly infected Lyme patients undiagnosed and untreated.

A bullseye rash is something seen (as far as I know) ONLY in Lyme, which makes its presence useful in diagnosis, BUT it is very possible to have Lyme WITHOUT the circular rash.  Some estimates I have read say that maybe half of Lyme patients never had the rash.

Therefore you could have a rash, circular or not, or you might not have a rash at all, and still run a 50/50 chance of having Lyme, depending on other symptoms and test results.

I never had a rash at all and I know others who didn't either, but we were positive on the tests.  Sorry for the long answer to your short question, but thought you might want to know why and not just 'yes' or 'no.'

I have read that bladder irritation is not at all uncommon in Lyme.  If you google/search "lyme bladder" you will see a lot of comments on that point.

Facial paleness could be a lot of things, dunno.
Avatar universal
Hi Jackie,
I don't mind the "long" answer , LOL, If you didn't answer like that, I probably would have asked more questions anyway, Haha!

Take care,
Avatar universal
If you haven't already, try the ILADS [dot] org website under the tab 'about Lyme' and look at their 'Diagnostic Hints' and other publications.  They are heavy going at first, but after a while it will start to make sense and not be like swimming in molasses.  While it may seem overwhelming at first, I was actually comforted to know that there are people who know about this stuff and are thinking big thoughts about it.  It's certainly better than the brush off I got from my 20-odd docs before I was diagnosed.  I was, as the song says, going downhill like a snowball headed for h***.  (My asterisks, just to fool the bot.)

Lyme+ are life-changing diseases, and after 4-5 years now, I am still annoyed at that fact.  It's like houseguests who simply will not leave.  The bugz don't get that they Are Not Welcome.  The best revenge is having a good day when the bugz aren't looking -- that'll show 'em!
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