Can Lyme Disease Can Be Passed During Pregnancy?

One of the enduring questions about Lyme disease is whether or not the bacterium which causes it can be passed from mother to child in the womb. While experts disagree, the evidence seems to speak for itself.

The Examiner
recently interviewed Texas mother Melinda Fulford, who is speaking up about how she discovered she’d passed her Lyme disease to all her children during pregnancy.

When Melinda first fell pregnant, over twenty years ago, she had no idea she was infected with Lyme disease; the study of which was still in its infancy (no pun intended) during the 1990s.

“I went through the same symptoms as women without Lyme have like nausea, swollen feet/ankles, cravings and all, but I gained 50lb's with each child. I think being overly exhausted was the thing that seemed to stand out for me,” she told The Examiner. “But I had no idea about Lyme and just thought all women felt the same as I did when pregnant.”

Things changed, though, when her first baby was born.

“I never felt the same. I couldn't put my finger on what it was but I never felt quite like I did before the birth of baby number one. I'm not sure if women without Lyme feel this way, but it was a significant change for me. I never had the energy to play softball anymore, or do much strenuous physical exercise of any kind.”

Lack of energy, stiffness and other difficult-to-pinpoint symptoms are characteristic of Lyme disease – but because they are also common with many other conditions, treatment for Lyme is often overlooked.

“My second pregnancy twelve years later was tougher on my body, but I attributed that to age. I knew it would be my last child, but I never knew what I was passing on to her.”

And that’s the most tragic part of the story. As a result of her infection with the Lyme-causing b. burgdoerferi bacterium, both of Melinda’s children were born carrying the infection – and it’s had a devastating effect on their lives.

“My oldest daughter had some issues in high school with her joints and she was unable to do some of her cheer leading moves because of it, but for the most part she was and is functioning normally. She had a febrile seizure when she was 10 months old due to high fever, but for the most part has been healthy. She has very poor vision though and has to use contacts to get it corrected fully. She can wear glasses, but her vision suffers for it. No one would ever guess she has Lyme. It is in her blood, but at least for now her immune system is able to control it.”

“My younger daughter hasn't been so fortunate. She has had many ear infections, two cases of pneumonia under the age of four, allergies and asthma; as well as some emotional issues at one point. Her positive IGENEX test didn't help us get treatment for her. She was very small, about three, when we all were tested and my LLMD at the time did not treat children. He gave us Dr. J as a referral, but after repeated attempts to contact him her primary care doctor gave up. After consulting with "experts" in the field, her doctor finally gave us 30 days of amoxicillin for it, and that supposed to take care of it. I really didn't think that would "take care" of it, but what else could I do?”
Melinda’s story is a stark warning about how Lyme disease can devastate an entire family; and how protecting your family from tick bites is so important.

One way to reduce the risk of tick bites and to protect your family from tick bites is a yard spray for ticks, that can get rid of ticks from your backyard or garden. Talk to one of our tick control experts at Aspenn Environmental Services about tick spray treatments and they can help you keep your property tick-free all year round; greatly reducing your risk of becoming a victim of tick bites and Lyme disease.