If a woman with genital herpes has virus present in the birth canal during delivery, herpes simplex virus (HSV) can be spread to an infant, causing neonatal herpes, a serious and sometimes fatal condition. If you are pregnant and you have genital herpes, you may be concerned about the risk of spreading the infection to your baby. The following steps can help protect you from getting an infection during pregnancy:. Can my baby catch herpes from me (or someone else) after delivery? Most women think that having herpes during pregnancy is a fairly straightforward matter: If you have any sores when you go into labor, you’ll simply deliver by Cesarean section to avoid infecting your baby. and that may actually be a good thing If you contracted herpes before you got pregnant, your body has had time to develop antibodies to the virus, protection that you will pass on to your baby. Ten percent of cases are contracted after delivery, often when someone with herpes fever blisters kisses the baby; the other 5 percent are contracted in utero.
As an expectant parent eagerly awaiting the birth of your new baby, you are probably taking a number of steps to ensure your baby’s health. If you are pregnant and you have genital herpes, you may be concerned about the risk of spreading the herpes infection to your baby. After birth, watch the baby closely for about four weeks. I want to tell other mothers that I know it’s hard not to worry when your baby’s safety is at stake. While neonatal herpes is rare, women who know they have genital herpes are often concerned about the possibility of transmitting the virus to their babies at birth. Newborn infants can become infected with herpes virus during pregnancy, during labor or delivery, or after birth. To prevent transmitting the virus, caregivers who have a cold sore should wear a surgical mask and wash their hands carefully before coming in contact with an infant.
The infection can also develop during or shortly after birth. You may be given medicine towards the end of your pregnancy to help reduce the chance of passing on herpes to your baby. You can pass the herpes virus to your baby during labor and birth. This can cause serious health problems for a baby, including a deadly infection. After birth. You or another person can pass the virus to your baby after birth. A mother can infect her baby during delivery, often fatally. Women with genital herpes are examined carefully for any symptoms before giving birth. Unless you know for sure that your partner is herpes free, avoid sex altogether during the third trimester.
Get The Facts About Being Pregnant And Genital Herpes In Pregnancy
Even though herpes can be passed from mom to baby at birth, the risk of infection, if you contracted the virus before pregnancy and don’t have a flare-up during delivery, is relatively low only 3 percent and you can take steps to avoid infecting your baby. Taking it can decrease your chances of a flare-up during delivery, which will prevent your baby from contracting herpes. Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. To be honest after my initial discussions with my doctor and midwives I didn’t give the virus any more thought. In the weeks leading up to the birth, your doctor may prescribe medication to prevent an outbreak of herpes, in which case you have the all clear and peace of mind to birth whatever way you please. Researchers have identified several risk factors for passing herpes infections from mother to newborn and steps to prevent the transmission. Researchers say it’s the first real proof that delivering a baby via cesarean section can protect an infant from infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV), despite the fact that it’s been common practice for the last 30 years. Only one baby who was delivered by C-section acquired HSV, compared with nine babies who tested positive for the virus after a vaginal delivery. In fact, none of the 74 women who had lesions infected their infants, compared with 10 of the 128 women who were shedding the virus without lesions and infected their child. These antibodies help protect the baby. Lastly, the infection can pass to the fetus through the placenta. This can happen if the mother gets herpes for the first time in the first 3 months of her pregnancy (first trimester). Herpes infection can be passed from you to your unborn child and cause a potentially deadly infection (neonatal herpes). If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, you may be offered herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy to reduce the risk of having any symptoms and passing the disease to your baby. Repeat outbreaks of genital herpes are common, especially during the first year after infection. The genital form of the infection is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). After your child’s initial herpes infection occurs and has run its course, the virus itself will remain in the nerve cells of his body in an inactive or dormant (latent) form. The baby becomes infected while passing through the birth canal.
Birth-acquired Herpes: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis
Herpes infection during pregnancy requires careful consideration in order to prevent passing the infection on to the baby. Because herpes can be transmitted to the baby even when no sores are visible, babies born to mothers with herpes should be carefully monitored for signs of herpes infection after they are born. In order to avoid giving herpes to your baby, you must also tell your doctor that you have herpes or that a previous partner had or your present partner has herpes. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that’s usually caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). After the first herpes infection, the virus can lie dormant without causing any symptoms. Planned Parenthood answers your questions about what testing and treatment options are available for this STD. Will Herpes Affect My Pregnancy? However, after birth, if you have a cold sore, don’t kiss your baby until it has healed completely to prevent giving the baby the infection. Infants exposed to the herpes simplex can experience brain infection, seizures, prolonged hospitalization, mental retardation, and death if the infection takes hold. Finally, less antibody is transmitted from the mother to the baby during a primary infection as opposed to during a recurrent outbreak (this is called transferring passive immunity to the baby, which involves the transmission of antibody through the placenta from the mother to the baby)2. In this small percentage of cases due to transmission shortly after delivery, persons with cold sores on their mouths or herpes lesions on their hands have apparently played a part in transmitting the infection to babies3.
Neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections are transmitted from an infected mother, usually vertically, during delivery. 2 In contrast, a woman experiencing a secondary reactivation of HSV during the intrapartum period has approximately a 3 percent chance of transmitting the virus to her infant.2 Of known infected infants, only 30 percent have mothers who had symptomatic HSV or a sexual partner with clinical infection. Delivery occurred approximately 20 hours after rupture of membranes. Learn about genital herpes, a sexually transmitted disease (STD), in this ACOG patient FAQ. It can affect pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. How can you prevent your newborn from getting HSV?, or more, rectally), poor feeding, irritability, and skin rash in the form of pimples or blisters, seizures or other similar symptoms that may develop within six weeks following birth. Breast-feeding after delivery is safe unless there is a herpes lesion on the breast. When genital herpes is contracted after conception, it is rarely transmitted through the placenta to the unborn child. Clear communication with your physician regarding all issues relating to conception and delivery is important to ensure the health of both you and your baby. The herpes virus could cause a serious infection of your baby’s liver, brain, or other organs. It can help prevent an active infection that could be passed to your child during birth. Once you are infected, the herpes virus stays in your body, even after the sores are gone.