Herpes simplex is most often spread to an infant during birth if the mother has HSV in the birth canal during delivery. In addition, if a mother knows she has genital herpes, her doctor can take steps to protect the baby. Can genital herpes cause complications during pregnancy? You can pass the herpes virus to your baby during labor and birth. For example, if you have a herpes sore on your lip and you kiss your baby’s skin, you can pass the virus to her. WebMD explains how to avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy, and what to do to keep yourself and baby healthy if you already have it. Pregnant women with genital herpes should be careful — but not overly worried — about passing the virus on to the baby. A mother can infect her baby during delivery, often fatally.
I had several outbreaks during pregnancy and was terrified I would pass the infection to my baby, Maria wrote to the Herpes Resource Center. Since the highest risk to an infant comes when the mother contracts HSV-1 or 2 during pregnancy, you can take steps to ensure that you don’t transmit herpes during this crucial time. These antibodies help protect the baby from acquiring infection during birth, even if there is some virus in the birth canal. On the other hand, when a woman and her provider do know there’s a risk, the provider can examine her visually with a strong light at the onset of labor. Most mums-to-be with genital herpes give birth to healthy babies. Find out what you need to know to keep your baby safe. So your baby can catch herpes during the birth, from contact with the virus in or around your vagina. Should mothers with genital herpes breast feed? 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. Here’s what every pregnant woman needs to know about this very common virus. 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. (Also let her know if you’ve been diagnosed with herpes, even if you haven’t had a recent outbreak.
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. If we know a woman has a history of genital herpes, we’ll tend to give her acyclovir, an antiviral medicine, starting around 34 or 36 weeks, to try to suppress any episodes of herpes so she can have a vaginal birth, says Sharon Phelan, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico. Newborn infants can become infected with herpes virus during pregnancy, during labor or delivery, or after birth. Passing through the birth canal (birth-acquired herpes, the most common method of infection). If the mother has an active outbreak genital herpes at the time of delivery, the baby is more likely to become infected during birth. The infection can also develop during or shortly after birth. Babies with birth-acquired herpes get the infection from mothers who are infected with genital herpes. Mothers who have a nonactive herpes infection at the time of delivery can also transmit herpes to their child, according to the Office on Women’s Health. You may be given medicine towards the end of your pregnancy to help reduce the chance of passing on herpes to your baby.
Herpes And Pregnancy
If a previously diagnosed herpes infection flares up during pregnancy, this should not affect your baby. A mother shares her experience:. Can pregnant women become infected with STDs? A mother can transmit the infection to her baby during pregnancy. Although HSV transmission may occur during pregnancy and after delivery, 80-90 of neonatal herpes infections occur when the baby passes through the mother’s infected birth canal. Herpes infection during pregnancy requires careful consideration in order to prevent passing the infection on to the baby. The chances that a mother with recurrent genital herpes will give birth to a baby who becomes ill with neonatal herpes are very low, as long as you and your doctor are aware of the status of your infection and are attuned to prevention. It can affect pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. The herpes virus can pass through a break in your skin during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. A woman infected with genital herpes usually can breastfeed without infecting her child. However, the baby could get infected by touching a blister or sore on the mother’s breast. Cold sores on the mouth can spread the virus to the genitals during oral sex. An infected mother can pass herpes on to her baby during pregnancy or at birth, causing serious illness. It can be passed from one person to another by close genital or oral skin-to-skin contact. If a woman develops her first outbreak of herpes less than six weeks before she gives birth, then there is a risk of transmitting herpes to the baby during delivery, and obstetricians usually advise delivery by caesarean section.
Managing genital herpes during pregnancy is very important to the health of the soon-to-be-born infant. Infants exposed to the herpes simplex can experience brain infection, seizures, prolonged hospitalization, mental retardation, and death if the infection takes hold. With such a frightening prospect for potential harmful or fatal effects on the baby, then persons who have genital herpes must give careful thought to the risks associated with childbearing when one or both future parents have genital herpes. The greatest risk to the infant is in those pregnancies in which the mother develops her first genital herpes infection ever while pregnant2. Most mums-to-be with genital herpes give birth to healthy babies. Find out what you need to know to keep your baby safe. During an attack of genital herpes, small, painful sores may erupt on your skin. Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus. If this happens, there is a small risk that your baby could catch it too. When a baby catches genital herpes it results in an infection called neonatal herpes. When seeing a pregnant woman with genital herpes, important questions to ask are:. If the woman has a history of recurrent genital herpes, she should be reassured that the risk of transmitting the infection to her baby is very small, even if she does have active lesions at delivery. Maternal antibodies will give some protection to the baby but neonatal infection can still occasionally occur. A caesarean birth during a herpes outbreak can prevent infection to the baby. Most women who have herpes and give birth have perfectly healthy children. If a mother is having an active herpes outbreak at the time of her baby’s birth, the risks of the baby contracting herpes are greater.
If a woman is having an outbreak during labor and delivery and there is an active herpes outbreak in or near the birth canal, the doctor will do a cesarean section to protect the baby. It is also not a genetic condition so will not be passed onto your children this way. Can I pass the virus to a partner if I have no symptoms? Can I give blood? Parents do not pass on genital herpes to their children through any normal activities of family life. These babies do not have full antibody protection so they could be infected during the birth if the mother has sores. STDs in pregnancy can be harmful to you — and to your unborn child. Your baby is most at risk if you contract genital herpes while you’re pregnant — because you’re newly infected, you don’t have any antibodies to the virus, so you can’t pass them on to your baby for protection, explains Lisa Hollier, MD, MPH, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas in Houston. Why it’s dangerous: You can pass chlamydia to your baby during delivery, and she can develop pneumonia as a result. Oftentimes, the warts, even if they’re large, will disappear on their own after a woman gives birth and her immune system returns to normal, Dr. If you need to have a c-section for your baby’s safety, they will give you one. A vaginal delivery is always healthier for mom and baby and that should be your first choice. Although you can pass herpes to your baby during birth if you are having a breakout, the chances are slim and can be minimized by using Acyclovir suppression therapy. Direct contacts are likely to transfer herpes from one person to another. Thus, women are concerned about the relation between herpes and pregnancy. When a pregnant mother gives birth to a baby during inactive period of herpes, this baby might be safe from herpes infection. Active genital herpes outbreak is contagious from a mother to her baby through a normal delivery. If you are a pregnant mother with herpes, you may be worried about passing the disease on to your child. Mothers are always worried about what they may pass on to their babies, whether while pregnant or after the child is born. In order to try and prevent herpes from spreading, make sure anyone who comes into contact with your baby washes their hands and refrains from kissing him or her. Taking this medication will usually commence around the 36th week of pregnancy and continue until the baby is delivered. Antibodies are good – they usually prevent the virus from attacking your baby. A pregnant woman should do everything she can to prevent infection in her newborn. First herpes infection during pregnancy (especially the third trimester) poses a significant risk of infection of the fetus while in the womb as well as during delivery.