Herpes and Pregnancy, Briefly.
This was a tough one to research. There is information out there about this but the tough part is the rare cases when herpes transmits to the newborn.
The good news: if the mother get a facial cold sore the virus can’t be passed on whilst bub is in the womb or via breastfeeding. However, genital herpes is another story.
Although rare (under 1%) it does happen, and it can be fatal to the bub. The virus is transmitted to the bub when it passes through an infected birth canal.
If the mother has had recurrent herpes then there’s an extremely low risk or if you get infected during trimester 1 or they are asymptomatic.
The risk does increase if the mother gets genital herpes later in the pregnancy. Why? The mother’s body hasn’t yet created any HSV antibodies to fight the virus. So the breakout can be long and very uncomfortable.
But what can a doctor do?
There are a couple of things thankfully: first, anti-viral medication leading up to the birth and the second is a cesarean delivery.
When the mum goes into labor the doctor should examine the mum for herpetic lesions. And if the mother has none then a vaginal birth could still be okay. This is a decision for the doctor and the mother to have.
So, whilst it does happen there is a lot a doctor can do to help. But one that needs to be done is to minimize the bubs contact with anyone infected with a cold sore immediately after birth. A newborns immune system cannot handle the herpes virus and there are many cases of them dying from herpes.
Stay safe everyone 😊
P.S. Let me say that this in not medical advice. Always speak to your health professional about anything medical and not the internet.