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A 43-year-old member asked:

if a woman has herpes and has a baby, does her baby automatically get the herpes?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Nela Cordero
Pediatrics 54 years experience
HERPES GENITALES: Babies are delivered by cs if mom has severe herpes genitales.
Dr. Jay Park
Dr. Jay Parkanswered
Pediatrics 50 years experience
No: The chance for the newborn infant to contract herpes infection from the maternal birth canal depends upon how long mother has had the same infection. If the mother contracted herpes infection during her pregnancy, transmission rate is much higher compared to the mother who did before she got pregnant.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Reality bites: A baby born to a mother during her first herpes outbreak has a significant risk of developing herpes encephalitis and dying or ending up with severe brain damage. That risk drops significantly for recurrent outbreaks but some have c-section deliveries to avoid any risk. I've cared for these babies born to mothers who were not aware of the problem.A brain damaged baby is not what they wanted.

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Last updated Dec 18, 2016
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