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A 34-year-old member asked:

What are the risk of having a baby with herpes?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 34 years experience
Can be mild to fatal: Because herpes simplex infections in newborns and very young babies can be life-threatening, mothers with genital herpes outbreaks in labor can be safely delivered by c-section. Herpes in a newborn can be mild or can spread all through the baby's body, including the brain. In the brain, the virus causes encephalitis, with seizures, lethargy, brain damage, and even death.
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Dr. Sari Nabulsi
Specializes in Pediatrics
Herpes: Exposure the newborn to herpes makes the makes the baby has a high risk of developing encephalitis, which a form of meningitis. That 's why many obstetrician advice on c/s.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Depends: Risk for transmission is highest to those with their first outbreak in the period around delivery. With secondary outbreaks, there is less risk, and some when the germ sheds without obvious lesions. Planned delivery before or early in labor before the rupture of membranes can avoid most of the risk.If baby picks it up, it often makes swiss cheese out of the brain or kills them within weeks.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

Related questions

A 26-year-old male asked:
Saw something on tv today about herpes infection killing babies. Is this complete lies? I thought herpes was just a rash and NOT DEADLY at all?
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 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 ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
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I am having cold sores (herpes simplex 1) from a blood transfusion as an infant in 1980?
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Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 36-year-old member asked:
Can herpes cause baby problems?
Dr. Michael Fisher
Dermatology 33 years experience
Herpes and pregnancy: A mother can infect her baby during delivery, often fatally. But if a woman had genital herpes before getting pregnant, or if she is first infected ea... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 32-year-old member asked:
Can I have a healthy baby if I have herpes?
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Yes: The baby is well protected during pregnancy from any viral intrusion during flares.However, the baby can pick up the germ and become ill if you are sh... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
A 35-year-old member asked:
How does herpes be spread to partner but not to baby?
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Depends on variables: A mother experiencing a primary herpes infection in early pregnancy may suffer fetal loss. If she had herpes in the past and it goes dormant, she can ... Read More
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 1, 2016
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