Can a Pregnant Woman Pass Herpes to Her Child?

Herpes can be of 2 types: the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and the HSV-2. The HSV-1 may be transmitted through saliva while HSV-2 can be transmitted through sexual contact. Both types of herpes may cause genital herpes, however, HSV-1 is less likely to cause genital herpes. It may happen that pregnant women have genital herpes. The risk of transmitting the herpes to the newborn is very low.

Herpes and Pregnancy

The herpes may be transmitted to the newborn baby, however, the chances are low. Ideally, the mother should not have a herpes outbreak at the delivery, so it is essential to keep the herpes under control.

Reports have shown that the risks of passing the herpes to the child are higher if the woman contracts the herpes in the later stages of the pregnancy. Women that have contracted the herpes a long time before the pregnancy typically have a natural protection against the virus and should not transmit the virus to the baby.

Neonatal Herpes

If the herpes is transmitted to the child, the newborn should get antiviral medication to prevent neurological damage. About half cases of neonatal herpes may be treated to prevent permanent damage.

Ideally, the transmission should be prevented; the doctor should make sure that there isn’t an outbreak and the birth canal doesn’t have any lesions. If a women does have an outbreak, she will have a cesarean birth.