By Dinah Taylor Submitted On July 22, 2015
The herpes simplex virus is contagious and can be passed on easily through direct contact. Children are likely to come in contact with HSV-1 from infected adults. Be it genital herpes or cold sores, once you are infected with herpes, it stays for life. There's a small risk of complication during pregnancy, if you are infected with herpes. But as the condition can be devastating, it is imperative to undertake and follow certain preventive measures that would reduce the risk of infection.
PROTECTING THE BABY DURING PREGNANCY
If a mother acquires herpes before getting pregnant, she is very unlikely to transmit the infection to the infant. The antibodies will protect the baby from contracting herpes. Moreover, doctors can help protect the baby with proper and suitable medications. In case the mother is infected during late pregnancy, the baby is at a greater risk and has a real chance to contracting herpes. The mother does not have antibodies to act against the herpes virus in this case.
COMPLICATIONS FACED BY INFECTED MOTHERS DURING PREGNANCY
Genital herpes leads to premature birth and sometimes even a miscarriage. Moreover, it is also possible that the infected mother passes the virus to the baby during labor. As there is no cure for genital herpes, it is more likely to pass herpes in the event of an outbreak. A lot also depends on the right care with proper medications and regular visits to the doctor to keep the baby safe. It is important to inform your doctor and midwife if you have herpes.
HOW DOES HERPES INFECT A BABY?
If a mother is observed to have an outbreak while delivering a baby, it is more likely that it will affect the infant. Herpes can also be spread to the baby when someone with cold sores kisses the baby. In rare cases, if someone touches a person having symptoms of herpes and then immediately touches the baby, the risk of transmission of HSV increases. Each year, nearly 30% of pregnant women are reported to have herpes in the United States but only 1500 infants are passed on the virus. This also indicates that a majority of women give birth to healthy babies.
It takes approximately 10 weeks to develop antibodies which prevent herpes to infect a newborn. Antibodies are good. A pregnant woman should do all the possible things to prevent infection in her baby. It is very important to let your doctor know about any herpes outbreak as right medications can be extremely effective during pregnancy. In the first place, safe sex would prevent you from contracting the herpes simplex virus.
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