Dating of pregnancy
In about 90% of cases, neonatal herpes is transmitted when an infant comes into contact with HSV- 1 or 2 in the birth canal during delivery.There is a high risk of transmission if the mother has an active outbreak, because the likelihood of viral shedding during an outbreak is high.Since the highest risk to an infant comes when the mother contracts HSV-1 or 2 during pregnancy, you can take steps to ensure that you don't transmit herpes during this crucial time.So learn what you need to know, and then relax and enjoy the excitement of the pregnancy -- and remind her that the odds are strongly in favor of you're having a baby as healthy and happy as Maria's."I had several outbreaks during pregnancy and was terrified I would pass the infection to my baby," Maria wrote to the Herpes Resource Center."But I didn't have an outbreak at my delivery, and at my doctor's recommendation I delivered vaginally. I want to tell other mothers that I know it's hard not to worry when your baby's safety is at stake.In addition, newly infected people - whether pregnant or not - have a higher rate of asymptomatic shedding for roughly a year following a primary episode.
This is because the transfer of maternal antibodies to the fetus begins at about 28 weeks of pregnancy and continues until birth.Unfortunately, when infants do contract neonatal herpes, the results can be tragic.About half of infants who are treated with antiviral medication escape permanent damage.There is also a small risk of transmission from asymptomatic shedding (when the virus reactivates without causing any symptoms).Fortunately, babies of mothers with long-standing herpes infections have a natural protection against the virus.