The Effects of Genital Herpes on Newborns Can Be Serious
A newborn baby can contract herpes during passage through an infected birth canal, so it is considered prudent obstetrical medicine to deliver all babies whose mothers have active herpes at the time of delivery via cesarean section. The effects of genital herpes on newborns can be life threatening. If you have herpes, your doctor may do monthly or weekly vaginal cultures throughout your pregnancy to monitor your body’s response to the stress of pregnancy (stress can cause genital herpes to flare up). Women with prior herpes outbreaks actually pass some immunity to their newborns. Women who acquire herpes for the first time during their pregnancy and have active sores at the time of delivery pose the greatest risk of infecting their babies. When you begin labor, your doctor may judge that it is safe for you to deliver vaginally if he or she sees no new herpes sores. If, however, your vaginal cultures continue to show herpes throughout your pregnancy, or you have herpes sores when you begin labor, you will need a surgical delivery.
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.