A Beginner’s Guide to Herpes During Pregnancy


If you have sores caused by genital herpes during pregnancy, the risk of infection of the baby is greater following your water breaks as well as during a vaginal delivery. Your physician may prescribe acyclovir taken orally in the last six weeks of pregnancy so as to reduce the risk that you’ll have sores and transmit the virus to the baby.

If you’re in labor and have a genital sore, your physician may recommend a cesarean delivery (C-section) to prevent infecting your baby. If you don’t have any active during labor, then perhaps you can have a vaginal delivery.

If you’ve had herpes during pregnancy, inform your doctor so measures can be taken to prevent transmitting the virus to the baby.

Breastfeeding if I have Herpes

Breastfeeding is safe given that there aren’t any sores around or on the breast.

herpes-and-pregnancy A Beginner's Guide to Herpes During Pregnancy
Breast feeding: herpes during pregnancy

Herpes simplex symptoms

The symptoms of such infection in the genitals are as follows:

• itching
• painful lesions (blisters and sores) on the genitals
• fever (typically only with the initial outbreak of blisters)
• fatigue
• muscle aches, general discomfort
• vaginal discharge
• pain or difficulty when urinating
• pain during intercourse
• tender, puffy lymph nodes located in the groin.

If baby is infected with HSV, the following symptoms or signs of infection may appear in the first month following birth:

• irritability
• fever
• breathing problems
• sores on the skin
• jaundice (yellowish skin)
• convulsions
• bruising
• low platelet counts (platelets are a blood clotting property).