How will I know if my baby is infected?
The ASHA says that the pediatrician will watch your newborn closely for about three weeks. You and your doctor should be wary of the following symptoms:
- skin rash
- lack of appetite
While these can be symptoms of several mild illnesses, says the ASHA, don't wait to see if your baby will get better. "Take [your baby] to the pediatrician at once, [and] be sure to tell the pediatrician you have genital herpes," the organization urges.
What happens if my baby is infected?
Infected newborns are treated with one of two popular antiviral drugs (acyclovir or vidarabine), which can help babies born with herpes if they are treated right away. The March of Dimes reports that these two drugs are quite successful in treating localized infections of the eyes, skin, or mouth; but they are less effective when applied later, once the infection has spread to the brain and other internal organs.
Can I breastfeed if I have HSV?
The NWHIC says that you can breastfeed, but only if your sores are covered. "Herpes is spread through contact with sores and can be dangerous to a newborn. If you have sores on your nipple or areola (the darker skin around the nipple), you should stop breastfeeding on that breast."