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Fear of Herpes Exposure & Newborn

Hi,
Similar to my question about me fearing I'm going to get herpes whitlow from a handshake or something and will be a danger to my newborn. I'm SO nervous about other people exposing him to herpes. I'm due in a few days, and am already nervous about people wanting to hold my baby. My grandma, sister, and some friends have hsv-1. I've tried to explain to them about avoiding kissing the baby on his face or hands, but I don't think their taking it serious. I've read online about a baby that died from being exposed from herpes after he was born. Should I not even let them hold the baby if they have a visible sore? I don't want to be a jerk, but I also don't want to avoid saying anything.
Thanks,
2 Responses
101028 tn?1419603004
statistically 1 out of every 2-3 of us has hsv1 orally under the age of 50 in the US alone.  all of us are exposed to it many times throughout our lifetimes and in fact 1 out of every 3 of us contracts it before we step foot into public school. odds are that most of the people you know has it. you and your husband very well might have it too.

so what do you do with a newborn?  Well I can tell you that in my 26 years as being a pediatric nurse in a major hospital that herpes is not the worst thing out there and not something we see all that frequently.  when you have a newborn, it's about common sense precautions to protect them from everything that they are exposed to before their immune systems are working properly in a few years.  If someone comes to visit who is visibly ill, politely send them away until they've felt better for a few days.if you know you are overly anxious about your baby ask everyone who comes to visit to use hand sanitizer before they touch the baby.  ask everyone not to kiss the baby on the lips, nose or eyes - top of the head is preferred.  

not to give you something to make you even more paranoid but really, herpes isn't a big risk to a baby - too many other germs out there that more frequently infect them.  common sense precautions go a long way in protecting your baby :)  do you breast feed?

grace
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for responding! Since I've been preggers my anxiety has been so much better... until I hit the 3rd trimester. Around like 35 weeks, all the anxiety came back. :/ My hormones are up and down with the wind!

I was nervous about touching the cashiers' hand because the red sore I saw on her finger looked really bad. Of course again, I didn't rub her hand, just probably tapped a finger to get my credit card and food. I can't count how many times, I've gone through drive-thrus in my life, so I'm sure the quick touching of someone's hand in that regard is not a major cause for concern (I'm assuming)... I just kept thinking now me touching her finger even for a sec was skin to skin contact, and now I'm not going to be able to enjoy holding my newborn. After I drove away, I'm sure I used enough hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes to take a layer of skin off :/.

I am due next week (super nervous about delivery lol). I do want to breast feed. I'm planning on it, and have actually tried not to get any formula as I've read having it in the house can make you more likely to give in and use it the first couple of days after. With breastfeeding though, I have thought about especially emphasizing that I don't want people kissing baby on the lips and then him breastfeeding, that seems like it'd be a lot of germ passing back and forth?

Since I never remember having a cold sore myself, I really hope I have some antibodies that can be passed to him to give him some line of defense for herpes and all the other stuff we encounter. The only skin outbreak I remember was shingles in high school. That was the worst.

I understand that herpes is common, I just get so nervous with trying to do everything I can do make sure I'm keeping my baby safe. My family will hopefully understand that I'm not trying to be mean about it.

I really appreciate your time. :)
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