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What happens if you get a coldsore when you have a newborn?

(21 Posts)
feesh Wed 15-Aug-12 07:13:21

I'm really prone to cold sores and I have one at the moment, so I'm really worrying about what happens if I get one when my baby is born. I know the Herpes virus can be very dangerous to tiny babies.

I am particularly prone when I'm run-down and not getting enough sleep......

Is there anything I can do to minimise the risks? E.g. use Zovirax pro-actively for prevention?

waitingtobeamummy Wed 15-Aug-12 07:31:43

As far as I know, if you've had them before your baby is immunised. It's if you've never had one and they then come into contact very early that they can sometimes become poorly.
Sorry to not be much help

MrsReiver Wed 15-Aug-12 08:44:22

I am the same and are hugely prone to cold sores, if you have cold sores while pregnant you should pass on immunity to your baby. However, I wouldn't count on that and would still exercise caution as the herpes virus can be dangerous to babies.

Normal hygiene - washing hands after touching your face, separate flannels etc will all help and I know some people swear by those compeed patches. I don't use zovirax or blisteze on my cold sores - I just use savlon and it seems clear them up super fast.

PepperOnMyPaprikash Wed 15-Aug-12 08:45:26

I have found this on Babycentre:

'If you carry the virus, your baby is protected from cold sores for at least his first six months by antibodies he received from you in the uterus (womb). But if your newborn baby does get a cold sore, call your doctor straight away. His immune system is still developing, so any kind of herpes virus can be dangerous.'

But I would check with your midwife if I were you.

ItsMyLastOne Wed 15-Aug-12 11:17:05

This is something where the advice is so confusing. When I left hospital with DD the only advice I was given on her health was to keep her feet to foot in our room and not to let anyone with a cold sore kiss, or preferably even touch her. I left thinking cold sores were potentially seriously dangerous to a baby.

So when she had her 8 week check and I also asked about what to do with DP having a cold sore at the time, the GP looked at me like I was an idiot and said not to worry about it. She did also have a proper go at me for DD still sleeping through and that I was pandering to her! Horrible woman angry So maybe she had no idea what she was talking about with cold sores either.

ItsMyLastOne Wed 15-Aug-12 11:18:29

Sorry still not sleeping through

belgo Wed 15-Aug-12 11:24:30

As you say, it's getting run down and tired that can make you prone to them.
After two of my births I had cold sores, I was anaemic as well so that probably played a part. Neither of my new born babies developed cold sores. It was stressful and upsetting though, not being able to kiss them etc, and keeping out of photos, and embarrassing when we had visitors.

feesh Wed 15-Aug-12 11:25:43

Thanks all. That's really helpful (although I am still slightly confused!). I live in the Middle East, so I don't really have access to trustworthy and sensible medical advice about things like this!

HauntedLittleLunatic Wed 15-Aug-12 11:29:13

Cold sores ARE potentially serious and I believe lifethreatening to babies - I'm sure there was a case reported in the media a couple of years ago. Your GP was wrong itsmylastone

My own dd was almost hospitalised at about 15m because irrespective of age the first time you get the herpes infection it is a lot more than just a coldsore. It is a full on viral illness. V high temp spikes. Swollen and v painful abdominal glands. Ulcers inside the mouth (my dd had 20+ and it was the dehydration as a result of not feeding which almost had her in hospital).

Coldsores in a young child is nasty - but you are already aware of that, neonates it is even worse I believe.

I don't know anything about immunity I'm afraid, but wanted to reassure you that lots of mothers suffer coldsores (me included) and very few pass onto their babies. Obviously if you do get one then you need to be ultra careful.

I'm.not sure but think compede patches help.stop.spread but you would need to meticulously wash hands after using.

ItsMyLastOne Wed 15-Aug-12 11:35:02

Thanks Haunted, tbh I don't trust much of what this gp says and have even chosen in the past to wait for an appt for another gp rather than see her!

That's very scary what happened to your DD. sad Do you know how she contracted it? Was it from a cold sore?

tabulahrasa Wed 15-Aug-12 11:35:13

I get coldsores - I just am careful about things like washing hands, not kissing them while I have one and (not relevant so much with a tiny baby) not putting anything in my mouth and then theirs and neither of my DC have ever caught them.

OyOfMidWorld Wed 15-Aug-12 11:36:23

I just wanted to say that if a new mum gets a cold sore when their child is newborn it can be extremely serious. Newborn babies don't display the Herpes Simplex virus as a coldsore, the virus just works through their body and can be fatal. There is a group on Facebook here run by the same lady who shared her story in the Mail here which should give the information more clearly. It is imperative that Mums are vigilant around their newborns if they have never suffered from coldsores themselves.

HauntedLittleLunatic Wed 15-Aug-12 11:43:32

I think she caught the coldsore off me.

I was being careful because I didn't want to plague her with them for the rest of her life, but I had no idea how serious it actually was until she was so ill. By rights she should have been admitted based on the amount of fluid she was taking but as she wasn't clinically dehydrated the gp monitored her daily at home.

You can treat with oral acyclovir but only if caught in first 48hrs and it was.too late for my dd (weekend, walkin centre wouldn't diagnose herpes, when she saw gp was too late).

My older dd was affected at about 6. She was very poorly too but nowhere near as bad and could be bribed into drinking.

Coldsores suck.

thesmallestpotato Wed 15-Aug-12 12:51:02

I'm going in for my c-section tomorrow and have just developed a huge coldsore on my lip so I'm a bit worried too

I swear by the infra red treatment, I've suffered from really big coldsores for as long as I can remember and always used to use Zovirax but these machines are excellent, mine is a really old one and I can't remember the brand name but there are loads on amazon here:

(sorry, no idea how to do neat links)

Since using mine I rarely get cold sores and when I do, they disappear without blistering as long as I use the machine as soon as I feel the tingle

Unfortunately we moved house last weekend and I have no idea where my coldsore machine is, which is why I have my first full blown cold sore for years, just in time for baby's arrival hmm

abgto Wed 15-Aug-12 22:05:29

Don't want to hijack this thread but I was actually searching mumsnet for posts on this topic last week. I don't suffer from cold sores myself but our nanny does. She had one a couple of weeks ago and it made me very nervous. We had a chat and I reminded her to be very careful and wash her hands frequently and avoid kissing DD (18months) but it still concerns me because it's a situation I can't control myself. DD2 is due in 6 weeks and we are planning to keep our nanny (who is wonderful) on a part time basis during my maternity leave to make things smooth when I return to work in April but I am not sure if the cold sore issue could be a deal breaker. Am I being dramatic?

ItsMyLastOne Wed 15-Aug-12 22:20:46

abgto Do you have a reason to think she's not sensible enough to be hygienic and not kiss the children when she has a cold sore? If not, then I'd keep her, unless you can find a nanny you and the children like as much who's trustworthy and doesn't get cold sores! Could you put that on an application form?! wink hmm

Bluestocking Wed 15-Aug-12 22:28:55

Try not to worry - I got a stonking great cold sore when DS was a fortnight old and got into a real stew about whether or not I could touch him! I was very careful about kissing him and washed my hands a lot, and he was fine. One thing to be aware of - a (very good and thoughtful) pharmacist noticed that I was wearing a tiny baby in a sling when I went in to buy Zovirax, and told me that it's not to be used if you're breastfeeding. There was an alternative product that was safe for breastfeeding mothers, it wasn't as effective as Zovirax, but it was OK.

feesh Fri 21-Dec-12 19:18:30

I started this thread originally and my worst nightmare has come true! My twins are 15 days old and I got a coldsore today.

We had a paediatric appointment anyway, so I asked the doc about it and he has completely freaked me out by saying that the transmission of herpes antibodies across the placenta is very weak indeed and that my twins are at serious risk of catching the virus even though I am a long-term sufferer myself and had a couple of outbreaks whilst pregnant. He's making me wear surgical masks to handle my babies sad

I am so worried. Obviously I've been madly hand washing etc since I felt the tingle, but you can't help but wonder if you had an active infection before you noticed it.

I'm treating like made with my Boots infra red zapper, but have also been smothering my lips in Zovirax - is that true that it shouldn't be used while breastfeeding? Eek.

GingerJulep Sat 22-Dec-12 16:09:53

One of my Nan's had them her whole life and managed to bring up two kids and look after 5 grandchildren (now there are great grand children too, although sadly my nan is no longer around) who never get them.

She didn't do anything fancy, was just really careful about not kissing or sharing cups/spoons etc when she had one.

Congrats on the twins!

carlos121 Fri 25-Mar-16 10:05:39

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RoseHoover Fri 20-Jan-17 19:13:05

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