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COLD SORE and pregnancy-any danger for unborn baby

(13 Posts)
ranirani Wed 29-Oct-08 16:14:31

Hi, I am 24+5 weeks PG (first time), and few days ago I developed quite disgusting cold sore on my lip. I had had it in the past in my life, so this is not the first time I got it. I used zovirax since yesterday but not sure if it is ok. What worries me the most is that i heard that cold sore (ie herpes) is dangerous when you are pregnant. I know that herpes break outs can actually appear anywhere in your body, even inside. And the fact that it is on my lip and the food when I eat can get infected and affect my unborn child really freaks me out. Anyone had any experience with cold sore in pregnancy and whether the baby was fine afterwards? Thanks for any help. I am seeing doctor tomorrow morning anyway, but, you know, doctors not always know everything so would appreciate any help from mumsnet community.

ledodgy Wed 29-Oct-08 16:18:34

It's fine it's only a worry when you've just had a newborn and pass it to the baby and even then it is rare. I've had cold sores when pregnant with all 3 of mine and they are fine. smile

chequersandchess Wed 29-Oct-08 16:18:42

Sorry, really don't mean to scare you with the title but there was some discussion on this thread yesterday.

chequersandchess Wed 29-Oct-08 16:19:12

yes, meant to say, not to unborn children as far as i know.

Buckets Wed 29-Oct-08 16:19:15

Relax! In 3 pregnancies I have never heard of cold sores being a problem - have you tried googling coldsore and pregnancy?

Viruses need a living host so won't go into your food. There are several herpes viruses, coldsores are just one minor type and isn't the same thing as genital herpes if that's what you're worried about. Chicken pox is the big one to avoid if you've never had it before.

Buckets Wed 29-Oct-08 16:24:53

Just looked at that link and it says it happened because the mum had never had a cold sore before so didn't have any antibodies to pass on. So again, no need for you to But I would suggest you find a relaxation / pregnancy yoga class as they usually resurface when you are stressed/run down - try your local NCT branch.

aj13 Wed 29-Oct-08 16:58:31

No your fine......
I saw a story on this morning today where the baby died when the mum got a cold sore but your fine as you say you have had them before so you have the antibodies.
you would only need to worry if it was you first one :-)

babyinbelly Wed 29-Oct-08 17:07:01

A women in my pilates group asked the midwife this. The answer was a laugh and 'I've never heard anything so ridiculous'

So from that I can only assume that it is one of those old wives tales!

(don't mean that to sound rude or dismissive as I am sure it is a very real concern for you but just relaying the incident smile

Flamesparrow Wed 29-Oct-08 17:12:07

kerrymum says that it is terrible or summat, but I think that is when the baby is born hmm

ranirani Wed 29-Oct-08 17:30:31

thanks you all I am personally against kissing children on the lips. God knows what we may carry inside the mouth! Things that we are immune to may not be that harmless to a newly born baby. Need to read that article to DH so he gets educated too. The thing with cold sores that in early moments of getting it you may not even realise you have it already. It is better to stay on safe side for me. I think i will be one paranoid mamma, asking anyone who approaches my baby when it is born ( relatives of course) to kiss - have they got any cold sore?? grin I do not care what people may think; I need my child to be healthy and alive!! So many dangerous things these days; can't even make myself to think about cot death!!shock

Buckets Wed 29-Oct-08 19:33:14

I don't mean to downplay these risks or patronise but please start consciously relaxing! You are getting yourself in a state already - the biggest lesson I've learnt from motherhood is that I cannot control
Good luck.

mad4mybaby Wed 29-Oct-08 21:17:05

so a question then that i couldnt find an answer for in my frazzled brain, i have never had cold sores but what happens if someone comes to my house after ive had my baby with a cold sore? Is it a case of if the person has had one before the baby is ok or if its their first tell them to go away till its gone?? Or is it only the mother who can pass it on?? Assuming you obviously can pass them on through kissing someone (a newborn or otherwise?)

Leanneosaurus Fri 08-Apr-16 10:11:18

I know this is an old thread but peoples lack of understanding terrifies me (not meant in an insulting way)

Basically, a mother who has had a cold sore prior to being pregnant will have antibodies against the virus. If she then gets a cold sore whilst pregnant, the risk is minimal to the unborn baby because of the antibodies. If the mother has never had a cold sore before and gets one while pregnant, the risk is greater so go to the doctor right away (you may be able to get anti viral treatment).

When your baby is born, keep anyone who has a cold sore away from your baby, yes they may have had your antibodies passed onto them (if you've previously had coldsores) but why take the risk? If you've never had a coldsore and your baby is born, the baby will have no antibodies at all. Don't kiss a baby on the mouth or allow anyone else to. Ask people to wash their hands before touching your baby, as you should also be doing.

Cold sores can also be spread to other parts of the body, i.e, eyes, inside nose and genitals. Always wash your hands before going to the toilet if you have a cold sore (you may have touched it without realising) so this minimises the risk of passing to genitals. Use separate towels from other family members, keep toothbrushes separate whilst infected, don't share anything that goes near the mouth, i.e sampling food as you're cooking and using the same utensil you've just used to sample, sharing a drink, having a bite of chocolate bar etc....and if you can, carry hand sanitiser with you because other people may not take such precautions and you then touch something they've touched then it could be passed to you and then to your baby or other family members etc. For example, someone on the bus may touch their cold sore, then press the bell to get off, you sit where they sit and you also press the bell to get off.....virus spread! Once the virus is in you, it never leaves your body, you will forever have the herpes virus. It doesn't mean you'll ever have a cold sore breakout after your first ever one, or you may get one every 10 years, there is no rule to this, but once you have it, you have it for good.

I have and do suffer with the occasional cold sore and I'm very, very, very careful when I get one because I know how disgustingly contagious they are but sadly not everyone else is the same. I hope this helps anyone that might read this thread, however old it is, because the virus will never stop so hopefully this reaches and helps somebody today. I'm not a doctor or anything but this is common knowledge (not the bit about it affecting babies but general cold sore information) so I'm just putting out there what I know in order to help. I'm 6 weeks pregnant myself and I know how worrying these things are.

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