How could my Girlfriend with Herpes 1 give Herpes to our Baby?

Dear Dr. Tom:

My girlfriend and i just had a baby, the baby was diagnosed with herpes after we needed to bring him into the hospital for seizures. We both new my girlfriend had herpes 1, but did not tell the doctors, and she did have a cesarian for other reasons. What would cause the baby to have herpes? I have not been checked and we did have sex up until the 6th month. If I don’t have herpes how could my girlfriend with herpes 1 give herpes to the baby.

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Eagle:

Several unanswered questions arises while attempting to answer your inquiry: Was the baby also diagnosed with herpes 1? Why did your girlfriend not confide to her obstetrical physician of her infection with HSV-1? If you have not been checked, how can you be certain you do not also have latent HSV-1? The chances are that you do, because pregnancies are inhibited by condom use. The question would be answered better by an obstetrician, but the likelihood is that HSV was transferred to the newborn during the birth trauma, despite the caesarian delivery. All is not clear here.


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