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tan253's avatar

If you have cold sores does your baby have an immunity to them?

Asked by tan253 (2818points) April 17th, 2012

So Flutherist…

Guess what!?
After all the sleepless nights and worrying about feeding I have now developed a cold sore.
I don’t know if I’ve ever had one, I must have – I do know that I have the virus though as I got a blood test about 6 years ago and it showed HSV-1….

My question is would the antibodies to this have been passed to daughter in the womb?
I was kissing her like crazy yesterday as she was having an unsettled day -I cant’ remember if I kissed her mouth or not but I kiss all over her face – how can you not?

So now I’m worried I’ve passed the virus on to her and I’ve been reading horror horror stories about newborns getting the virus.
She’s 3 weeks… Can she be ok if I have passed it on?

Does she need a cut in order for it to be passed on or is it skin on skin contact.

Thanks so much.
Not freaking out to much just a bit paranoid.
Seeing Dr on Friday.

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20 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

You could have passed it to her :( hopefully not. She is not immune to it. Time will tell. I don’t know if the doctor would want to give her medicine to try and prevent an outbreak? I have no idea if they do that for babies.

Babies do have a jump start of immunity from mommy, and she is still in a time period where her fighter cells are very high.

tan253's avatar

Will she need hospitalized if I did? Is it really dangerous at her age, I know at birth it is

JLeslie's avatar

@tan253 If she does get it, which she definitely might not, it would just depend on how severe her outbreak is. I think she most likely won’t get it. Were you already feeling tingly when you were kissing her? I think the only major concern would be if it was in her eyes.

When babies are born with it, it is typically HSV II from passing through the birth canal. HSV II is usually much worse of an outbreak.

She still has high immunity, and maybe you were not contagious when you were kissing her.

JLeslie's avatar

Are you sure you are having a herpetic outbreak, and it isn’t just some sort of other sore? Is it in your mouth, or on your lips?

tan253's avatar

Thanks @JLeslie, I had no idea I was getting it, no tingling sensation or anything, later that night I got swollen glands and had no idea why and a sore throat…. this morning i felt the tingle but it was already blistered… so not sure if I had it or not yesterday!?
Swollen glands are gone so obviously it was that.
Its on the corner of my mouth on the skin where the lip and skin meet… it’s all blistered… I think it’s herpes

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, it sounds like herpes. Try not to worry. Did you tell her pediatrician what happened and your concern?

tan253's avatar

No, I didn’t realise the risk till I got home and thought ‘hmm I’ll google cold sores and newborns!’
I should be banned from google.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh yeah, do not google it. The photos will be worst case photos. Extreme cases that are not likely and most HSV II as I said.

Ok, so maybe call the doctor tomorrow and tell him your concern, and see if he says wait and see, or if he says he would like to give the baby some medicine just in case. I wish I knew more about it for you, that is what I would do if it was my baby.

Maybe a doctor will answer here on the Q or someone who has experience with the situation. No matter what you probably should ask your pediatrician.

Keep in mind mommy’s constantly kiss their babies, and rarely do we hear of babies with bad cold sores.

tan253's avatar

Thanks so much x

annewilliams5's avatar

@tan. You’re a good mommy for asking and being concerned. You are also right about kissing your baby. “how could you not”. Your instincts are spot on. @JLeslie is right as well: Call your pediatrician, and talk to the nurse. Ease your mind by allowing people, who have seen you and your baby, to do the professional thing.

JLeslie's avatar

Try to speak to the Physician. In fact if you page after hours you will get the doctor not a nurse.

tan253's avatar

I just rang but the nurse was terrible!
She said she needs to see my cold sore before telling me anything as it may not be a cold sore!
I asked to speak to a pediatrician but got her instead – unfortunately its a community hospital so I can’t speak to ‘my’ person as it always changes.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, nurses can be very annoying.

Oh, you go to a hospital for care? So, there is no after hours doctor on call? Call again tomorrow. The point is not whether you have herpes or not. The point is if you have a herpetic outbreak what needs to be done? If the doctor says they would wait and see even if you do have an HSV I outbreak, then it does not matter what you have.

tan253's avatar

yeah so frustrating…. no after hours care which is annoying, we are on bad insurance, changing to a better one but not for a month unfortunately. The one thing she did say was that if it was a cold sore they would monitor the baby – but she didn’t speak very good english so I think she thought I said the baby had a cold sore… anyway…. I will just keep an eye on her I’m sure there is a 3 to 12 day incubation period that I read about – I really hope I didn’t pass it on to her I’ll be devastated if I have!

bewailknot's avatar

Cold sores can be terrible in babies, but catching after birth is not as bad as during. My mom always suffered with cold sores. None of us kids ever had them, neither of my kids did either, but my grandchildren get them bad – the youngest had his first outbreak at @ 1 year and his older sister right after. If I remember right the baby went to the ER twice before it was under control. He has had a second outbreak but much milder.

JLeslie's avatar

Remember to be careful for the next few days. Always wash your hands before touching/changing the baby, don’t touch her eyes at all to be on the safe side if you can avoid it. And, get some rest so you get better. The medicine you can take to shorten the outbreak is best if taken within the first couple days of when the outbreak starts. The medicine will help reduce the shedding of the virus also, make you less contagious.

Be careful not to autoinnoculate yourself. Meaning you transfer it from one part of your body to another. Another thing to know is many people get outbreaks triggered by the sun from what I understand, so keep lipstick or SPF chapstick on when out in the sun once this heals.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I started having coldsores at a very young age and probably get one twice (3 times maybe) a year. I don’t know when my first one appeared but I have had them for as long as I can remember so I imagine it was passed onto me by a family member kissing me (my mum’s side get them but my dad’s side don’t from what I’ve noticed). To be honest, whilst they are annoying and uncomfortable, if you have passed the virus on to your daughter, it’s not the end of the world (I assume it isn’t a massive problem in newborns). Some people get them and some people don’t but, in my experience, it doesn’t affect life too much. I try not to kiss my boyfriend (of a good few years) when I have an outbreak (he doesn’t get them) but quite often he insists on still kissing me and he hasn’t had one yet.

Hopefully your daughter won’t get them but if she does, please don’t beat yourself up about it. They are fairly common and easy to treat. I get them when I am run down just like other people get ear infections etc. We all have our weak points.

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 The big concern is the age of the baby. As you can see above the infection can be very severe. Hopefully, she isn’t infected, and if she is hopefully it will be a very limited outbreak.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@JLeslie I did wonder if that was the point rather than just the fact that she may be prone to cold sores for the rest of her life (like I, and many others, are). I don’t know much about babies and what they can and cannot deal with, so I wasn’t really taking that into consideration when I answered.

JLeslie's avatar

@Leanne1986 They can wind up hospitalized. But, as I mentioned above it is usually HSV II at birth that is the most devastating. If you did not read @bewailknot answer above, you will see a baby in his family wound up in the ER twice, not the same as being hospitalized, but still an emergency.

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