-I understand that without any S/S of an outbreak at birth my chances of getting the baby sick are well below 1%. What are the chances of transmitting it to baby if there is viral shedding or a missed lesion present at birth?
that statistic of less than 1% includes these risks
-I also read that the baby gets antibodies from me. Will valtrex interfere with this or is that irrelevant since I have such a long standing infection
The baby will get antibody even if you are on Valtrex
-Do you think I should trust that my OBs would easily be able to identify a herpes lesion or suspicious areas at the time of labor?
Yes, but if you are very concerned about this, I would encourage you to tell them your concerns and ask for an extra careful exam – no harm, no foul with that!
-what worries me most is viral shedding. I read that most women who infect their babies get hsv during pregnancy or are unaware of their status. So that makes me think they have asymptomatic infections but still infect their baby. Do you understand my train of thought?
Yes, I do understand your train of thought. But you are aware, will be taking Valtrex and looking for any lesions – entirely different situation
-I’ve talked about this a lot with my OBs and they all say if they don’t see any lesions at labor I should be fine and have a vaginal birth. Do you agree with this stance? I just want to reach out to you since you are an expert and probably have read studies on neonatal hsv.
I do agree with this stance, absolutely!
-how many days post partum do you think we are in the clear if baby isn’t sick- 14 days?
Yes, 14 days
-would my baby be less likely to have a severe hsv infection due to my antibodies?
-some of my OBs have been practicing for decades and have never seen a baby contract herpes at birth- is it really that rare?
It is really that rare – about 1500 cases a year in the US and almost all in women who acquire HSV in the third trimester or who have unrecognized infections.
-I Guess I have a hard time accepting how rare it is bc hsv is soo contagious!
I hear your worry, but in your situation, perhaps not so contagious.
-I know ultimately it is my birth experience and I have to get over my fears and get comfortable with the situation, but any insight/info/reassurance you can give would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU!!
You are most welcome