Mom Sends Important PSA on Infant Etiquette After Her Newborn Contracts Herpes

An adorable baby is hard to resist, but sometimes it’s best to simply stay away.
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profile picture of Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
September 11, 2018
newborn is kissed causing herpes, parent holding newborn's hand
Image: iStock

The first few days with your newborn are an exciting time filled with bonding and awe. Unfortunately, one British couple’s early days of bliss were cut short when their 11-day-old stopped drinking milk and had a temperature that spiked throughout the night.

When Lucy Kendall and her partner Jaz Miller rushed Oliver, their baby, to the doctor, they were shocked to find out he had contracted neonatal herpes. After discovering herpes is often passed on when someone who has a cold sore kisses baby and spreads germs, Kendall turned to Facebook to send a reminder to others to stay away from little ones if they are infected.

The mother shares the awful details of her baby’s time in the hospital, with accompanying photos showing how much pain the child had to endure. “Oliver was put onto a heated bed with oxygen. He got a feeding tube put in, along with a long line and a number of cannulas,” she recounts.

After fighting for his life, the little trooper was finally able to come home—along with months of medications and more trips to the doctor.

“Oliver spent 21 days in the hospital, and we finally get to go home with six months of antibiotics and visits to the hospital,” the mom shares.

She hopes others will learn from her story, and, at the very least, respect newborns’ space.

“Please respect a newborn baby and stay away if you have a cold sore. We’re the lucky ones! A few hours later this could be reading so differently. Keep your newborns safe,” she warns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports nearly 70 percent of Americans have the HSV-1 strain of the virus, which is associated with cold sores. You don’t need to have a cold sore flare up to pass this on, and there’s a good chance you don’t even know you have it. While there’s no cure, medications make adult herpes a very manageable disease. Unfortunately, the virus is much more serious for babies because infants under three months old don’t have the immune system to fight off herpes. If you think your baby may have contracted herpes, see a doctor immediately.

Sadly, Oliver isn’t the first baby to suffer from neonatal herpes. And a bunch of other moms have also taken to social media to remind people to be careful how they spread the love to baby.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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