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Has anyone had a C-section as a result of a herpes outbreak?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is a very personal question, I realize.

I am pregnant with baby#2 and I do have genital herpes and have had it for a long time. Outbreaks are rare. I'm having a homebirth and of course I think about 'what if I have an outbreak the day of labor...'

It must be very painful to have a C-section because of an outbreak. I'd like to know for those of you that this has happened to, what is your story?
What happened that day?
Were you able to labor?
For how long?
Any measures taken to decrees the outbreak's potency?
OR, if you had an outbreak and still had a vaginal birth-what happened there?
I so appreciate it if someone would talk about it with me.

post #2 of 13
it's pretty rare, and you can take acyclovir for the last few weeks of your pregnancy to prevent an outbreak. i did this with baby #2 as I DEFINITELY didn't want a c/s. in the end it wasn't an issue, and I had the natural vaginal delivery i wanted. with baby#1 I had OBs and they never even mentioned viral suppresants--perhpas because they could do a c/s if needed, while with baby #2 I had a cnm and she wouldn't have been able to perform one.

btw, there are LOTS of moms with genital herpes out there. statistically 1 in 5 people have it, but anywhere from 60-80% of them don't even know it. it's such a "shameful" disease but it shouldn't be. I'm glad you have the courage and insight to come here and ask for help about what's best for your baby.

good luck,

post #3 of 13

I, too, have GH and I elected to have a c-section. I had frequent outrbreaks during pregnancy (while I rarely had them before). I did not wish to take antiviral suppressive therapy during my pregnancy, plus I have had asymptomatic outbreaks in the past and I was really terrified about the possibilities of passing it on to DD. My OB assured me the chances were very small, but given the results should the baby get it (it can be fatal) I was not willing to take that risk.

I made the choice that was best for me, given my expectations and feelings regarding birthing. My c-section was a wonderful experience and my recovery was a breeze. With that said, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a natural/vaginal birth to anyone with GH who has their heart set on one. It really depends on your outbreak history and how confident you feel that you will know if you are having one when you go into labour. Having GH no longer means a definite cesarian birth.

Please feel free to PM me if you have any other questions!
post #4 of 13
I have a friend who HAD to plan her last two births as C Sections because of herpes. The boys are now 12 and 14, so it was awhile back. I am glad to hear some things have changed : )

Good luck BTW!
post #5 of 13
I am on the national ICAN email list, and I have heard recently, that it is no longer necessary to have a c-section for a herpes outbreak, unless the birth is during your VERY FIRST outbreak. And also, that a waterbirth is the way to go, if you are having an outbreak, because the herpes virus can't live much outside of the body, so in the water is really safe.

By the way, ICAN is the International Cesarean Awareness Network, and you can find them online and then get on their email list from there, someone there could tell you more about this.

Good luck!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
chichimama, wow! I haven't heard that.

I took Valtrex in the last trimester with my last pregnancy and there was no problem.
I know what the risks are of GH and birth.
I was just wondering if anyone here had an unexpected C-section because of an outbreak. The emotional process.
My viral load is managable and I haven't had an outbreak for a long time.
I am just very interested in what to expect if I go into labor and low and behold, there is a lesion and I must plan, think and prepare for an operation.

Thanks everyone.
post #7 of 13
There is an active poster here who had a scheduled c for herpes, hopefully she'll chime in...
post #8 of 13
Well, it sounds as though you probably won't have to have a c-section. I think you should do as much research as you can, as I've heard there are now hospitals where even an open lesion is not a definite c-section (there are some new techniques for doing vaginal births when open lesions are present).

But, if you think it's a possibility, all I can say is to just learn what is involved in a c-section, what type of anaesthesia you'll have (spinal vs epidural), what the hospital policies are regarding how soon you can hold baby, whether you get a "bonding session" immediately after the birth, a chance to let baby latch on, whether you can room in, have baby sleep with you, etc. When you know what to expect it you'll be prepared and it should be okay.

post #9 of 13
My first was born by CS bc of an outbreak during labour I was planning a homebirth and at the last minute i found out.
I was so downheartead that i didn't even let myself labour for very long, it was a beautiful birth though, i have come to terms with it and it was my choice.

For my second, i was following the same cycle of frequent, mild breakouts during the last trimester, so i opted for the Acyclovir (sp?) and was able to have a wonderful natural, vaginal birth.

The worst part of it all (for the CS) was answering everyones questions about why i was having a hospital birth? I felt so ashamed. It feels good to ~come out of the closet~ about it here.

Blessings, Kelly
post #10 of 13
I dont have gherpes, but there is a wonderful book out there by Christiane Northurp......Womens Bodies, Womens Wisdom. In there she has a list of natural remedies to take while pregnant to avoid getting breakouts. One was taking garlic regularly. If you cant find the book, Ill be happy to write out what she said to take....... If you dont have this book, get it. It a wonderful book on womens Health that every one should have! She goes through every part of the body and talks about her own pregnancy. SHe is a GYN in Maine.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Rainsmom, I have the book, thanks.

Kelly, thank you. That was exactly what I was looking for. I know a lot about Herpes. I know even more about birth! I just wanted to find someone who had the unfortunate "luck" of having an outbreak during labor. The emotions. The explanations...
Hugs to you. I have no doubt that I will birth at home, no outbreaks...but I was very interested in what other herpes moms (lol) go through and went through.
post #12 of 13
Dear savvy:

My friend's 5th homebirth was during a GH outbreak. It was not discovered until her water broke and he was on his way.

The dear boy is now 14, but the midwives scrubbed him down w/ betadine solution.

He was the cleanest baby around and he is healthy and fine today.

NO ill side effects.
post #13 of 13
wow this is an old thread but anyway, i had a possability of herepes and was told if the test was not back by the time you go into labor we do a c-section. of course i went into labor befor the test was back. i was stupid and did not take any control of that situation. now i no better, but alas your question....yes i was in shock for years! i'm just now beginning to deal with all of that. lol
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