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Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: I think I have caught herpes from my child Can I breastfeed?


 breastfeeder - Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:32 am

I am a breastfeeding mother of a 16 month old. This week my child caught gingivostomatitis. I now have a painful sore on each of my nipples. What are the implications? Does this mean I now carry the virus? Can I keep breastfeeding (once the pain resides)? and will I be able to breastfeed future children? Thank you.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:22 pm

User avatar Hello,
The viruses that cause this, which can be Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV 1)are extremely common in he general population. You need not worry about breastfeeding.

You can try to keep help prevent infections being spread to others by helping your child avoid sharing food or playing in close contact with others when there is active herpes infection or any other mouth sores. Usually the first episode of gingivostomatitis is the worst and after this if it reappears because it is caused by the herpes virus, it will be milder.

Once in the body, it stays for life so use caution whenever the child (or you) gets a cold sore and encourage good handwashing, toy sanitizing and limiting kissing at those times.

Keep in mind that this is NOT the same virus often associated with sexually transmitted diseases. That one is HSV 2. Present and future breastfeeding is not a problem at all. Congratulations on giving your child the best. The wonderful antibodies your breastmilk provides will help him/her to continue to have advantages in fighting all infections.

Best wishes.

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