Why you should never kiss babies on the lips
When you hold your baby for the first time after nine long months, you just want to bury her in kisses. Kissing is a good expression of love. You’ve probably seen moms kissing their newborns on the face or cheek but rarely on the lips. This is because a kiss on the lips can risk the baby. What harm could a simple peck on the lips do?
The risks of kissing your baby on the lips
Well, this simple peck can trigger infections that cause seizures, breathing problems and other diseases. The leading cause of these infections is the herpes virus. In adults, the virus can cause cold sores and genital ulcers. What about in babies? This virus causes neonatal herpes which causes deadly meningitis and seizures.
When a mom kisses her baby on the lips and she happens to have a cold sore, then the virus will be passed on to her baby. Your baby is at high risk of suffering from serious infections because her immune system is still developing.
When neonatal herpes is less severe, it affects the baby’s eyes, mouth or skin and can recover with antiviral treatment.
In severe cases, such as a certain type of meningitis virus, the baby’s life can be at risk.
The signs of neonatal herpes include:
- Reluctance to feed
- High pitched cry
- Difficulty in breathing
- Blue tongue or skin
Precautions you should take
If you have a cold sore, you should not kiss your baby either on the lips or her face. Just wait till you are treated for the virus. You must also keep washing your hands so that you don’t transfer the virus to your baby through skin contact. Cold sores are highly contagious especially when they burst. You also need to be careful about your breastfeeding when you have cold sores.
If you have a history of herpes, then your doctor can give you drugs to prevent an outbreak since the virus is incurable and lies dormant in your body. Your baby is at more risk of neonatal herpes if you have had the STI genital herpes for the first time in the last six weeks of pregnancy and had a vaginal delivery.
Let your friends and family know that they cannot kiss your baby at all. While they can hold your baby, they are not allowed to kiss her for her own sake.
Before you kiss your baby on the lips, ask yourself about the state of your health and whether and what the consequences would be if you choose to. A cold sore is not the only thing you should be worried about. There are many other infections that you might have such as flu which can be devastating for your baby. It is better to avoid kissing your baby on the lips altogether.