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Depending on the infection you have, treating an infection may prevent it from being passed on to your newborn.


For some infections, especially viral infections like CMV and parvovirus B19 (fifth disease), no medication exists to treat the infection. In these cases, your doctor may want to see you more often to monitor you and your developing baby. If your developing baby appears to be ill, there are special diagnostic and treatment options available. Your healthcare provider will discuss these options with you and their potential benefits and risks.

Cesarean Section

Some infections, like herpes and HIV, can spread to your baby during a vaginal delivery. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a cesarean section instead of a vaginal delivery. It may reduce the chances of transmitting the infection to your newborn.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/index.html. Updated July 28, 2010. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Fifth disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated January 16, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Pregnancy and fifth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parvovirusB19/pregnancy.html. Updated February 14, 2012. Accessed July 29, 2013.

STDs and pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/default.htm. Updated July 10, 2013, Accessed July 29, 2013.

Last reviewed July 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD; Brian Randall, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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