But on the other hand, the risk is extremely low, experts agree especially for women with known, long-standing infections.
Neonatal herpes is not a reportable disease in most states, so there are no hard statistics on the number of cases nationwide.
Mothers who acquire genital herpes in the last few weeks of pregnancy are at the highest risk of transmitting the virus to their infants.
If the mother's infection is a true primary (she has no previous antibodies to either HSV-1 or HSV-2), and she seroconverts (becomes HSV positive) at the end of pregnancy, the risk of transmission can be as high as 50%, according to research by Brown and others.
But please think positive thoughts and trust your doctor. While neonatal herpes is rare, women who know they have genital herpes are often concerned about the possibility of transmitting the virus to their babies at birth.
My daughter, now 12 months, is healthy and beautiful. On the one hand, such concern is understandable, because herpes can have devastating consequences for a newborn.
If a woman has primary herpes at any point in the pregnancy, there is also the possibility of the virus crossing the placenta and infecting the baby in the uterus.