Saturday, August 07, 2004


I had a doula client in Frankfurt... a nurse (relevant to the story)... who had herpes so bad during her delivery, she had it on her breasts, her fingers, and belly besides the lesions on her pubic area and mouth.

She still delivered vaginally and breastfed.

This birth is where I learned about Tegaderm... it was rare back then, but now, I keep supplies of it for many purposes, herpes being but one.

Tegaderm is a bandage kind of thing, but clear (and expensive!). Most people know it as the clear plastic stuff they put on top of your IV when they are done putting it in. Tegaderm is what we put on Sarah's operated-on eye during the fires and when she showered so nothing could get in it. We use Tegaderm with stitches so showers can be had without wetting them (I did that for all my biopsies). The literature calls it "transparent dressing."

In births now, we use it to cover the Hep Lock so women can be in water without concern for the IV site.

Tegaderm also covers lesions allowing for birth to occur without "contaminating" the surrounding area. We have done this in homebirth, too.

(I am avoiding the whole issue of shedding without lesions, the risk of herpes and newborns, the un-likelihood of any OB using Tegaderm on a lesion and allowing a vaginal birth, the possibility of lesions inside the vagina or on the cervix that Tegaderm cannot touch, etc. I am merely sharing a story of an experience I was a part of.)

This mom had a quick labor and wore a glove on her herpes'd hand, Tegaderm everywhere else, including her outer labia that had several lesions. She Tegaderm'd the lesions on her breasts (they were not on her nipples) and brought her baby to her breast as she nursed wonderfully after the birth. She had a lifetime supply of the stuff and her baby never caught the herpes (that we could tell), but last I heard, the titers for herpes were non-existent in the baby.

I highly doubt this preferential treatment would have been given to anyone else that didn't work on the L&D floor.

Tegaderm for all!

1 comment:

Kya said...

3 cheers for technology and those who know how to use it appropriately!! Go Tegaderm! :)