Maternal / Newborn Question #20


A pregnant woman is admitted to the labor and delivery unit of the hospital. The nurse receives orders from the health care provider and reads on the record that the client has active herpes simplex virus. The nurse prepares for which type of birth for this client?


  1. Cesarean birth.
    • Rationale:
  2. Vaginal birth with forceps.
    • Rationale:
  3. Pre-med with antibiotics prior to vaginal birth.
    • Rationale:
  4. Allow for normal labor protocol.
    • Rationale:



Herpes simplex virus causes painful vesicular genital lesions. Women who have their first infection close to delivery have a higher risk of neonatal infection. The virus ascends from active lesions to the fetus, or the fetus comes into contact with the lesions during vaginal delivery. Cesarean birth is a nest to prevent fetal contact. Options B, C, D are all incorrect as they do not address the possible spread of infection to the newborn. While history of previous exposure may have pre-med, the question indicates the infection is active, not historical.

Learning Outcomes

Test Taking Tip

Video Rationale