Mothers Carrying Hepatitis B Virus May Be Able To Safely Breastfeed

According to research published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, new mothers who have hepatitis B can safely...
According to research published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, new mothers who have hepatitis B can safely breastfeed their babies, so long as some specific and important precautions are taken. The hepatitis B virus may cause inflammation and swelling of the liver and can even lead to chronic damage on the organ up to someone needing a liver transplant. Hepatitis B is only fatal in about 1% of cases. The hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and other body fluids of someone who already has a hepatitis B infection. For example you can contract hepatitis B through unprotected sex or sharing needles. Hepatitis B is may also be passed to a baby from the mother during pregnancy and labor. Because this virus is spread via fluids, it's long been assumed that breastfeeding may be able to pass the virus on from mother to baby. This new study though, concluded that, "Breastfeeding after proper immunoprophylaxis did not contribute to MTCT transmission of HBV." In less fancy terms, this simply means that transmission of hepatitis B may be stopped if, soon after birth, a baby is vaccinated plus given medication and then is vaccinated two or three more times during the first few months of life. Study author Dr. Zhongjie Shi, told Reuters Health in an email, "Even in mothers with the virus, "breastfeeding should be recommended as a valuable source of nutrition to infants." According to the study, mothers also should not breastfeed if they have cracked or bleeding nipples as the virus is so easily transmitted via blood. If you have hepatitis B, and you're pregnant and considering breastfeeding, you should, of course, discuss the situation with your doctor. Also see: + Source

Tags: hep a hepatitis a hepatitis a vaccine hepatitis b hepatitis b vaccine infant shots parent health women’s health


recommended for you

Comments