When pregnant, a woman’s thought is always about their baby. What she can do to keep her baby healthy? What she can do to keep her baby free of any disease or illness? What she can do to keep her baby healthy?
One of the best things that pregnant women can do is to get tested for any diseases that they might be at risk with especially if it will put their babies at risk as well. Having a Hepatitis B test is a must for pregnant women who think that they are at risk of having it. Risks of having Hepatitis B are higher for women who are:
- Health workers or those who are working in hospitals and labs
- Women who are from communities where Hepatitis B cases are prevalent
- Women who have partners with Hepatitis B
- Women who are living with people with Hepatitis B
Pregnancy and Hepatitis B
Pregnant women with Hepatitis B are at high risk of passing the infection to their newborns. During delivery, the risk of your baby getting infected is higher. With proper preparation and knowledge, your doctor and health provider can do something about it to keep your baby from getting infected during birth. This is the reason why it is very important for pregnant women to get Hepatitis B test during pregnancy and before delivery. With proper handling, your baby’s chance of getting out in this world Hepatitis B free is 95%.
During pregnancy, there is no risk for babies of pregnant women especially if their doctor is aware of their condition and medications. During delivery, the doctor in charge can prepare the two shots necessary to protect your baby from Hepatitis B infection. These injections should be administered immediately. The two injections composed of a dose of hepatitis B vaccine (the first one) and a dose of Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG). These vaccines must be given within the first 12 hours of baby’s delivery. The second and third dose of the Hepatitis B vaccine must be received by the baby within the following six months as advised by the doctor.
Breastfeeding and Hepatitis B
Women with Hepatitis B should breastfeed their newborns without a problem. According to the CDC, breastfeeding newborns don’t spread the virus. If there is a risk of infection, it is very minimal and the benefit still outweighs the risk. If your baby received the necessary vaccines within 12 hours upon delivery, there should be no reason for you not to breastfeed your newborn. Doctors are confident that if the three full shots of Hepatitis B vaccine get completed, your baby will be protected against Hepatitis B forever. Hepatitis B vaccine reduces risk of Hepatitis B infection by 90% even if the baby is born to a mother with Hepatitis B infection. For these reasons, it is indeed important for women to get Hepatitis B test especially during pregnancy to save their baby from suffering such infection.