Hepatitis C and pregnancy
In and of itself, hepatitis C does not adversely affect fetal development and pregnancy. As well as it does not serve as an obstacle to conceiving a child, even if reproductive technologies are used. Do not aggravate the course of hepatitis and pregnancy itself, unless the infected woman has cirrhosis.
Hepatitis C is not transmitted in utero, but there is a risk of infection of the fetus during the passage of the birth canal.
By the way, hepatitis C is also not a direct indication for caesarean section, but if the doctor considers this type of delivery to be the most acceptable, then it should be listened to.
In general, regarding hepatitis C, pregnancy and childbirth there is no consensus among specialists. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of them are inclined to believe that, that the disease does not serve at all as an obstacle to motherhood. The infection rate of infants from the mother during childbirth is no more than 5, and even in this case the predictions are quite favorable: hepatitis C in newborns proceeds more easily than in adults, and is more amenable to treatment. The group at high risk includes only women with high viral load, as well as with the combination of hepatitis C and HIV.
However, the planning of pregnancy and childbirth should be abandoned if a woman undergoes treatment for hepatitis C: the medicines used in this disease have a teratogenic effect on the fetus, that is, it can cause the development of anomalies and pathologies in its formation.
If treatment of hepatitis C has been prolonged, then pregnancy planning should be postponed, at least, for 6 months after its termination. For the same reasons, you should not start anti-hepatitis drug therapy immediately after childbirth, if you intend to breast-feed your baby. Moreover, doctors do not recommend that mother begin treatment until her child grows up, as it involves hanging fatigue and irritability as side effects, which will cause certain difficulties in caring for the child and his upbringing.
Therefore, the best and right decision will be to cure hepatitis C before pregnancy, if a woman knows about her status.
Hepatitis and C and childbirth: expert advice
Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent the infection of a baby with hepatitis from the mother by the woman. But to warn about the status of the doctor accepting a delivery it is certainly necessary, because he just can do it, changing his tactics in childbirth: the medical staff will be obliged to avoid contact of the newborn with maternal blood.
Immediately after birth, the woman will face the question of breastfeeding: can I breastfeed if my mother has hepatitis C? And there is no unanimity among doctors in this matter. But most of them are sure: the virus is not an obstacle to breastfeeding, since it is not transmitted with mother's milk. However, the nursing woman will have to observe increased hygiene and caution and immediately stop breastfeeding if the integrity of the nipples and surrounding tissues is broken (blood through the microcracks can enter the baby's body, presenting a real risk of infection). After the healing of the wounds, breast-feeding can be continued.
The woman who has had a pregnancy and childbirth with hepatitis C should also know that during the first year the newborn will have antibodies, which must then disappear. If after a lapse of a year and a half they remain in the blood of the baby, then this will mean his infection. Therefore, after the child is 18 months old, it is necessary to pass a second blood test.
Finally, we note that very many women learn that they are infected with hepatitis C, precisely during pregnancy during the passage of various examinations and screenings. And practice shows that almost all of them safely nurture and give birth to healthy, wonderful children. Certainly, you will not want to hear such a diagnosis, not to anyone, especially the future mother. But things happen in life that are much more tragic - believe me. The main thing is to set yourself up in a positive way and take care of a little: pregnancy and the birth of a baby will forever change your life. And any adversity against this background will recede.
Be healthy and happy!