8 Ways To Prevent Hepatitis B During Pregnancy


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Staying away from infections is something that you surely want to do during your pregnancy. But sometimes, these infections catch you when you are off guard.

Hepatitis B is one such infection. The worst part about this infection is that you could be a chronic carrier of the same. Yes, there are vaccines and medicines for curing Hepatitis B, but getting them at the right time makes all the difference.

Causes Of Hepatitis B:

Hepatitis B is passed on through bodily fluids like blood and semen. It can happen in the following cases:

  • If you are a health care professional and get infected by a carrier.
  • Using needles that are not sterilized.
  • Having sexual relation with an infected person.
  • Using razors that are used by a carrier and may have a trace of blood.
  • If you are getting blood transfusions or donating blood frequently, be very careful about the syringe being used.

[ Read: Anemia In Pregnancy ]

Risks Associated With Hepatitis B During Pregnancy:

On getting infected with Hepatitis B during your pregnancy, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Weakness and loss of appetite.
  • Abdominal pain and pain in joints.
  • Liver dysfunction.

There may be no symptoms if the infection is mild. So, it is highly possible that you may not know you are infected, and still be a carrier of the virus.

While you are pregnant, been infected with this disease could have the following risk factors:

  • Extreme dehydration and lack of appetite. This affects the health of your baby and you.
  • Though there are no records of deformities in newborn, there are risks of premature birth.
  • Low birth weight of baby.
  • In certain cases, if left untreated, it can cause miscarriage.

If you have the infection during delivery, or had contracted the infection in the last trimester, there is a high probability of the disease being transferred to your baby during birth.

Keeping all these risks in mind, you must make sure that proper treatment is provided.

[ Read: Thrombocytopenia In Pregnancy ]

Managing Hepatitis B In Pregnancy:

A routine blood test is done during pregnancy in the first trimester, or early in the second trimester. To check for the presence of Hepatitis B.

  1. If you test negative for the infection, and already have the antibody through prior vaccination, then you are fine.
  2. If you test negative, but are at risk of getting infected, and have not received the antibodies, then you will be administered the vaccine immediately.
  3. In case you test positive, having contracted the infection either during or before the pregnancy, then you will be further tested for complications, especially liver related problems
  4. Most patients are given the antibodies through hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG).
  5. You will be regularly monitored for changes in symptoms. Repeat tests will be done.
  6. Other members of the family are also tested, as they also may have the infection.
  7. Restriction in diet and antibiotics that are safe during pregnancy are given to minimize serious impact of the infection.
  8. Even if you have hepatitis B, you can have normal, as well as caesarean section deliveries, as both are safe.

[ Read: Shingles In Pregnancy ]

Treatment For The Newborn:

If you have the infection, there are risks of transmitting the same to your baby. The following actions will ensure safety of your newborn:

  • Administering Hepatitis B immunoglobulin right after birth.
  • First shot of vaccine must be given within twelve hours of birth.
  • Successive doses of vaccine to be given at the age of one month and six months.


  • In case you have serious symptoms, your baby will be monitored.
  • Some tests may also be done to check the level of infection and proper functioning of the liver.
  • If the vaccination and antibody are not given on time, then there is a risk of your baby developing chronic hepatitis B infection.

Follow the doctor’s advice and get the tests and screening done well in time. Also take all precautions to prevent hepatitis b during pregnancy. Lastly, get the hepatitis b vaccine in pregnancy if needed; it is absolutely safe during pregnancy and will protect you and your baby.

Do share your experiences with us in the comment section below.

Reference : 1 , 2

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