Hepatitis is a viral infection of the liver. It is one of the most serious infections that can occur during pregnancy. Your doctor will probably test you for hepatitis В antibodies at the beginning of your pregnancy.
Hepatitis В is spread from one person to another by the re-use of intravenous needles and by sexual contact. It is responsible for nearly 50% of the hepatitis cases in North America.
Flulike symptoms, nausea and pain in the area of the liver or upper-right abdomen are signs of this infection. The person may appear yellow (jaundiced), and urine may be darker than normal.
A developing baby can get hepatitis В from its mother. Hepatitis affects the liver; a fetus that gets hepatitis is at serious risk for liver damage or stillbirth.
A baby born to a mother who tests positive for hepatitis at the beginning of pregnancy may have to receive immune globulin against hepatitis after it is born. It is now recommended that all newborns receive hepatitis vaccine shortly after birth. Ask your pediatrician if the vaccine is available in your area.
It is now recommended that all newborns receive hepatitis vaccine shortly after birth.