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hep C pregnacy and precautions
May 20, 2013

I have been told that my son and his girlfriend have Hep C.....Now the quetion.. His girlfriemd is pregnant....told me dr was going to do C section. Is this the safest way to protect the baby . I have custody of their son....what precautions should be taken to protect him while he visits them.

Response from Dr. Taylor

There is no evidence that C-section decreases transmission of hepatitis C from a pregnant woman to her baby. This should not be the reason for a C-section, which is a big operation much more risky than a spontaneous vaginal delivery. Perhaps there is another reason for the C-section.

The chance of passing hep C through pregnancy is low overall (5% or so), unless the woman has HIV infection also. In this case the chance of passing both viruses is higher and the woman should be under care pf physicians who can assist in decreasing the risks of passing HIV and hep C.

There is no medication that can be safely taken for hep C during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding is safe and encouraged for women with hep C, unless they also have HIV, or unless their nipples are cracked and bleeding. Overall breastfeeding is so beneficial that it should be encouraged whenever possible.

Regarding their son, he cannot catch hep C through casual contact. There is no worry about the visits and hepatitis C spread. The only things to consider, and these are LOW risk exposures -- would be keeping him from blood containing your son and his girlfriend's hep C -- so no sharing their toothbrushes or razors. If your son or his girlfriend gets a cut and bleeds, they should cover the wound.



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