Does the virus affect the baby?
When a woman has hepatitis and becomes pregnant, one of her first questions is “How will this affect my baby?” While this question does not have a simple answer, the information below can help with understanding. Her next question is often, “How will being pregnant affect my hepatitis?” Here, I will give a brief overview.
Normally, being pregnant will not affect the course of the hepatitis, unless a woman has hepatitis E, which can worsen severely in some cases. Pregnancy itself will not hasten the disease process or make it worse, although if the liver is already burdened and scarred with cirrhosis, the extra demands of pregnancy may predispose the expectant mother to a condition called acute fatty liver of pregnancy.
Most women become pregnant during the years between 20 and 40, which is also the age group in which the incidence of hepatitis C infection is rising most quickly. Any woman with risk factors for hepatitis C (such as exposure to transfusions, contaminated needles or injected drug use) should be screened for hepatitis C before and during pregnancy.
Continue reading this article on Hepatitis Central.