Can a mother with CHB infection breastfeed her baby?
Dr. Katakam Bhumesh Kumar
Boduppal, Bengaluru Mar 19, 2019
A hepatitis B infection is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. The infection can spread from one person to another through blood, semen, or other bodily fluids. There is also a high risk of pregnant women transmitting the infection to babies if not treated properly. Breastfeeding is another important aspect which worries many CHB infected women.
Can a mother with CHB breastfeed?
Contrary to what many people think, a CHB infected mother is highly encouraged to breastfeed the baby. The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the risks posed by it. The infants born to CHB infected mothers receive immediate vaccination at birth. The infants get three more doses of vaccines which successfully prevents HPV infection in most of the babies.
There is also no need to wait until all the doses of vaccines are administered. After the first dose (must be given within 12 hours of birth), a mother may begin breastfeeding the child. The risk of transmission of CHB infection through breastfeeding is very minimal, and after vaccination, the risk is almost nil. Hence, CHB infected women are highly encouraged to breastfeed infants.
When not to breastfeed?
Though there is a negligible risk of passing on CHB infection through breastfeeding, in certain circumstances, breastfeeding should be avoided. An important point to note is that CHB infection spreads through blood. Hence when the nipples or the surrounding areola are cracked and/or bleeding, breastfeeding should be avoided. The milk should be discarded until the cracks totally heal. The mother may resume breastfeeding once the nipples have completely healed.
*DISCLAIMER :The information provided in this content is for Health Care Providers