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Hepatitis can be transmitted through breast milk?

Hepatitis is not transmitted through milk, but during breastfeeding, if the mother does not ensure hygiene, there is still a risk of infection.

A mother with hepatitis, the first thing after giving birth that makes them worry is whether hepatitis can be transmitted through breast milk. Although many evidences have proven that hepatitis is not transmitted through breast milk, breastfeeding practices of breastfeeding mothers need to ensure safe hygiene, because of the risk of transmitting hepatitis from mother to child through contact exists.

According to VU newspapereryWellHealth (USA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), is an organization that has always actively supported breastfeeding for mothers with hepatitis, considering it the best source of energy for the development of the body. quality and good health of infants. Their support is based on epidemiological studies of the potential for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.

Hepatitis virus is not transmitted through breastfeeding.  Photo: Freepik

Hepatitis virus is not transmitted through breastfeeding. Image: Freepik

With Hepatitis A virus: The virus is spread primarily through the fecal-oral route, including ingestion of contaminated food or water, oral and anal sex, and other circumstances where feces can be transmitted from person to person. Therefore, good hygiene, including thorough, consistent hand washing, is considered essential to prevent the spread of HAV (hepatitis A virus).

The virus is spread to others when the blood of an infected person enters the blood of an uninfected person. That is, babies can get the virus from their mothers during birth. The rate of children infected with hepatitis from their mothers is quite low, accounting for about 0.06%. To date, there is no evidence that the hepatitis A virus has ever been isolated in breast milk, which makes breastfeeding completely safe for infants. In case the mother is infected, doctors recommend giving hepatitis A immune globulin to the newborn if the mother has symptoms during pregnancy.

Hepatitis E (HEV): is a challenge in pregnant women, as 30% of women infected during pregnancy have the potential to develop fatal fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure). However, as with hepatitis A, breastfeeding is still considered safe for mothers with HEV infection.

Hepatitis B: This virus can be found in many body fluids but is infectious only when present at high levels in blood, semen or saliva. Hepatitis B can be passed from mother to baby during childbirth.

Experts also confirm that hepatitis B is not transmitted through breast milk, it is safe for infants unless there is a risk of exposure to HBV-infected blood. Therefore, mothers with cracked or bleeding nipples should avoid breastfeeding, replacing with formula milk until the nipples heal.

In addition, mothers should consider vaccinating their infants against hepatitis B while ensuring that their infants receive hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of birth.

Hepatitis D: Similar to hepatitis E, A and B, hepatitis D is not transmitted through breast milk. This virus is only transmitted when the body already has the hepatitis B virus and is transmitted through the same routes (blood, semen, saliva). As with the hepatitis B virus, mothers with the hepatitis D virus can still breastfeed their babies.

Hepatitis C: The hepatitis C virus is mainly spread through contact with the blood of an infected person like hepatitis B. The main route of HCV transmission is drug use through injection drug use, especially the sharing of injecting drug equipment. .

About 3.6% of pregnant women are estimated to have hepatitis C virus, transmission occurs mainly in utero (while pregnant and before delivery), with a risk of less than 1%, depending on on maternal viral load, other risk factors. However, there is no evidence that transmission of hepatitis C virus occurs because breastfeeding, bottle-fed babies, and breastfed babies are equally at risk of infection.

For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all advocate breastfeeding for mothers with hepatitis C virus. However, as with hepatitis B, precautions should be taken if the mother has cracked or bleeding nipples, to give them time to heal before breastfeeding.

Mr. Chi (According to VeryWellHealth)

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