Hepatitis C and Pregnancy
Can I pass hepatitis C to my baby?
About 6% of mothers with the hepatitis C virus will pass it to their baby. There is an increased risk if a mother is also infected with HIV. Currently, there is no treatment to prevent transmission.
Should my baby be tested for hepatitis C?
It is recommended that a baby born to a mother that is positive for hepatitis C be tested for the virus. Talk to your baby’s doctor or nurse about your hepatitis C tests so you can work together to protect the health of your baby. Testing for the hepatitis C antibody is recommended after 18 months of age. There is also an option to test for hepatitis C RNA in the first year of life.
Is there a treatment for hepatitis C?
Curative treatment is an oral medication that is prescribed by your doctor. Treatment is not available for pregnant people unless they are participating in a clinical trial* Treatment is available for non-pregnant people including children ages 3 years and older.
*Magee Women’s Hospital is currently enrolling pregnant people in a clinical trial for hepatitis C. For more information, click here or call 412-641-4242.
Can I breastfeed if I have hepatitis C?
It is safe to breastfeed your baby if you are positive for hepatitis C. The research does not show that the virus is transmitted through breastmilk.
What if I have additional questions?
Consult with your doctor and your child’s pediatrician to discuss screening and follow up care. If you do not have a current health care provider, please refer to this list.