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Hepatitis virus and breastfeeding

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 2 replies.

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Nicholus Tint Zaw


Normal user

13 May 2011, 05:13

What are the risks of hepatitis virus infection through breastfeeding? And prevention method for Hepatitis mothers and any medical prophylaxis for breastfeeding mother?

Karleen Gribble

Assoc Prof Western Sydney University

Normal user

13 May 2011, 11:20

Hi Nicky, Hep B andc C viruses can both be found in the milk of infected women however consumption of such milk by infants does not result in infection. There is a theoretical risk of transmission if the mother has nipple damage resulting in bleeding but I have not been able to identify any actual cases of infection resulting from this. So the treatment would be, assist Hepatitis infected mothers to breastfeed with assistance to prevent nipple damage that might cause bleeding, assist mothers to exclusively breastfeed (so as to prevent damage to the intestinal lining by foreign foods that facilitates infection of all kinds), give the mother treatment for her own health and wellbeing.

Ted Greiner

Former Nutrition Professor, World Nutrition Editor

Normal user

13 May 2011, 12:10

A recent article addressed this issue: "Breastfeeding of Newborns by Mothers Carrying Hepatitis B Virus":

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