Useful Information for a Safe Pregnancy and Delivery

Pregnant Woman

During Pregnancy

  • If you are unsure of your HBV status, make an appointment with your physician and make a request for a blood test to check for HBV antibodies.
  • If you are at risk for disease and test negative for the virus, go to your physician’s office and get the vaccine.
  • Avoid the consumption of alcohol. It is harmful to the liver and to the baby’s fetal development. Alcohol can also increase the rate at which your liver is damaged.
  • Follow any and all other prenatal care steps instructed by your primary physician.

During Delivery

  • Inform your physician of your positive HBV status by bringing this Birthing Hospital Letter
  • Advise the physician that your newborn must receive the first dose of HBV vaccine as well as the HBIG, a shot that provides immediate protection from the virus, within 12 hours of birth

After Delivery

  • Be sure to complete your child’s full HBV vaccine series by visiting their pediatric care doctor’s office on a regular basis.  Try to have their hepatitis B series completed by age 6 months.
  • After the HBV vaccine series is completed, request a blood test in order to be sure that the child has developed protection from the virus.  The pediatrician will request a surface antigen and a surface antibody test.
  • If a baby does not show sufficient levels of protection, it will be recommended that the series of three vaccinations be repeated.
  • While over 90% of infections in the Perinatal Hepatitis B Program are prevented, sometimes a baby is found to be chronically infected too.  When that happens, it is important for everyone to know that lifelong precautions, monitoring care, and treatment that the child will need.
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