Hepatitis is a viral disease that affects the liver. It can be particularly serious when it occurs in pregnant women, as it’s possible to pass the disease to the child. Therefore, obstetricians recommend that all pregnant women be screened for hepatitis. Women near Las Vegas can receive world-class prenatal care, and labor and delivery care at MountainView Hospital.
A look at hepatitis
A group of viruses cause different forms of hepatitis, known as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Some forms of hepatitis are mild, but others can lead to long-term complications including liver cirrhosis. It’s possible to have hepatitis and not have any symptoms.
When symptoms do occur, they can include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Darkly colored urine
- Lightly colored stool
Of course, these symptoms can also be caused by a wide range of other health issues. Having one or more of them doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has hepatitis. Only a doctor can determine that.
The risks of hepatitis during pregnancy
In addition to the health problems that can be caused by the virus, hepatitis can be transferred from mother to baby. Hepatitis B, for instance, can infect a baby during childbirth. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there is a 90 percent chance that a pregnant woman with acute hepatitis B will pass the virus to her baby.
Compared to hepatitis in adults, hepatitis in babies is more likely to cause grave health consequences. Infected babies can develop life-threatening health problems. Later in life, they have a greater risk of suffering from liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
The hepatitis screening recommendations
Physicians recommend that all pregnant women get screened for hepatitis. A simple blood test can determine whether someone carries the virus.
The Labor and Delivery Unit at MountainView Hospital features beautiful, private birthing suits with lots of family-friendly amenities. It’s our mission to do everything possible to support the health of mother and baby, and to make every family’s stay as comfortable as possible. You can reach a registered nurse in our hospital in Las Vegas by calling (702) 962-5021.