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  • Hepatitis B
  • Pregnancy, Perinatal & Infants

Is it safe for an HBsAg-positive mother to breastfeed her infant?

Yes. An HBsAg-positive mother who wishes to breastfeed should be encouraged to do so, including immediately following delivery. However, the infant should receive HBIG and HepB vaccine within 12 hours of birth. Although HBsAg can be detected in breast milk, studies done before HepB was available showed that breastfed infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers did not demonstrate an increased rate of perinatal or early childhood HBV infection. More recent studies have shown that, among infants receiving post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent perinatal HBV infection, there is no increased risk of infection among breastfed infants.

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