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Hepatitis B Results

(12 Posts)
Veryscared Thu 20-Jan-05 14:36:38

I'm so scared. I was given my routine blood tests and the midwife called us a week later at 10.30pm and told me I cam back positive for Hepatitis B. We were terrified and it was the middle of the night.

I have never had a blood transfusion or used drugs. My partner (baby's dad) is negative. I have only had unprotected sex with one other person who was cheating on me during our relationship. I can only assume it came from him as everything else i have ever done is 'low risk'

A week later we saw an obstetrician who told us he wasn't an expert and wouldnt interpret the results. After a month of fighting for information we have finally found out I am a chronic carrier. My liver tests are Ok so far but i apparently now have a fairly high risk (15-25%) of dying from liver disease one day.

The scariest part is that the baby has to be vaccinated at birth to try and protect it. But it is not 100% and babies that get it apparently are unlikely to last to adulthood. We won;t know til the baby is 1year whether it is negative. The baby is due in June.

I just needed to share this as I am so scared and hope someone else has experienced something similar. It is lonely not being able to talk about it because I don't want my baby stigmatised. The doctors have been really unhelpful and the midwife totally useless. I can't believe this is a routine test but no-one knows what to do with a positive result.

I am just blaming myself for ever meeting my ex (if it was him that gave us this). I haven't told him as I never have contact with him. I have an old email address though.
Thanks for listening.

aloha Thu 20-Jan-05 14:44:53

I'm so sorry to hear this. It must be very upsetting for you. I found this Department of Health advice on the net - it sounds VERY positive about your baby and the effectiveness of the vaccine. Also the two organisations at the bottom would be worth contacting, I think. Good luck.

Why is hepatitis B infection serious for babies?
Without vaccination, many babies born to mothers who are hepatitis B carriers will become infected. As many as 9 out of 10 babies infected at birth develop long-lasting infection and these babies are at risk of developing serious liver disease as they grow older. If they become infected, their infection could be passed on to their close family and other contacts in the future.

Can my baby be protected from hepatitis B infection?
Yes. Your baby can be protected from infection by a full course of hepatitis B vaccine. without serious side effects. Are there any side effects?

When should my baby have hepatitis B vaccine?
Your baby should have the first dose of vaccine soon after they are born. Your doctor or midwife will arrange this. Your baby will need further doses of vaccine for full protection against infection. Your family doctor or children's doctor should give these when your baby is 1, 2 and 12 months old.

You should be told where and when to get these injections before you leave hospital, and you should make sure that you know this.

Why it is important for a full course of vaccine to be given?
It is essential that your baby receives the full course of vaccine at the right ages for it to work.

Is hepatitis B vaccine safe?
The vaccine is very safe and millions of doses have been given to babies world-wide without serious side effects. Are there any side effects? In some babies, the site of the injection may become red and swollen, but this does not last for long.

Will it be safe to breast feed my baby?
Yes - but your baby should still receive a full course of vaccine.

Will having hepatitis B infection affect my pregnancy and delivery?

Could my partner and other children have hepatitis B?
The antenatal clinic will tell your family doctor that you have hepatitis B so that they can discuss this with you and your partner and arrange for hepatitis B testing and/or vaccination as necessary.

If you have concerns about other people finding out that you have hepatitis B infection, please discuss them with your midwife or doctor.

Do I need to see a doctor because of my hepatitis B infection?
The antenatal clinic or your family doctor should refer you to a specialist for assessment and advice about managing or treating your own infection. This will not be necessary until after you have had your baby.

If you have any other questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or midwife. 

You can get more information about hepatitis B from:

Children's Liver Disease Foundation
(Specialises in children with liver disease)
36 Great Charles Street
Birmingham B3 3JY
Tel: 0121-212-3839
Fax: 0121-212-4300

The British Liver Trust
(Specialises in adults with liver disease)
Ransomes Europark
Ipswich IP3 9QG
Tel: 0808-800-1000 (information line)
Fax: 01473-276327

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aloha Thu 20-Jan-05 14:52:41

Are they talking about immunising your partner?

maomao Thu 20-Jan-05 14:55:43

{{{{{HUGS}}}} to you veryscared. I'm sorry that you're going through this ---- it is agonizing! I have chronic liver disease too (HCV), but I have no personal experience with HepB. However, as aloha points out, the vaccine for babies has a very high rate of efficacy. Also, if you contracted HepB as an adult, you have a higher chance of responding to meds, should you choose to go that route....

I know how mindblowing this is for you, and I'm really sorry.

Veryscared Thu 20-Jan-05 15:21:21

Thanks for your words of kindness. My partner has already had his first 2 injections. I am trying to keep telling myself baby will be OK but its that little chance of it not working which scares me so much.

I don;t know whether i should email my ex. I hated him before this happened for what he did to me and i don't really want him to know. But is that selfish? And to his current/future 'conquests'? Although i honestly don;t think he's tell them even if he knew he had it.

starlover Thu 20-Jan-05 15:23:52

hi veryscared

am so sorry for you ((((hugs))))... i am sure you will get through it ok, and baby will be fine!

i do think you should tell your ex. even if you don't think that he would tell his "conquests", it would be responsible of you to let him know.
At least then you know you have done all you can to stop him passing this on to anyone else.

aloha Thu 20-Jan-05 15:32:59

I would feel the same as you - I'm sure most of us would but do try to keep focussed on the fact that vaccination is effective in more than 95% of cases. Have you looked on the websites of the two liver charities? Maybe you could contact a mother who has been through the same thing via the children's one. You have done nothing wrong - you were just very, very unlucky. It could be any of us.

maomao Thu 20-Jan-05 15:44:25


It is so hard to not feel overwhelmed by that niggling fear, isn't it? But the "positive" points are:

1. There IS a vaccination for the baby (there isn't one for Hepatitis C, which is what I've got). Thankfully, my dd is okay thus far, although she has one more blood test to clear. Also, my dd was vaccinated for HepB as a newborn (in the States), with no apparent complications.

2. Although chronic liver disease CAN be very scary, you, at least know now that you have it, and can be properly monitored from this point on

As much as you hate your ex, I do think he needs to know. I had to go through contacting exs that I hated too, but at least it was no longer on my conscience.

maomao Thu 20-Jan-05 15:48:14

Sorry, I just reread this, and I hope I don't come across as patronising --- I really don't mean to.

Veryscared Thu 20-Jan-05 15:50:36

Maomao - not at all. I know I'm lucky there is a vccine - it could have been HIV after all. I just feel so guilty yet I have never done anything 'high risk'.

My Partner has made me promise not to contact him (I have had abusive emails from him in the past) as he feels if i tell my ex and he was not the source then we have exposed me and my baby to more abuse from him. (He doesn't know about the baby).

maomao Thu 20-Jan-05 15:52:59

Ah, I see. Yes, a very complicated situation.

I never did anything high risk either. I got my HepC in tainted blood as a newborn. So it's something I've had all my life.

jabberwocky Thu 20-Jan-05 16:24:33

We have a friend with hepatitis although I'm not sure if it's B or C. He is undergoing treatment right now where he takes 6 - 9 pills a day and one shot a week for 48 weeks. Periodically they do a virus count check and it's going down so the treatment is working. Sorry I don't know anymore specifics.

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