Knowledge For Better Life

Pregnancy With Jaundice? How to Protect Yourself and the Baby


Many women don’t feel any fear with their fever during pregnancy. But, they start to become more cautious when it is jaundice that they have to face during their pregnancy. They get caught in the worry that something might happen to their baby. But, the good news is they do not have to worry anymore. With the right treatment, care, and lifestyle changes they will be just as safe as any other pregnant women.

What is jaundice?

Jaundice is a symptom that your liver is infected. There are two types of it. One is infectious jaundice and the other type is metabolic jaundice.

When virus or bacteria infects your liver, it leads to infectious jaundice. Jaundice happens due to many other reasons which include smoking, drinking alcohol, consuming excessive drugs, eating foods rich in fat content, gall bladder stone, swelling in the gall bladder, malaria, fatty liver, and many other reasons. These type of jaundice belong to the second category.

Jaundice due to Virus

In countries like India where the environment is badly polluted, one of the main reason of jaundice is due to viruses. In this hepatitis virus plays a major role. There are many types of hepatitis virus namely A, B, C, D, E. Among these A and B are more prominent reasons for jaundice in India.

Hepatitis-A Jaundice

It occurs due to Hepatitis-A type virus. It can happen to anyone irrespective of their age or gender. It is necessary to be more cautious when it happens during pregnancy.

Ways through which Jaundice attacks

Microbes or viruses for jaundice will be present in the poop of an affected person. It will spread to other zones through flies. It spreads to other people through spoiled foods, and impure drinking water. It can also spread to a person who is close to the jaundice patient. It can also spread to a person who is in the proximity of the infected region for the first time.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever, vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Stomach pain
  • Itchy feeling throughout the body
  • Eyes and skin will turn yellow
  • Urination will be in dark yellow color
  • White colored poop

Blood test for Jaundice

It is always better for a pregnant woman to under take the blood test for jaundice as a precautionary measure. And most Doctors will advise for it as well.

Treatments and Preventive measures

There is no specialized treatment for jaundice in allopathy. A complete rest for four weeks will cure you of jaundice. You can opt for Ayurvedic and Siddha medicines during the course of this resting period if needed. But the medications should be from a reputed Doctor.

Are there any Vaccinations to Prevent Jaundice?

Hepatitis – A is a less dangerous type of jaundice. It will not affect the pregnant women or the fetus. Hepatitis A vaccination helps to prevent this condition. Inactivated Hepatitis A Vaccine must be taken before pregnancy. For those who are affected by Hepatitis A after pregnancy should take HBIG vaccination within two weeks of jaundice. The second course of this vaccination should be taken after one month time period.

Cleanliness is the Best Preventing Measure

  • Drink only boiled drinking water to prevent Hepatitis A.
  • There should be a minimum tidiness that should be maintained during cooking and serving foods.
  • Foods should be protected by covering and packing it appropriately.
  • Washing hands thoroughly with a hand wash or soap is a must before and after having the food.
  • Prevent eating out in fast foods and low-quality hotels.

Food Restrictions

People affected by jaundice should avoid fat rich foods like eggs, yogurt, curd, butter, ghee. Because the liver will be badly affected during jaundice and it will take very long time to digest fat rich foods. Jaundice patients should consume easily digestible foods like rice, steamed vegetables, porridge etc. Additionally, they can consume tender coconut, buttermilk, sugarcane juice, glucose, and fruit juices.

Hepatitis-B Jaundice

It occurs due to Hepatitis B virus. And it is really dangerous.

Ways through which this Jaundice Occurs

This virus spreads through blood, breast feeding, sperm, and fluid secretions in the vagina. When a pregnant woman has this type of jaundice, her fetus will have it as well. It spreads through sex and through blood transfusion. It spreads when syringes used on the infected person is not distilled or cleaned properly and it is used on a normal person.

Effects of Hepatitis B

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting, fever, diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Eyes and skin will turn pale yellow in color.
  • Yellow colored urination
  • White colored pooping
  • Itching sensation in the skin
  • Excessive pain in the joints

These symptoms will disappear after some time. But the disease will slowly start to progress and become more aggressive. You will not notice any signs of the disease progressing. But as the days go by this will lead to Liver Cirrhosis, and liver cancer. This could be life threatening.

What are its effects on Pregnant women?

It can lead to loss of consciousness of coma during labor pain. Additionally, it can lead to urinary infections.

What are its effects on the fetus?

  • There can be a miscarriage.
  • Premature birth.
  • The fetus can die during pregnancy.

Is there any Vaccine?

There is no medication or treatment that will completely cure Hepatitis B. But there is vaccination that completely prevents Hepatitis B. Woman can take this before pregnancy.

If the mother has Hepatitis or jaundice during delivery, it can spread to the baby as well. To stop this the baby should be taken Hepatitis B immunoglobulin vaccine with in 12 hours of its birth. Along with this Hepatitis B vaccination should also be administered. Both these vaccinations should be administered in separate thighs.

Premature Birth of a Baby

If there is premature baby birth, and the baby weighs less than 2 kgs, then the first installment of the vaccination should not be administered immediately after its birth. The first installment of the vaccination can be had with 30 days of the birth. Second vaccination can be administered within 45 days of the birth. And the third vaccination can be had after 6 months of baby’s birth.

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