Pregnancy Jaundice

A pregnant mother might have jaundice due to various causes. Some of them are related to pregnancy itself and others are the usual causes of jaundice developed during pregnancy. It may effect the health of the mother and also the child in different ways.

The common causes are .

Different kinds of viral hepatitis :

The viruses are hepatitis A, B, C, D,E & G. Among them, the hepatitis E viral infection may be serious. It causes about 50% of hepatitis during pregnancy It may cause sudden severe impairment or stoppage of liver function of the mother in about 20% cases (Acute Fulminant Hepatic failure).

Hepatitis B virus may be transmitted to the neonate leading to serious liver disease and its carrier state.

Other causes.

Accumulation of bile inside the Biliary channels (Intrahepatic cholestasis). It causes jaundice and itching.

Acute fatty liver.

Biliary obstruction by stone or other causes.

Toxaemia of pregnancy. (Eclampsia & pre-eclampsia is a serious problem in which the pregnant women might develop convulsion, fit, finally hepatic coma and multiorgan failure.)

Jaundice in pregnant condition should be considered seriously. Both the mother & the child at risk. Maternal mortality is about 10%-45%. There may be both still birth, premature and low birth weight baby, kernicterus and chances of foetal abnormality.

Some advise  :

The cause of the jaundice should be evaluated. Prompt & adequate measure to be taken to save the life of both mother and the child.

Incase of hepatitis B (HBV) virus positive mother and especially those with HbeAg positive. The neonate should receive hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) along with the 1st dose of hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth ( within 24 hours of birth). The child also should receive additional two doses of vaccine subsequently. The WHO recommended dose schedule is 1st day, 1st month & 6th month.

Hepatitis E virus positive mothers should be under strict follow up & measures  to be taken to prevent acute liver failure.

Remember: Pregnant mother should be under care of gynecologist and hepatologist.