Researchers have found no clear proof that any intervention reduces the risk for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. More than 40,000 children are born to HCV-positive women each year.
Up to 10 percent of those children are HCV-positive due to maternal transmission. Researchers reviewed published evidence on mode of delivery, labor management strategies, and breastfeeding practices to determine their effect on risk of mother-to-infant transmission of HCV. The researchers found no clear evidence that any of the interventions reduce the risk of transmission.
There was limited evidence that prolonged rupture of membranes could increase risk of mother-to-child transmission, suggesting that physicians should avoid prolonged rupture of membranes in women with HCV infection. The researchers found that avoidance of breastfeeding is not warranted to reduce risk of vertical transmission.