Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection due to mother-to-child transmission during the perinatal period remains an important global health problem. Despite standard passive-active immunoprophylaxis with hepatitis B immunoglobulin and hepatitis B vaccine in neonates, up to 8.5% of newborns still acquire HBV infection. Thus, management of chronic HBV during pregnancy and strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission are important steps in eradicating or reducing the global burden of chronic HBV infection. To date, the management of HBV infection in pregnancy still needs careful attention because of some controversial aspects, including the influence of pregnancy on the course of HBV replication, safety of antiviral prophylaxis with nucleus(t)ide analogs, postpartum flares of hepatitis after delivery, and the safety of breastfeeding. In this review, we highlight these important issues of preventive strategies in the perinatal period.
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