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What is risk of Hep C transmission from mother to child?

What is the transmission rate of Hep C from mother to child. I have had Hep C for 15 years with no symptoms. I have a fairly low viral load which I understand to be the determinant of babies transmitting hep c from their mothers.

Dr. Rodriquez writes--

This is a tough one, as many factors can contribute to neuropathy in coinfected persons, including antiretroviral medications, diabetes, and hcv itself through a related condition known as cryoglobulinemia. MR

From Jules Levin: In large Italian study 5% of pregnant women transmitted HCV to their newborns. When HIV was also present the transmission rate increased to 17%. I believe that high HCV viral load and the presence of STDs or HIV increase the risk of transmission from mother to child. A recent study showed if the pregnant women has HIV and HCV treating her for HIV with HIV medications (HAART) may reduce risk for transmission. The following study was reported at the recent DDW Conference and suggests that invasive procedures during birth process such as using forceps, procedures which may draw blood, may create risk of transmission.

See this article: Mother to Child Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus: A Case-Control Study of Risk Factors

Dr Chung writes:

You are quite correct. the risk is low, <5% in the overwhelming majority of studies performed on this subject. If you are planning to be pregnant soon and have HIV, you may consider reducing this low risk even further with antiviral therapy. If you are already pregnant, you can monitor your child with hcv rna tests in the first 6 months to be certain transmission has not occurred. RC Ask our Experts All Questions