Most infections in newborn babies are caused by bacteria, and some by viruses. A mother’s birth canal contains bacteria, especially if they have an active infection. During childbirth, the baby can swallow or breathe in the fluid in the birth canal, and bacteria or viruses can get into their lungs and blood.
How do newborn babies get bacterial infections?
Some of the most common are sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis. Babies usually get the bacteria from their mothers during birth — many pregnant women carry these bacteria in the rectum or vagina, where they can easily pass to the newborn if the mother hasn’t been treated with antibiotics.
How do you prevent bacterial infections in babies?
There are things you can do to help protect your baby against the common infectious illnesses we talk about in this information:
- Wash your hands thoroughly. …
- Use disposable tissues. …
- Keep your baby’s environment clean. …
- Avoid people who are unwell. …
- Go smoke free. …
- Look, don’t touch.
How common are infections in newborns?
Bacterial infection is a common cause of illness in newborn babies and is treated with antibiotics. Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a common type of bacteria which is the most frequent cause of serious infection in newborn babies. Around one in 1,000 babies in the UK develops a GBS infection.
What infections can a baby be born with?
Newborn sepsis is most often caused by bacteria. But other germs can also cause it. A baby may become infected before birth if your amniotic fluid is infected. During delivery, the newborn may be exposed to an infection in the birth canal.
When do babies need antibiotics?
Antibiotics do little to speed up your child’s recovery from most common infections. However if your child has a more serious bacterial infection such as meningitis or pneumonia they will require treatment with antibiotics.
Do bacterial infections go away on their own?
Even without antibiotics, most people can fight off a bacterial infection, especially if symptoms are mild. About 70 percent of the time, symptoms of acute bacterial sinus infections go away within two weeks without antibiotics.
Why would a newborn baby need antibiotics?
Early in an infection, babies can look very well but they can become sick very quickly. If your baby is at increased risk of infection, or is showing mild signs of infection, then we start antibiotics to try to prevent them from developing symptoms of serious illness.
What causes infection in premature babies?
Babies can also get localized infections under the skin called abscesses or infections of the skin. Infections in babies can be caused by bacteria (most common), viruses, or fungi. Infections can start before birth, near the time of birth, or while the baby is in the nursery.
Why do babies need antibiotics at birth?
Your baby is receiving antibiotics because of risk factors or signs that suggested that your baby may have a bacterial infection. As part of the birth process, all babies go from the sterile environment inside the uterus, protected by mother’s immune system, to the outside world where they encounter numerous bacteria.