|Spread of Infection|
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- Premature birth—more than 3 weeks before due date
- Early labor—more than 3 weeks before your due date
- Fetal distress before birth
- Infant has a very low birth weight
- Fetus has a bowel movement before birth and fetal stool is in the uterus
- Amniotic fluid surrounding the infant has a bad smell or the infant has a bad smell right after being born
- Labor complications resulting in traumatic or premature delivery
- Water that broke more than 18 hours before giving birth
- Fever or other infections during labor
- Need for a catheter for a long time while you are pregnant
- Presence of group B streptococcal bacteria in vaginal or rectal areas
- Many courses of prenatal steroids
- Prolonged internal monitoring during labor and delivery
- Fever or frequent changes in temperature
- Breathing rapidly, difficulty breathing, or periods of no breathing (apnea)
- Lethargy (abnormal sleepiness)
- Poor feeding from breast or bottle
- Decreased or absent urination
- Bloated abdomen
- Vomiting yellowish material
- Extreme redness around the belly button
- Skin rashes
- Difficulty waking your infant or unusual sleepiness
- Jaundiced or overly pale skin
- Abnormally slow or fast heartbeat
- Bruising or bleeding
- Cool, clammy skin
Antibiotics can control dangerous bacteria in the mother. It will prevent the spread of bacteria during pregnancy or birth to the infant. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics if:
- The birth mother has previously given birth to an infant with neonatal sepsis.
- You have had a positive bacterial infection test before your due date.
- Breastfeeding may also help prevent sepsis in some infants.
- Follow steps to prevent premature labor or birth. This can include proper prenatal care, avoiding drugs and alcohol, and eating a healthy balanced diet.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Sick Kids—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.sickkids.ca
Early-onset neonatal sepsis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 3, 2013. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Kleigman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2004.
Late-onset neonatal sepsis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 17, 2014. Accessed August 21, 2014.
Neonatal sepsis (sepsis neonatorum). The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/infections%5Fin%5Fneonates/neonatal%5Fsepsis.html. Updated May 2013. Accessed August 21, 2014.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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