|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)
- 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
- Yellowed or overly pale skin
- Abnormally slow or fast heartbeat
- Bruising or bleeding
- Cool, clammy skin
- Blood tests
- Blood and urine cultures
- Lumbar puncture —to evaluate cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain and spinal cord
- Samples of skin lesions
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 June 26, 2015. Accessed September 15, 2015.
Late-onset neonatal sepsis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 26, 2015. Accessed September 15, 2015.
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 September 15, 2015.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2015 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -