Neonatal Infections In Your Baby : Causes, Signs & Cure
Created by Tasneem Sariya Updated on May 09, 2018
Neonatal infection refers to infections of the new born baby (neonate) within four weeks of birth. Infections in new born babies are caused due to the weak immune system of the baby, which at times is unable to fight off the bacteria, virus and parasites that are the main cause of the illness.
What Is Neonatal Infection?Simply put, any infection that a new born develops is termed as neonatal infection. The infections could be developed during pregnancy, in utero (while the baby is still in the uterus), in the birth canal (during delivery) or after the baby is born. Some of the diseases are sepsis in new born babies, pneumonia, and meningitis which are caused by different bacterium groups, such as, GBS, E.coli, Listerisos. Other infections in new born babies include conjunctivitis and candidiasis.
Causes Of Neonatal InfectionInfections in babies can be developed when the child is still inside the womb or also after birth. A mother’s birth canal consists of bacteria, especially if the mother is infected too. In cases, when the mother herself has the infection, the bacteria or virus enter the baby inside the womb. In case of an infection acquired after birth, the main cause is the weak immune system of the baby, which is unable to fight back the infection. Hence breastfeeding is highly encouraged, to help the child build a stronger immunity and avoid external infections.
Neonatal Infection Signs And SymptomsNeonatal infection symptoms are as follows:
- Very high or very low body temperature
- Difficulty in feeding
- A change in skin color or skin rashes
- Excessive sleeping or very little sleep
- Lots of crying
How To Cure Neonatal Infection?Neonatal infection treatment varies depending on the type of the disease as well as the intensity of the infection. When you find any of the above symptoms or change in behavior of your baby, you must visit the doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. A number of tests may be prescribed by the pediatrician for diagnosis, such as, tests for blood count and blood culture, urine test, X ray or spinal tap.
For bacterial infections, antibiotics are usually prescribed and help the baby to repurcate in time. The doctor may sometimes give the antibiotics through IV (intravenous infusion) for faster and effective treatment. In case the infection is more serious, the child will be hospitalized or kept in a nursery in an incubator to regulate body temperature or attached to a cardiorespiratory monitor if the baby has difficulty in breathing.
Besides, just medication, the baby may need other instruments attached for their ease, such as, a tube through the nose or mouth for feeding, extra oxygen or other VI fluids for nourishment.
Prevention Of Neonatal InfectionThe best way to prevent neonatal infection is to make sure that the pregnant mother is free of any infections. The doctors prescribe various tests during pregnancy to ensure that the mother is free from harmful illness and detection of any leads to immediate medication. Besides, the maternal tests, expectant mothers should keep a few simple health and hygiene rules in mind, such as, washing and then cooking food, washing hands regularly, avoiding contact with animal feces and practicing safe sex.
However, sometimes in spite of all precautions, the baby may be affected by neonatal diseases. As parents, follow the instructions of the doctor and though it may be heart breaking to watch your little angel strapped in a hospital bed, have faith and courage to see through this phase and emerge victorious.
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