Newborn Baby Struggled For Her Life Due To A Serious Infection Passed On From Her Unknowing Mom

Date May 22, 2019

Expectant mothers undergo numerous examinations during pregnancy, and even when only planning it. Still, there are a number of diseases that do not have any symptoms and don’t affect the mommy in any way but pose a potential threat to the baby.

In May 2019, The Sun reported a story of one mother, Bethany Foss, who wanted to warn expectant mothers about one such a disease. Her daughter, Daisey-May, was born perfectly healthy, but after a few hours, her condition rapidly deteriorated: the baby started grunting with each breath.

During labor, the mother passed on to her a group B streptococcus infection she didn’t even know she had. It came as a shock because her two elder children were completely healthy. The girl rapidly developed meningitis, as one of the potential complications of this infection. Fortunately, the doctors managed to save the baby’s life, and soon she was discharged from the hospital. However, the disease caused severe brain damage: Daisey-May has epilepsy.

Group B strep is a bacterial infection that is found in the vagina or rectum of 1 in every 5 women without the carrier being aware of it. The risk of passing it on to the newborn is only 1 in 2,000.

Symptoms that a mother can be a carrier of streptococcus include:

  • frequent urinary tract infections during pregnancy;
  • preterm labor (before week 37);
  • fever during childbirth;
  • rupture of the amniotic membrane 18 or more hours before the onset of labor.

Although the risk of transmitting the disease to the baby is minute, just in case, you should know about possible complications: the rapid development of pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and stillbirth.

Group B strep in a baby is manifested by the following symptoms:

  • primary – fever, lethargy, difficulties with feeding;
  • secondary – uneven breathing, unstable heart rate, irritability, gastrointestinal and renal dysfunctions.

Many clinics offer pregnant women to be checked for streptococcal infections, but sometimes this issue is not given due importance. Usually, the diagnosis requires vaginal/rectal swab test, and the results can be ready within 48-72 hours.

Newborn Baby Struggled For Her Life Due To A Serious Infection Passed On From Her Unknowing Momwavebreakmedia /

Despite the fact that not every infected woman transmits the disease to the baby during labor, preventive measures can and should be taken. Generally, at the very beginning of labor and later, the mother receives antibiotics every 4 hours, and the baby is often given appropriate treatment after birth.

Newborn Baby Struggled For Her Life Due To A Serious Infection Passed On From Her Unknowing MomDmitry Kalinovsky /

It is somewhat different in the case of caesarean section. If the surgery is planned, and the process of natural childbirth has not begun yet, that is the amniotic bladder remains intact, antibiotics are not mandatory. However, it is certainly necessary to treat the infection in the future.

Newborn Baby Struggled For Her Life Due To A Serious Infection Passed On From Her Unknowing MomJeerapong Tosa-ngad /

The devastating consequences of group B strep infection can be avoided by corresponding preventive measures. And given how common this disease is, it is highly recommended to get checked when planning pregnancy or during it.

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.