Bacterial infections can often occur in babies due to their vulnerable immune systems. That is why breast milk is so important for babies because it provides the antibodies needed to fight these infections.
Bacterial infections in newborns can be quite worrying because their condition tends to worsen quickly. Infected newborns may require intensive care and treatment. Most babies respond to treatment promptly. A doctor may recommend an antibiotic course after diagnosing the condition.
Common infections in babies?
Some of the common bacterial infections that can occur in the newborn are listed below:
- Conjunctivitis – Conjunctivitis caused by bacterial infections affecting the baby’s eyes, inflammation of the eyelids. An infected eye can secrete a yellow fluid that causes the eyes to stick together.
- Listeriosis – Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria. Listeriosis can be passed from an infected mother to her newborn baby that can lead to life-threatening complications.
- Streptococcal Infection – Streptococcal infection or streptococcal infection attacks the baby when bacteria are passed from mother to them at birth. Streptococcal infection in a newborn can lead to complications such as meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis (blood infection).
- Intestinal infection – Bacteria can enter the baby’s digestive tract causing diarrhea. Babies with diarrhea may have related symptoms such as vomiting and stomach pain.
Symptoms of a bacterial infection in a newborn
Common symptoms of bacterial infections in babies can be:
- High fever
- Poor feeding
- Excessive sleepiness
- Uncomfortable for no apparent reason
- Shortness of breath
- Change your behavior like sleeping patterns
- Crying continuously
- The skin may become pale or appear in a rash
What causes bacterial infections?
Some causes of bacterial infections for babies are as follows:
- The unborn baby can come into contact with the bacteria in the birth canal of an infected mother during pregnancy.
- Bacterial infection can be passed from an infected mother to her newborn baby during birth.
- With the time when bacteria multiply, a newborn baby can become sick for a few days after birth.
- Babies can experience infections caused by both bacteria and viruses.
- The virus can enter a baby’s bloodstream even before birth.
- Newborn babies can become victims of cold and flu viruses due to weak immune systems.
- Newborn babies can easily become infected when they come into contact with an infected infection
- Early detection of infection and prompt treatment is the key to effective treatment of bacterial infections for your baby.
Diagnose your baby with a bacterial infection
In the case of the new baby, the condition can get worse quickly. Therefore, early treatment is essential. A doctor may do a few tests to diagnose a baby with a bacterial infection. While the results of the tests arrive, the doctor can initiate treatment by prescribing an antibiotic course during that time. Your doctor may recommend the following tests to achieve a diagnosis:
- Complete blood count (CBC): A sample of a newborn baby’s blood may be taken for a complete blood count. The CBC is performed to determine the specific number of different blood cells, paying particular attention to the white blood cell (WBC) count. A lower WBC count is an indication of the presence of certain infections in the body.
- Blood cultures: Blood cultures help find the presence of bacteria in the blood and determine its type. After a blood culture establishes the type of bacterial infection, the doctor can decide on the right treatment.
- Urine test: A urine test or a screening test kit can be performed to detect the nature of bacterial infection.
- Skin or eye brushing: The doctor may collect some samples from the infected area such as the eye and surrounding tissues for analysis.
- Chest X-ray: The baby may order a chest X-ray if the doctor suspects pneumonia.
- Spinal cord: A spinal cord or spinal puncture involves extracting a small sample of cerebrospinal fluid ( Cerebrospinal fluid), a clear liquid that buffers the cerebral spinal cord, brain, and central nervous system to regulate investigation.
Treatment of bacterial infections in infants
In the event that a newborn has a bacterial infection, a doctor can start treatment by prescribing an antibiotic. It is important to complete the antibiotic course prescribed by your doctor even if your baby starts to show signs of improvement. Antibiotics can be given to the baby through IV IV infusion that can provide precise antibiotic measures into the baby’s bloodstream.
In the incidence of bacterial infection in the infant’s stomach, if the baby is unable to consume IV liquid food can be given to the baby to ensure supply of essential nutrients and to avoid dehydration. In special cases such as bacterial infection in the infant’s bloodstream, doctors can monitor the baby’s breathing rate and heart rate to avoid any possible complications.
There is no harm in dealing with a new baby with extreme caution. If you suspect something is wrong with your baby, consult your doctor immediately instead of waiting for symptoms to manifest. Timely diagnosis and early treatment in the treatment of neonatal infections are very important.