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Childbirth Risks -- Infection of Mother or Child

Clip Number: 32 of 37
Presentation: Childbirth
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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A common complication during a vaginal delivery is an infection of the amniotic sac, fluid, and other tissues around the fetus. How do these become infected?
Sometimes, if your water breaks and you don't deliver your baby right away, this can cause an infection. If your water has been broken for more than 18 hours, and you have not delivered your baby, your chance of developing an infection like this is higher. And sometimes, an infection that is already present in the amniotic sac may CAUSE your water to break.
In any of these situations, the doctor will give you antibiotics through your IV and then work to deliver your baby and the placenta. Your baby will be tested for infection, and so will you. This type of infection usually has no long-term effects on the mother, as long as the baby is delivered within a reasonable time and antibiotics are given.
Other types of infections can occur after the delivery of the baby. The endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus, is the most common site and an infection can occur here in about 3 out of 100 pregnancies. But infections may also occur in the area outside the uterus - in the abdomen, bladder and kidneys. They are usually treated with antibiotics.
 

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