Maternal Infections and Birth Injuries

The Risks: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A few major risks can come from a maternal infection, but it largely depends on the type of infection that the mother is dealing with. For example, your child could get a sexually transmitted disease due to exposure to maternal blood. This exposure could lead to illness or even death. Based on medical research, 8,000 new cases of women infected with HIV happen each year. Some of those women could be pregnant. When they have a child, the child can be exposed to the infection through the mother’s blood and could be born with HIV.

The mother could also give their child herpes or genital warts. Genital warts, in particular, can cause issues with the labor, which could lead to a birth injury.


Toxoplasmosis is one of the types of maternal infections that can occur. The child gets exposed to Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that the mother gets from exposure to feces, raw meat, or undercooked food. However, the consequences to the child can be crushing because the child could end up with physical or intellectual disabilities.

Bacterial Infections

Several bacterial infections could infect a mother, including streptococcal disease, syphilis, salmonella, and gonorrhea. When these bacterial infections occur in the mother, they can spread to the placenta where the child is located. As this happens, it could lead to severe illness, deformity, fetal death, or premature death.


Chorioamnionitis happens when there is an infection in the placental tissue. There is a much lower likelihood of this happening when you have a full-term birth. But the risk goes up with preterm births because these children are more vulnerable to infection. The causes of this type of infection are Group B Streptococcus and E. coli. When chorioamnionitis infects your child, it could lead to a blood infection.

The treatment will depend on the type of infection. In some cases, unfortunately, there is no way to treat it. It would help if you took as many precautionary measures as possible against infection because a birth injury like cerebral palsy can last for a lifetime. Not to mention, you will most likely have to seek financial help due to how expensive treatment can be. As soon as you learn of an infection, it would be best if you began treatment immediately. This can lower the risk that infection will spread and cause problems for your infant. When you leave an infection untreated, it can lead to serious complications for your child.