Maternal Infections

What Infections Can Cause Birth Defects?

There are a few infections in particular that are known to cause birth defects in your child. Some of these maternal infections include:

  • Syphilis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B Virus
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Group B Strep
  • Chicken Pox

These are some of the most dangerous infections to your child when they go undiagnosed and untreated.


As a sexually transmitted disease, you can transmit this to the child during pregnancy. It can also happen during the birthing process as the child goes through the placenta, the sores, or the vaginal canal. These infections can lead to vision problems, hearing loss, teeth malformations, neurological problems, and stillbirth. Important to note, this disease can lie dormant for decades only to resurface later.

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection that takes place within the urethra. The symptoms include a strong urge to urinate excessively, cloudy, malodorous urine, and burning with urination. A urinary tract infection should never go untreated. This adds to the birth injury risk factors, and it can spread to the kidneys where you might have a premature birth for the child. Most of the time, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat this condition.

Hepatitis B Infection

Another illness can cause birth disorder; this infection can be hazardous when you pass it onto the child. That’s because your child has a 90 percent risk of developing a lifelong disability. You should be tested as early as possible for this and receive a vaccination for it.


Also called German Measles, this common childhood virus has the potential to cause a lot of destruction to your newborn infant. In fact, some of the most common health problems associated with it and infants include:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Vision problems
  • Brain inflammation
  • Congenital heart problems
  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Later-in-life diabetes

Any one of these maternal infections increases the risk of birth injury. You should seek financial help if you find yourself in a position unable to pay for injuries that came as a result of maternal infection. When you’re pregnant and have an infection, you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible because what’s benign to you might be more dangerous to your child. You don’t want to transmit the infection to the fetus.