What is it?
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs. It is usually caused by an infection, but can be difficult to diagnose in a newborn, due to the difficulty of obtaining secretions.
The doctor will listen to your baby’s chest with a stethoscope and may also ask for a chest X-ray to confirm the diagnosis. Early neonatal pneumonia is mainly caused by group B streptococcal bacteria. Your baby may contract pneumonia while in the womb or after birth. A baby with pneumonia before he or she is 48 hours old has usually acquired it during or before birth.
The baby may need antibiotics delivered directly into the vein to help fight the infection. If the baby’s oxygen levels are low, he or she may also need oxygen to help with breathing. The oxygen comes through a face mask or nasal cannula. Common antibiotics used to treat pneumonia include cefotaxime, flucloxacillin and gentamicin.