Caesarean section is an operative resolution of labor. It is necessary in cases where a woman cannot give birth naturally due to anatomical features, diseases transmitted vertically, pathologies of the child. Today, 1/3 of children are born in this way. Babies are born weak after surgery. Due to poor immunity, they are susceptible to various infections.

Often, after a cesarean section, a newborn has pneumonia, which poses a serious danger to the baby.  

Risk factors

Inflammation of the lungs in infants after a cesarean section develops due to weak immunity. In addition, newborns after the operation are deprived of the protective flora of the mother, since they did not pass through the birth canal.

Infants have features in the structure of the respiratory system. They are not yet fully developed, therefore, they are susceptible to the penetration of infectious agents.

The causes of pneumonia in newborns are:

  • a weakened immune system;
  • concomitant pathologies;
  • premature birth;
  • underdevelopment of the lungs;
  • the operation itself;
  • infections inside the maternity hospital.

All children after cesarean section are susceptible to pneumonia, but to a greater extent:

  • underweight;
  • born prematurely;
  • with congenital pathologies of the respiratory system.

If pneumonia began to develop at home, after being discharged from the hospital, its occurrence is due to streptococcal, adenovirus infections, and advanced colds.

Mechanism of occurrence

A newborn can be infected from the mother even during intrauterine development. If a woman has pathogenic agents in her body, they can penetrate the placental membrane and infect the fetus. In this case, the woman in labor may not have pneumonia herself, but be only a carrier of the infection.

Infection can occur immediately after surgery if there is a patient with an infection in the hospital. However, this happens extremely rarely, since the sterility of the medical institution is carefully monitored. After birth, the child is under the round-the-clock supervision of doctors.

Clinical manifestations

Pneumonia after cesarean section with nosocomial infection is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • constant regurgitation ;
  • cyanosis of the skin;
  • enlargement of the spleen, liver;
  • disturbances in the coordination of breathing;
  • problems with sucking and breathing reflexes;
  • jaundice due to problems with the formation of bile and its secretion;
  • breathing disorders;
  • high fever;
  • poor appetite;
  • digestive problems;
  • cough.

When infected during intrauterine development, the following clinical picture is observed:

  • cyanosis of the skin, mucous membranes of the mouth;
  • the first cry is barely audible or completely absent;
  • breathing is noisy, nervous, wheezing;
  • hyperthermia up to 40 degrees;
  • slow reflexes;
  • swelling of the legs;
  • vomiting, regurgitation;
  • a sharp drop in body weight;
  • slow healing of the navel;
  • cough.

Inflammation of the lungs in infants after a cesarean section is difficult. A newborn may be in extremely poor condition, which requires resuscitation (hypoxia, malformations).


Diagnostic measures to identify pneumonia in newborns after cesarean section are as follows:

  • determination of the primary symptomatology of the pathological condition;
  • collecting anamnesis of the features of the course of the disease;
  • visual and physical examinations;
  • laboratory tests;
  • radiography.

It is quite difficult to identify pneumonia in a newborn, since the baby cannot tell what worries him.


Complex therapy is carried out in stationary conditions under 24-hour medical supervision. Despite the fact that taking antibiotics is undesirable for a newborn, they are prescribed for pneumonia. Otherwise, the body will not be able to cope with the infection.

To strengthen the defenses, immunostimulants are prescribed. To reduce the temperature, antipyretic drugs are prescribed. To relieve coughing attacks and better sputum discharge – antitussive and mucolytic drugs.
Some parents believe that antibiotic therapy will only harm their baby. This opinion is erroneous, without antibacterial drugs, the immune system simply cannot cope with disease-causing agents. As a result, pneumonia will develop into a more severe form, complications will arise.

Caring for a child during illness

During illness, you need to monitor the nutrition of the child. His body is weakened, so he needs mother’s milk, which contains elements useful for immunity. With pneumonia, the baby cannot suck normally, so he needs to be applied to the breast often and wait until he is full. If for some reason it was necessary to stop lactation and transfer the newborn to artificial feeding, it is important to follow the doctor’s recommendations and the dosage of the mixture.

The baby is recommended to take baths with salt and decoctions of medicinal herbs, as well as shifting from one side to the other. This prevents diaper rash from occurring.

With pneumonia after a cesarean section, the doctor prescribes the baby:

  • massotherapy;
  • physiotherapy;
  • special exercises.

With the correct treatment regimen, if the infection occurs intrauterinely, the treatment lasts about three weeks. With nosocomial infection – about ten days. Even if the child feels better a couple of days after the start of treatment, the medication cannot be canceled. This can only be done by a doctor.


With timely therapy, the risk of death is minimized. The prognosis of the disease depends on the following factors:

  • how the infection occurred;
  • the state of the immune system;
  • species of pathogen;
  • how quickly the pathological condition was detected and effective therapy started;
  • compliance with all recommendations of the attending physician.

If pneumonia in a newborn is detected at the initial stages of development, the correct treatment regimen is selected, the prognosis is favorable in most cases. However, there remains a small risk of atelectasis, tissue fibrosis. Over time, these pathological conditions can provoke obstructive pulmonary diseases of a chronic nature, emphysema. Lack of oxygen leads to a lag in the mental and physical development of the child.

Possible complications

Pneumonia can affect both organs at once. In this case, the baby will need artificial ventilation of the lungs: a special tube is inserted into the trachea through which oxygen enters the lungs.

The following consequences of pneumonia in newborns after a cesarean section may occur:

  • abscess;
  • pleurisy;
  • heart and respiratory failure;
  • pathological conditions of blood vessels;
  • accumulation of air and gases in the pleural cavity;
  • hemorrhage in the lungs;
  • adrenal insufficiency;
  • sepsis;
  • jaundice;
  • bronchopulmonary dysplasia (most often occurs in premature babies); 
  • anemia;
  • rickets.

If you do not start to treat the pathological condition in a timely manner or do it incorrectly, without following the recommendations and instructions of the pediatrician, everything can end sadly – the child is in danger of death.