Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Infection Related to Breast Milk

Paul A. Byrne, Carol Miller, Kathy Justus
Breastfeeding Medicine. 2006, 1(4): 263-270.


Group B streptococcus is currently the most common cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns. How should mothers whose breast milk cultures show growth of this microorganism be managed regarding breastfeeding? This case study discusses the possible transfer of group B streptococcus to a preterm infant from mother’s milk. It also describes the process that was taken to preserve the breastfeeding experience while the infant was treated. The questions provoked during this investigation prompted the authors to revise procedures in their special care nursery for dealing with infants and mothers presenting with signs of infection. In this case, providing treatment for the mother and infant and withholding breast milk from the infant until cultures were negative, while supporting the mother’s milk supply, made it possible for this mother to continue to breastfeed.