Heartbreaking: MMA Fighter’s Newborn Daughter Dies of Listeria Infection

Chael Sonnen’s baby girl died just days after her premature birth, while his wife remains very ill due to the food-borne infection.

Incredibly sad news: MMA fighter Chael Sonnen’s newborn daughter has died, according to FOX411. Blauna Dian Sonnen reportedly passed away just days after her birth. 

According to reports, Chael and his wife, Brittany Sonnen, welcomed the baby 10 weeks prematurely on Saturday. She fought for her life until Wednesday, when she tragically passed. The cause of death? Listeria infection.

"I am very sad to confirm the passing of Chael Sonnen’s baby daughter, Blauna Dian Sonnen," Chael’s MMA rep told FOX411. "An investigation is underway as to how Brittany and Blauna were infected with listeria. We are informed that two food product recalls occurred earlier this year in the Northwest region due to listeria.” Brittany, who is also the mother of the couple’s son Thero, remains “very ill.”

We’ve reported several listeria outbreaks recently (Green Cuisine’s pasta salad, Starbuck’s sandwiches, Papa Johns’ salad, Trader Joe’s products, and batches of hot dogs and corn dogs). While the harmful bacteria, which can grow in refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods, can lead to health problems for anyone, pregnant women are particularly susceptible to its dangers. Women who are expecting are about 10 times more likely to developing listeriosis, the illness associated with listeria exposure, than other healthy adults, and are advised to avoid eating soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk products as well as ready-to-eat meats like deli meats and hot dogs. Find more safety tips on the FDA’s website. 

Though many pregnant women infected with listeriosis don’t feel sick, symptoms can include fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea or upset stomach, headache, stiff neck, confusion, and loss of balance. If you experience any of the symptoms, see your doctor right away. Regardless of experiencing symptoms, the listeriosis infection can be passed to the fetus and lead to premature delivery, stillbirth, and miscarriage. Death of the mother is also possible in more serious cases.
Chael and his family are doing their part to prevent this from happening to other expectant mothers and their babies. "The family hopes to prevent any other families from contracting the disease. Representatives for the Sonnen family have already communicated with local, state, and federal agencies,” Chael’s rep said.

Our thoughts are with Chael and his family during this terrible time.