I keep forgetting to take test! We were going to do it a week ago ... personally, I don't mind getting the test or even taking precautionary antibiotics, if I were positive, BUT
(and this is a big BUT)
our MW has NEVER had an infection in over 20 years and over 1600 babies. She does have IV antibiotics if a mom chose to have the test and was positive, but none of that is required.
Now, here is what we learned a couple weeks ago: the infection rate is high in hospitals, but there is controversy about *how* the babies are getting those infections. There isn't hard-evidence to prove that it's a GBS+ mom who's responsible. There is another illness that is also to blame for newborn infections (e.coli). They don't test mom for it, and they don't even know how the babies are getting it. (me, I would suspect the *hospital*) I think there is even some debate about the antibiotic having much effect on e.coli at all! When they started testing moms and doing the antibiotic protocol, there wasn't a significant decrease in the hospital infection rate, by the way!
And, they can't test for either of these diseases fast enough to treat them specifically, so if your baby is sick, they're just going to treat it with broad-spectrum antibiotics. And, yes, these two infections are very very serious and must be treated quickly. While babies don't have specific symptoms that will tell you if your baby specifically has GBS or e.coli, there are certainly warning signs to look for to tell you your baby is sick with something.
**Note: every person will test GBS+ sometimes. Some research implies that we all "have" it up to half the time. Nobody knows for sure why or when you'll test positive, and healthy adults don't have any symptoms. Babies can get sick because it isn't *their* germ - even though it's in mom. The biggest factor in hospital infections: you being exposed to germs that aren't normal for *you*. The window of opportunity that affects birth is 5 weeks, so you want to test about 37-38 weeks for the greatest accuracy before birth. If you're having a hb, you want the test close to the end so that you have proof of negative results, in case of a transfer. If you transfer without the test at all, you will be treated as if you are positive and subject to the hospital protocol for that. Yes, you can refuse antibiotics, but they're going to make you feel like an evil parent.
A full-term baby born without interventions and vaginal exams has a practically no chance of getting sick *from these infections* and even less of a chance, when they're born at home. There isn't a time-frame for rupture and birth - but once rupture occurs, do NOT have any vag exams and check mom for fever.