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If you were GBS+, how did that change your HB plans?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm 38 weeks as of yesterday and just tested positive for GBS, and I'm going to be birthing at home. I've been doing a ton of research on the pros & cons of abx (which my mw could administer if I choose) and other GBS treatments, as well as lots of methods to get rid of/reduce the GBS that I have in my body right now. But, I'm still wondering what, if anything, did you other homebirthin mamas do differently when/if you found out you were GBS+?


Did you automatically choose a hospital setting, give yourself a more strict timeline for hospital transfer after your water broke, choose not to use a tub, choose not to have any vaginal exams, choose abx, not do anything differently at all, or something else? TIA!

post #2 of 9

I was GBS+ for my 2nd DD's birth.  She was a home waterbirth.  Every 4 hours of labor I used Hibicleanse with no issues. 


I wouldn't personally do antibiotics given my history of yeast issues and the thrush I struggled with after DD1 was born. 


I still had vag. exams when I wanted them and honestly it wasn't even a big issue.  I had a pretty fast labor though.  Water broke around 9 p.m., active labor started around midnight, she was born a little after 4 a.m.

post #3 of 9

I was GBS+ with my homebirth and GBS was in my urine at 36 weeks - which indicates a higher level of colonization.  I did shadow care with my family doc who highly recommended abx which would mean a hospital birth as direct entry midwives cannot administer abx at home in my state.


Anyway, after doing research and talking to my midwife, I felt pretty comfortable with continuing with the homebirth. I immeidately started taking more probiotics. I was meticulous about personal hygene after going to the bathroom. I also started a hibiclens douche once/day at 38 weeks (midwife recommended).  I did the hibiclens wash every 4 hours during labor and limited vaginal exams (probably only had two during labor and only near the end of the labor).  Although I didn't have a waterbirth or birth tub, my midwife actually recommended a waterbirth as she had seen some resaerch that indicated that a water birth could help in preventing gbs transfer to the baby. My water didn't break until I was pushing but if I would have been more cautious if my water had broken early on and probably would have concidered a transfer if it was approaching 20+ hours.


I also became more educated on GBS and what the symptoms look like so I could catch it as early as possible.  I was taking my dd's temp every few hours in the first few days - a little overkill but I had one of the new temporal thermometers and it was super easy to take her temp while whe was sleeping.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Crunchy & Bird, thanks for your input. I have decided against abx as well, and am on a probiotic & garlic regemine right now. I'll be sure to ask my mw about Hibiclense during birth. And I am hoping that like you Bird, my water doesn't break until late in labor, so I don't have to transfer just because of the clock!

post #5 of 9

Please be careful with Hibiclens or any chlorhexidine product.  It can cause permanent eye damage and deafness.



General Advice

  • Keep medication out of ears, eyes, and mouth. Serious and permanent eye injury and deafness may occur if used improperly.


post #6 of 9

I allowed my midwife to administer the dose of antibiotics, but as it turned out, I probably didn't need to.  I pushed through several contractions with my water still intact, and eventually asked my MW to break the  bag so that he would come down.  As soon as she broke it, I had him with the next contraction.  


I haven't decided what I'll do this time around though.... 

post #7 of 9

I haven't gotten my test results back yet (was just swabbed yesterday), but regardless of the outcome, I will not be doing antibiotics.  There is lots of information out that shows IF baby gets sick with GBS that they will respond better to antibiotics AFTER birth.  Taking them during labor can cause antibiotic resistance as well has unnecessary problems with yeast for both mom and baby.  http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth/treating-group-b-strep


My previous 3 pregnancies I never even took the test.  I took it this time because 1) my mw is new and wants to cover her backside in the event of a hospital transfer and doesn't want the hassle of problems for not having me tested  2) she doesn't care if I actually do the antibiotics or not and won't push them on me if I am +.....which I doubt that I am as I've been taking garlic and probiotics for months and months just for immune boosting, which also happens to be part of the GBS protocal to BE GBS - before the test is ever administered.  In my other 3 pregnancies I just waived the test altogether because I wouldn't have consented to the antibiotics anyway and there was no point.

post #8 of 9

I'm planning my first homebirth with this pregnancy and am already thinking about this issue because I tested GBS+ at 36 weeks with my son, but then tested negative at 38 weeks after following some of my MW's instructions. Even though the second test came back negative and I didn't "need" abx during labor at the hospital, I had still planned on refusing abx if the test had been positive again and had already discussed this with my MW (who was great about kicking the nurse with the IV cart of the room). In the weeks leading up to labor I took probiotics, GSE 3x/day, extra echinacea and vit.C, and did everything I could do boost my immune system - and it worked!  Because GBS levels fluctuate in your system and the test results aren't always useful, I'll be doing the same regimen again this time around regardless of my test results, just to be on the safe side and to make sure that the birth canal is as healthy as possible for my baby.



post #9 of 9

I'm not getting tested.  This is my third pregnancy and I am ridiculously healthy.  I am also expecting a pretty short labor (the last one was precipitous).  Under the circumstances I expect for birth (short labor, term baby, water breaking less than 12 hours before birth, no complications) risk of infection are extremely low, even if I was GBS+.  If my water breaks way before I go into labor, I go into labor prematurely, I run a fever during labor, etc, my midwives and I will discuss whether I need to go to the hospital.

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