Originally Posted by hollyann
The other day, my doula sent me a few articles about how to avoid testing positive for Group B Strep, so one wouldn't need to take antibiotics during birth. Mostly the suggestion is just eating yogurt and lots of raw garlic a few weeks before the test. I'm wondering if any of you have heard of this method and I guess I'm wondering if you still have Group B Strep if you do these things and test negative, or if it actually makes it go away. I don't want to do anything to put baby at risk so If I need an antibiotic to protect baby, that would be more important than my dislike of taking antibiotics. What do you all think?
Well, the first thing I suggest you do is read up on GBS, so you understand what you're looking at. Because nothing makes it "go away". Not antibiotics, not natural measures. It is completely normal for your body (and all bodies) to have GBS present in/on the body. It is one of the bacteria that we carry around on a regular basis, along with hundreds of others. It is naturally occurring in the GI tract, and commonly found around the anus for this reason. These measures are intended to minimize it, not eliminate it.
Then I'd start asking questions. What is your HCP's testing protocol (how do they do the test - what locations do they swab, do they do it or do you)? What is their testing threshold (how many bacteria present - some have a threshold of zero, some have a threshold of a few hundred/thousand)? When do they do the test (36 wks, 38 wks, labor)? What are your options if you refuse the test? What are your options if you test positive? What are the protocols for your delivery location or your backup delivery location?
And then there are things you need to know about GBS on top of that. Some the pps have already shared...
A test done weeks before labor means nothing. A positive at that time can easily change to negative in the intervening time, and a negative can become positive. This is one of the BIG complaints about the entire concept of the GBS testing. This is the big reason why most people have no issue with doing what they have to in order to pass the test - it's worth is questionable at best.
A hibiclens douche in labor has been proven to be as or more effective as IV antibiotics during labor at preventing GBS colonization. It also doesn't have the negative side effects of antibiotics. It is not widely available (on-site), but if you can get your practitioner to agree to it, you can order it/bring it yourself.
There is an "instant" GBS test available, that does not need to be done in advance of labor. It will tell your practitioner whether you are colonized at that moment, rather than weeks before. It is not widely available, but you can ask your practitioner about it. Chances are the answer will be no though.
And then the things to know about infection in general:
Once your water breaks, or you suspect your water has broken, do not allow unnecessary vaginal exams. Ask what they hope to learn from this exam, and what they plan to do with it. If it cannot be avoided, then insist on a sterile exam rather than a "regular" (non-sterile) exam. Anyone who argues with you on that point needs to be read the riot act, IMO, and definitely doesn't have your (or baby's) best interests in mind.
Allowing anyone to rupture your membranes or insert anything into your uterus (internal monitoring is a big one) is a road to infection. Avoid it whenever possible.
If you have the option, use a peri bottle after peeing during labor. Pat, don't wipe.
And ultimately, if you do have to have antibiotics during labor, be prepared to counteract their effects. Probiotics for yourself and baby are crucial - you can open a capsule and sprinkle a bit on your nipple a few times a day before nursing.