or Connect
Mothering › Groups › May 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Have GBS, really bummed, help me feel better?

Have GBS, really bummed, help me feel better?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hey all.

So no surprise to me I have not just a bacterial infection but GBS and I'm just shy of 20 weeks (with my first). I generally get BV infections on the regular and was crossing my fingers to not get them while pregnant. I knew I had some kind of infection going on about a month ago and did a home remedy of a weekly, twice a day, vinegar solution my MW recommended. It worked (or so I thought) but at my home visit with my MW last week I asked her to bring a testing swab just in case because I know my body and how it likes to hold onto to BV and I wanted to just check if I still had it.

 

So this is what she emailed me:

Typically we screen for this bug GBS between 35-37 weeks because it is important that we know if it is present when you will be in labor. It is important that if you have GBS in the vagina we treat it "one way or another" so that it cannot get to the baby. It is fortuitous that we found it this early and poses NO RISK at this time, however we now have the opportunity to treat it so it will not be present at the time you are in labor. Yay!! Here are some natural rx's you can try and at least we have an answer to your vaginitis concerns. Take Fem-dophilous as indicated on the bottle. If you are adventurous to the point of not minding garlic breath, one of the most effective treatments is to slit one to two cloves of garlic and place them in the vagina. You can leave them in there for 2 days and then change. You can be creative such as only wear them in the night or for that matter, only in the day depending on your sexual activity (maybe not with garlic-not very sexy). So try some of this during the remainder of the pregnancy until we get to 35 weeks when I will reculture you. Until then, just do as above.

 

So I'm sitting over here just getting myself bummed out. I emailed her back bombarding with her questions and I really just feel lost. I'm planning a homebirth and I know the homebirth midwifery model can be very different from others. I asked her, "if I still have it when it's go-time will I risk out of homebirth because I'll need an IV for antibiotics?". I've read about other ppl who go through the homebirth and get a syringe in the arm for 15 minutes at a time- OUCHIE!!!! That doesn't seem to jibe with the Bradley Method which I hope to pursue. (O.k, I'm being selfish...I know, I know...best interest of the babe....)

 

Has anyone gone through this? Do you know if GBS can harm the baby at all BEFORE labor? I know my MW said there's no risk right now but as I sit here with a mild cramp the worry wart in me (usually I am super lax) is thinking "oh no, am i cramping in response to a GBS infection?" I'm aware of the remedies one can do to try to kick the infection. It's more the other stuff, like can it cause harm during pregnancy and honestly, do natural remedies really work, and if I still have it at the time of labor, how much more sucky will my labor be, etc etc.

 

To put the sweet ol' buttercream icing on the cake, I'm about to sit down to a 2 hour online final exam that is all on communication disorders...some of which have to do with sh't obtained at birth!!!!!!!!! Fml, seriously.

 

Ok so as you can see I'm all over the place. Can someone help me feel better? Clearly I'm choosing to be co-dependent right now...on you guys...women I've never met grouphug.gif.....so just roll with itwinky.gif

post #2 of 43
This is good news in my opinion. GBS does nothing to the baby until birth and even then it may or may not get transferred to your baby. Like your midwife said you have the rare opportunity to take care of this now so that you can hopefully avoid the antibiotics during labor. I am not being tested until about 35 weeks, but I take precautions throughout pregnancy to avoid GBS (very common by the way), such as taking probiotics regularly and keeping my body alkaline. I may even use that garlic trick myself just in case! I too am a Bradley girl so I know what you mean about it not be very conducive to your labor plans. Try not to stress, look at finding out early as a blessing, and just follow your midwife's recommendations. smile.gif
post #3 of 43

I think there are oral antibiotics you can take leading up to or at the onset of labor, or when water breaks, I can't remember which. You can also look up the chlorhexidine/hibiclens remedy before being tested again. I have had it for sure with my first labor and they treated my second labor as that I still had it because I wasn't educated enough to know it can come and go as it pleases without showing itself. This is def not a huge crisis but it is a PITA because you have to figure out what to do about it. I think the stats of it actually getting passed onto baby even without any treatment are pretty low to begin with.

 

Best of luck!

post #4 of 43

Just FYI, here is the CDC guidelines for GBS:  http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/about/prevention.html

 

Here's a quote from that website...

 

 

 

Quote:
"Antibiotics taken by mouth instead of through the vein, and antibiotics taken before labor and delivery are not effective at preventing newborn group B strep disease. Birth canal washes with the disinfectant chlorhexidine do not reduce mother to baby transmission of group B strep bacteria or the risk of having a baby with early-onset disease. To date, receiving antibiotics through the vein during labor is the only proven strategy to protect a baby from early-onset group B strep disease."
post #5 of 43

Bummer! Can GBS really come an go as often as I have heard? If they test at 35 weeks and it comes back neg does that mean you most likely won't have it at birth or can it come back a week later?

post #6 of 43

GBS is an STD, and many people have it. It grows in your vagina as well as your rectum. If you have it, you have it. It just depends on whether you have an active culture going at the time. To encourage good vaginal flora, I would recommend to do the garlic suppositories, and also you can do cultured yogurt "suppositories" by swirling a tampon in plain cultured yogurt and inserting it for a few hours. Also, remember to always wipe from front to back. To make the garlic suppositories easier to retrieve, you can sew a thread into the bulb of garlic so you have a sort of tampon string to pull on to get it out. I would only leave it in for a day before changing it. If you culture good flora with this, then the good flora will kill off your GBS to a point where there is no longer an active culture of it.

 

And as to the risk during pregnancy, there is one. There is a risk of having any infection during pregnancy, especially one present in your urinary or reproductive tract. I'm not sure what the statistics are on it, but I do know a woman who miscarried twins due to a GBS infection during pregnancy. GBS can be passed to your baby before birth. This is called congenital GBS infection (I believe) and can cause some pretty serious issues with the baby. So I'm sorry to say that your midwife needs to re-up her education on GBS because the infection is not benign.

 

All that said though, you do have the opportunity to encourage good vaginal flora now... and this will make it more comfortable for you too! Midwifery Today magazine had an article on GBS infection and one of the most effective methods of getting rid of a GBS infection they mentioned was the garlic suppositories, so I would start there. There is no guarantee that your baby will contract the disease at any point, even if you have an active GBS culture. It is pretty rare, but to err on the side of caution, getting started now should minimize your risk.

 

Try not to stress too much, because the stress itself will lower your immune system and actually bolster the infection. You have it, and this is the remedy. Do it and be at peace with doing the best you can do. If it is still present in labor, minimizing the number of vaginal exams you get will be extremely important- as well as keeping the bag of waters intact for as long as possible: NO artificial rupture. The infection itself can cause premature rupture of membranes sometimes so it is important to get it under control if you know it's a problem for you right now.

 

Good Luck Mama heartbeat.gif

post #7 of 43
Actually, GBS is NOT an STD. Here is a direct quote from Group B Strep Association http://www.groupbstrep.org/info7.html

- GBS is a naturally occurring bacterium in the human body of both women and men. Since it is commonly found in the vagina, some people wonder whether GBS is a sexually transmitted disease. The answer is "No". GBS bacteria usually do not cause genital symptoms or discomfort and are not linked with increased sexual activity. Women found to carry GBS do not need to change their sexual practices.
post #8 of 43

GBS is NOT a sexually transmitted disease.  The Group B Strep bacteria is found naturally in the intestine, vaginal, and rectal areas of some healthy people, regardless of sexual activity.

 

Also, can anyone provide proof from a credible source regarding garlic preventing/eliminating GBS?  I'd be interested to see what info is out there.

post #9 of 43

Loogie, I'm so sorry this is stressing you out so much. If you can, set it aside for your final ... tell yourself if you have to worry about it, you can do it later!

 

GBS can be pretty transient - test and it's there, test and it's gone. If you're a numbers person, try looking into the actual risk to your fetus - even with an active infection and no treatment, it's still fairly small, I believe (all things relative of course ...). In the meantime, you have lots of options to think through and lots of time to deliberate and plan. Don't let this derail you, mama. You can do your research, keep talking to your midwife, and find your way.

 

And good luck on the exam! You're gonna nail it!

 

<3

post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnra View Post

GBS is NOT a sexually transmitted disease.  The Group B Strep bacteria is found naturally in the intestine, vaginal, and rectal areas of some healthy people, regardless of sexual activity.

 

Also, can anyone provide proof from a credible source regarding garlic preventing/eliminating GBS?  I'd be interested to see what info is out there.

And thank you

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renae08 View Post

Actually, GBS is NOT an STD. Here is a direct quote from Group B Strep Association http://www.groupbstrep.org/info7.html
- GBS is a naturally occurring bacterium in the human body of both women and men. Since it is commonly found in the vagina, some people wonder whether GBS is a sexually transmitted disease. The answer is "No". GBS bacteria usually do not cause genital symptoms or discomfort and are not linked with increased sexual activity. Women found to carry GBS do not need to change their sexual practices.

 

 

STD, just what I need to worry about right now.

Ugggh......the garlic.....the damn garlic! I really don't want to go there. Really and truly. Alas, I might have to. I think I'm going to get me some fem-dophilous, commit to eating a yogurt everyday, up my veggies (which sadly has been nil some days...don't lecture me) and see about making some homemade fermented goods (if fermented foods/drinks will even really make a difference)

 

You guys....I HATE needles!!!!!!!!! Hate hate hate hate they make me cry hate. I really have to try to not think about the possibility of having an IV at my homebirth and focus on the now. I need to go sit on a mountain top and meditate (note: I live in brooklyn). But I am going away for a long weekend next month with DH so I'll try to find a snowy trail or tree to hug or something. Anything to bring me some peace :) (yes, actually hugging a tree would make me smile). Ok I am delirious tired right now talking about hugging trees. Forgive me, just took a three hour exam online. Oof!

post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieWalter View Post

Loogie, I'm so sorry this is stressing you out so much. If you can, set it aside for your final ... tell yourself if you have to worry about it, you can do it later!

 

GBS can be pretty transient - test and it's there, test and it's gone. If you're a numbers person, try looking into the actual risk to your fetus - even with an active infection and no treatment, it's still fairly small, I believe (all things relative of course ...). In the meantime, you have lots of options to think through and lots of time to deliberate and plan. Don't let this derail you, mama. You can do your research, keep talking to your midwife, and find your way.

 

And good luck on the exam! You're gonna nail it!

 

<3


Thank you!!!! I need responses like this to bring me back down to earth :)

 

Ok so I just looked at the actual report of the test...it did say "scant growth". Is that good? I'm going to decide that's good. Well, better than a not scant amount of growth.

post #12 of 43
I've done the garlic treatment and found it no big deal. It squeezed right out when going the bathroom anyway. So if you gotta do it know others have gone before you. I wasn't as well educated on my last birth and let my GBS among other things keep me from a homebirth. Not happening again. Stay strong momma.
post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for all the kind and encouraging words. It's so great to have a collection of people with varied experiences and knowledge out there, albeit in cyber land.

post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerMomma View Post

I've done the garlic treatment and found it no big deal. It squeezed right out when going the bathroom anyway. So if you gotta do it know others have gone before you. I wasn't as well educated on my last birth and let my GBS among other things keep me from a homebirth. Not happening again. Stay strong momma.


Did you make a slit before inserting?

 

So, you did the garlic but it still didn't help? You mentioned letting it keep you from a homebirth.

post #15 of 43

I apologize that my info that GBS is an STD seems to be wrong.. I'll look up some more info in the coming days and see what I can find... But for now, here are a couple articles in Midwifery Today about GBS and pregnancy: 

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/garlic.asp

http://www.midwiferytoday.com/enews/enews1012.asp

post #16 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyB View Post

Bummer! Can GBS really come an go as often as I have heard? If they test at 35 weeks and it comes back neg does that mean you most likely won't have it at birth or can it come back a week later?


Bailey this is DEF a question I'll want to ask my MW. Omg she must hate me lol I email her allllllll the time!

post #17 of 43

Loogie, even if you didn't have GBS now you could still have it at birth.  Conversely, you can have it now and not have it when babe is born.  We all have bacteria and GBS is one of them.

 

I remembered reading this thread a while back:  http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1364840/from-gbs-4-to-gbs-negative-in-one-week  Some ideas to consider in this thread.

 

Also, there is some interesting information on GBS and the actual risk to babe, and how much antibiotics do (or do not) decrease the risk in Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Childbirth" and the citations in that chapter would also provide you with good information resources.

 

Don't stress yet, it's far too early to stress, especially as there are things you can do to get rid of the outbreak and prevent it from coming back!

post #18 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post

Loogie, even if you didn't have GBS now you could still have it at birth.  Conversely, you can have it now and not have it when babe is born.  We all have bacteria and GBS is one of them.

 

I remembered reading this thread a while back:  http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1364840/from-gbs-4-to-gbs-negative-in-one-week  Some ideas to consider in this thread.

 

Also, there is some interesting information on GBS and the actual risk to babe, and how much antibiotics do (or do not) decrease the risk in Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Childbirth" and the citations in that chapter would also provide you with good information resources.

 

Don't stress yet, it's far too early to stress, especially as there are things you can do to get rid of the outbreak and prevent it from coming back!


Thanks, I will check that link out. I guess what I also wonder is, if I go through a whole regime to kick it to the curb, before getting tested again in 15 weeks, how will I know if it worked? If I still have it lingering?

Just started reading Ina May's book yesterday so I'll make sure to not overlook said chapter. Speaking of Ina May....check it out. Got to hear her speak last month! She's kind of amazing.

700

post #19 of 43

http://www.groupbstrep.org/info3.html

states that about 8,000 newborns in the US contract GBS, so if you take that out of the 3,999,386 births/year in the us (in 2010 according to http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/births.htm) that amounts to .2% of births. According to http://www.groupbstrep.org/info3.html Up to 800 of these babies may die from it, and up to 20% of the babies who survive GBS-related meningitis are left permanently handicapped. (percentages of .02% and .04% respectively - this is out of all births each year in the US)... 

 

According to 

http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/about/prevention.html

A pregnant woman who tests positive for group B strep and gets antibiotics during labor can feel confident knowing that she has only a 1 in 4,000 chance of delivering a baby with group B strep disease. If a pregnant woman who tests positive for group B strep does not get antibiotics at the time of labor, her baby has a 1 in 200 chance of developing group B strep disease. This means that those infants whose mothers are group B strep positive and do not get antibiotics have over 20 times the risk of developing disease than those who do receive preventive antibiotics.

 

So, the numbers work out to this: According to the cdc's website above, if a woman receives the IV antibiotics during labor, 1 in 4,000 babies will contract GBS vs 20 in 4,000 babies if the woman is not treated. If you combine the stats from the groupbstrep.org website that says that 10% of babies that contract it may die, that equals 2 in 4,000 and 4 in 4,000 that are permanently handicapped.

 

Handicapped, death, risks, these are all REALLY heavy words for a pregnant woman to hear, but I want to turn the numbers around for a moment....

According to the cdc website again, if you have an active GBS culture during the birth of your baby AND RECEIVE NO TREATMENT, 3,980 in 4,000 babies will be born PERFECT with NO sign of GBS infection- 99.5% of babies born to UNTREATED mothers with an ACTIVE GBS infection during the birth will NOT contract any illness from having come into contact with the mother's GBS.

 

The chances are very SMALL that your baby will have any effect from GBS even if you culture positively during the birth. You also have to weigh the effects that antibiotics can have on your and your baby's health (consider that your child may have an allergy to the antibiotic that is used), most namely that your baby has a sterile digestive system at birth and needs good flora to culture that- that flora comes from your vagina and from your breast milk. Having antibiotics in baby's system will be a detriment to good gut flora formation, and it can also increase your and baby's chances to develop a yeast infection, or thrush.

 

There's no easy answer, but you have to weigh the pros and the cons of each option and choose what you are most comfortable with - as well as take into account the protocols that your care provider must adhere to (if you choose to employ one for your birth). Using probiotics and garlic, while not officially supported by studies it seems, pose no risk to you or baby and all things considered, including your fear of needles, if these little things can do anything to help you get rid of your GBS, why not, right? shy.gif 

 

In my last pregnancy, I chose not to even be tested for GBS because the risks are so small and there's also risks from the treatment. It is unlikely that I'll test with this pregnancy either. There's women on both every side of the fence.. ones who don't even get tested, ones who do and accept conventional treatment and ones who do, try unconventional methods and may resolve their colonization, and ones who test negative but could develop a positive culture even before the birth but go undetected. No method is perfect, but find one that you're comfortable with. The odds are on your side, no matter what you choose.

post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loogiejane View Post


Bailey this is DEF a question I'll want to ask my MW. Omg she must hate me lol I email her allllllll the time!

During my last pregnancy my midwife told me that the test is good for about 3-4 weeks, that's why they test at about 35-36 weeks. It usually takes at least a few days to a week to get the results back and then you're "full term" and could technically go into labor anytime. I had it done twice, once at 32 weeks due to a preterm labor scare and then again at 36 1/2 weeks (both negative for GBS)... I delivered at 41+3 weeks so technically I should have had another test but they were fine with not having it and so was I. I don't have any articles or references for the info I'm giving you so I will be interested to hear what your midwife tells you about this.
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: May 2013 Due Date Club
Mothering › Groups › May 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Have GBS, really bummed, help me feel better?