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Strep B Testing & Natural Hospital Births

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi Ladies,


I'm coming up on my 36 week appointment. Despite touting a natural birth fochus, the OB/midwife practice attending to my prenatal care and pending birth have been highly interventive despite consistently perfect check ups and ultrasounds. As such, I've decided to move some of my care over to my doula as she has a much more natural approach to pregnancy (read: she treats me as an individual rather than lumping me in groups based on risk factors).


This includes my upcoming strep b test. My doula (also a homebirth midwife) will be processing the test for me and if there is an issue, we will be treating the strep be wit chlorhexidine vaginal wash, rather than IV antibiotics from the hospital.


For those of you who refused the test, how did you go about doing so? What did you find most effective for achieving your desired birth in a hospital setting?



post #2 of 6

Bumping up for more input!

post #3 of 6

I'm only 13 weeks so I'm not there yet, but have discussed this with my midwife. She encouraged me to get the test at 36 weeks because should I have to transfer to the hospital, a negative strep b will be like a get out of jail free card. I don't have a reason to refuse the test, it's covered in my midwife's fee and I believe I get to do the swabbing myself. I don't know what would happen if you were birthing in a hospital and tested positive, I'd imagine they'd push antibiotics, but surely you could refuse and do the douche thing instead? My midwife also said there's a chance a positive could be negative by the time birth approaches, if you eat healthy and take care of yourself.

post #4 of 6

The hospital based mw practice I used for my last three births was required to risk you out of their care if you refused the gd or gbs tests (although based on my convos with them, none were too happy to have to enforce it).  Luckily I never had to deal with either, but my midwives suggested without outright saying so that were I to be positive, they would help me find ways around doing the standard treatment that wouldn't risk me out based on hospital policy.  I think you need to to have a chat with your ob/midwife to see what they require (not just prefer) and then go from there. One of the things my mw said they were willing to do if asked was retest closer to the edd, presumably after having tried whatever home remedy.  She also said I could refuse the abx once in labor, but cautioned me that the ped responsible after the birth would likely insist on an extended stay and "just in case" treatment for the baby.


As for what I found most effective for achieving a truly natural birth in a hospital was to be confident in my decisions.  I went in expecting to have to fight them at every turn (and actually had a lot of anxiety about it leading up to the birth of #2), but I found that all I had to do was say "not for us" or "this is how we'll be approaching that" respectfully and resolutely and things went just fine.  Nobody questioned or challenged, they just said "ok" and moved on.  Well, with the exception on one nurse who was rather rude about me dozing while side-lying nursing with #2...but she wasn't invited back to care for us after dh caught wind of that exchange orngtongue.gif  Plus, my midwives were really awesome about communicating my wishes to the nursing staff and I'm sure that helped a bunch, too.

post #5 of 6

I have group b strep. It was found on a swab during a routine exam at 31 weeks.
I had planned a water birth throughout my entire pregnancy and this was taken off the options once the strep was found. Hot water is, after all, a breeding ground for bacteria.
I'm glad they found the strep otherwise it could pass onto my baby if I hadn't known to be on anti biotics during labour and birth.
I would advise anyone to get tested if given the opportunity. It's not a virus or a disease, it's a healthy vaginal bacteria living in 1 in 4 women. It's just that baby can't cope with it if he picks it up in the birth canal.
I would take the recommended anti biotics and avoid water. you can still have a natural birth.
post #6 of 6

The danger is Strep B is for your baby, not you. This is a great article.
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