or Connect
Mothering › Groups › September 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › GBS testing

GBS testing

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Just wondering what everyone else is doing it around this.

 

I'm thinking of declining... my reasoning being that even if I turn out to be positive, I will decline routine use of antibiotics during labor (though will reconsider if other risk factors arise).

 

The only reason it could be useful to me would be if I turned out negative and ended up transferring .... but I'm thinking that in that case there might already *be* risk factors present, so who knows. Which doesn't seem to make it worth doing anyway.

 

My only question around this (which I will ask my midwifes tomorrow) is whether infections on baby can be diagnosed relatively easily. I know confirming GBS would require blood cultures, which take a while; but it does seem reasonable that should an infection be suspected in a newborn whose mother is of unknown GBS status and did not receive antibiotics, that prophylactic antibiotics (on baby) could be started.

post #2 of 26

I am against the idea of antibiotics in general for myself, so I have struggled with the GBS thing. Since I'm 36 weeks, I had to be tested for it at my last OB appt. After discussing with my wife and OB, I decided to do the test just so we have the results on file. I am having a c-section, though, my OB said technically the babies are not considered to be exposed to it even if it colonized my vaginal canal, but if the babies end up in NICU, the pediatrician will ask what the test results were and it is better if we can provide them.

 

Additionally, we have a friend who lost her baby to meningitis when he was one day old, and the impact of that loss (on her, our community, etc) has greatly affected how we feel about the test and antibiotics. It is anecdotal, but personal experiences greatly affect how we perceive and utilize information. 

post #3 of 26
My best friend's aunt lost her perfectly healthy son at 1 day old to meningitis caused from GBS. I also have a friend who was positive for GBS and not treated and her baby became very ill. Luckily he is a healthy 6 year old now, but he was affected. To me it's not worth the risk. I have actually been tested twice (once at 32 weeks when I was in the hospital having contractions, once at my 35 week appt). I'm scheduling a c-section so it's not likely my baby would be exposed even if I did test positive.
post #4 of 26

There are also protocols that don't involve antibiotics, like Hibiclens rinses during labor, which have been shown to be as effective as antibiotics.  Especially since the antibiotics have to be given at least 4 hours before the birth-so in a quick birth, there may not be enough time to properly administer them. 

post #5 of 26

I had GBS show up in an early culture so they're not retesting me. I don't feel like fighting them on the antibiotics treatment.

I was told by my midwife at the last appt that they'll be using penicillin which, she claimed, has been so overused that it tends to be ineffective against a lot of bacterial infections but strangely it's still very effective at targeting the GBS specifically... She mentioned the hibiclens tends to kill everything, also the good bacteria so they don't recommend that.

I'm just accepting it as a fact that I will get antibiotics and I'll just probiotic the hell out of myself the few days before and after birth.

post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 

Argh, wondering whether I should rethink this.

 

Those of you who know others who've lost babies in the first day or so - do you know anything about how those births went? Whether there was something that could be considered a red flag, or might have indicated the use of antibiotics?

 

Maybe I should just get swabbed, and this will turn out to be a non issue. Of course, if I'm positive I'm at the exact same spot I am now ROTFLMAO.gif

post #7 of 26
The woman I know who actually lost her baby had no risk factors. It was her 3rd baby. Routine pregnancy and labor/delivery. It was tragic.
The other woman I know who's baby got very ill did have a rough labor and delivery. But I don't think she had any other risk factors.
post #8 of 26
chispita - That's my plan. I figure I'll get tested, and if it's negative, then I won't have to worry about making a decision about antibiotics. No sense stressing about it if I'm GBS negative! If it comes back positive, THEN I'll worry about it. But I figure there's enough things to stress about without adding one that might be a non issue smile.gif
post #9 of 26

I decline the test each time.  In the UK, women are NOT routinely tested for this and they have about the same rate of death/infant infection as the USA without the prophylactic treatment of antibiotics.  More info from the NHS here.

 

If they were to find GBS during other tests, like dakipode mentioned, then I wouldn't fight antibiotics.  I just don't feel the personal need to be screened for this.

 

As for those who make the choice to go ahead with antibiotics, like all birth choices, I consider it highly personal.  I would never disagree with the choice to receive prophylactic antibiotics by any mom here, but dealing with intestinal or yeast issues as the result of antibiotics weighs against the lack of risk factors in my birth.

post #10 of 26

Well, I just got my results back from my GBS test and it was positive, so now I have decisions to make. Anyone in this group have experience with a positive GBS test or know what they would do if they get one? I'm disinclined to go the full antibiotic treatment, but might consider it if I have additional risk factors and either way I'll probably start to treat myself with alternative treatments. Anyone have thoughts/recommendations?? Thanks!

post #11 of 26

I got my test results back when I was admitted to L&D for my surprise C-section. That was a great time to be face with potential decision-making. (fortunately the results were negative, but I couldn't believe I would have been in that situation if they were not negative). 

post #12 of 26
Hey! Wait a second!! mrsandmrs are your boys here?!??
post #13 of 26

Hi There! I agree with the previous poster about the rates of infection here vs. Europe.  In europe (as far as I know), GBS is rarely screened for.  The antibiotics do need to go in over a certain amount of time and in a fast labor, it is true that they might not even be effective.

That being said, with my second, I tested positive for GBS.  My third, (a homebirth), i declined testing and instead chose to treat with garlic and echinacea.  There were a few other herbs my MW recommended, but i don't remember them all.  It was a specified treatment plan she had, i did this at the end of pregnancy and had no issues.


My 4th (and LAST! :) ) I will do the same thing as my 3rd. I am having another HB, so antibiotics won't be an issue. 

 

Hope this helps! Remember, a lot of things done in labor in an hospital are unnecessary interventions to prevent complications in a very small percentage of the population and are not always evidence based practice.  (This coming from an RN :) )

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ebeckman View Post

Well, I just got my results back from my GBS test and it was positive, so now I have decisions to make. Anyone in this group have experience with a positive GBS test or know what they would do if they get one? I'm disinclined to go the full antibiotic treatment, but might consider it if I have additional risk factors and either way I'll probably start to treat myself with alternative treatments. Anyone have thoughts/recommendations?? Thanks!

The routine GBS treatment is antibiotics every 4 hours during labor.

 

If you decline them, the only difference your GBS status will make is that should something look off with the baby, they will be more proactive in starting antibiotics without necessarily waiting for cultures to come back.

 

The swab is supposedly only "good" for 4 weeks (i.e. you are supposed to redo it).

post #15 of 26
During my pregnancy with DS I tested positive for GBS. I wrestled with what to do but ultimately decided to treat, which meant IV antibiotics every four hours for over 24 hours, as we started when my water broke and it took quite a while for labor to commence.

I can't say for sure that I regret it, but DS does have some digestive issues that we're currently struggling with (began right after he self weaned at two) and I've wondered if all the abx prevented his gut from being colonized with the good stuff right off the bat.

This time I'm taking femdophilous (sp? the kind for your vag) probiotics ahead of time in hopes that I'll get a negative result so this will be a non issue. MW said she's heard very good things about preparing this way. Fingers crossed.

She also said that the problem with hibiclens is that it makes your tissue less elastic and leaves you more susceptible to tearing. That doesn't sound great.
post #16 of 26

After treating myself with garlic for 3 days prior to the test, always drinking/eating lots of fermented foods like water kefir, yogurt, raw milk and immune-boosting foods like bone broth and astragalus, I STILL tested positive for GBS this pregnancy.  I even gave myself the swab and was a little more "light" on the test than an OB probably would have been, so antibiotics it will be for me.  I tested positive in urine early in my last pregnancy, and although it was slightly irritating with my super long labor and lots of antibiotics, we had no issues with thrush or otherwise.

post #17 of 26

Splath, it's nice to hear from someone who didn't have any issues after the antibiotics treatment. I worry about it but I just don't have the energy to fight them on this one. It's nice that we can all be more informed consumers/patients but I inevitably end up feeling like I'm the one who has to justify my decision and they (the medical practitioners) don't.

post #18 of 26

Just got my test results back, and thankfully came back negative! So far so good! ^^

post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kakuna View Post

Just got my test results back, and thankfully came back negative! So far so good! ^^
Me too! Last pregnancy I tested negative as well but did not find out till after the birth since babe came at 38wks 6 days orngtongue.gif!! My labor was so fast we would have had no time for antibiotics either way.
post #20 of 26
Oh yeah, I forgot about thrush! We had horrid issues with thrush, despite probiotics greensad.gif
Mothering › Groups › September 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › GBS testing