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GBS testing question...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have a "recipe" for an attempt at riding my body of GBS? I'm not certain that I will test positive (but I did w/ DD four years ago) but I would really like to avoid the antibiotics IV in the hospital. Has anyone been successful doing this? Also if I "fake" out the test, approximately how long with I remain GBS free? Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!

post #2 of 14
The way it worked for me was if I EVER tested positive with ANY pregnancy I was given antibiotics whether or not I tested positive with the current pregnancy.

I am sorry but I don't have an answer to you question. From what I understand you can test positive one week and neg the next. If you treat early in the pregnancy it can come back.

I am having a homebirth again this time and not getting tested or treated. We are going to watch for risk factors like prolong rupture of membranes, not having to many internal checks and watching the baby closely for any signs of infection.
post #3 of 14
My midwife recommends acidopholus(sp?), chlorophyll, usnea tincture, extra vitamin C, and garlic. I'm not sure what the dosages are. I know acidophyllis can be taken either orally, or topically, or can use plain yogurt directly. If you have a Wild Oats or Whole Foods store, or good local health food store, check with them for more info.
I think Aviva Jill Romm's books have more info, too.
post #4 of 14
You could just opt out of the test all together. That's what I am thinking of doing and what I did with ds.
post #5 of 14
I'm opting out, and trying to up my acidoph. and garlic intake. According to several mw's, the test is pretty useless anyway, because the bacteria is transitory, so you could test pos. now and it could move away by itself before delivery, or vice versa. PLus, the bacteria can be transferred by your HCP during an internal exam.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
7kiddos - that used to be the procedure w/ my Dr also. But in the past two years they have begun retesting every woman, no matter what outcome a previous test gave. (which only makes sense IMO).

I'm a little nervous about opting out of the test altogether, I suppose this is because I was + before. Just what am I putting my child at risk for if I opt out all together and I am +? (This is very little mention of this in any of the books I'm reading, so I appreciate any help here!)

I have been eating yogurt almost daily this whole pregnancy but I will go ahead and start taking the acidophollis too. I think I eat lots of garlic and Vit C, so who knows. Regardless of the outcome, I'm not letting anyone break my water and I'm going to do my best to limit my internal exams.

thanks again ladies!
post #7 of 14
I was considering opting out of the test. When I had my first two in the early 90s they didn't even do the test yet. Who knows if I had it or not? Anyway I was negative at the time of testing with DD. They said I could choose not to test but apparently the hospital's policy is to keep the baby for 48 hours to make sure she doesn't develop a fever if I wasn't tested. I don't want to stay 48 hours so that made me decide to do the test. This time I've felt especially paranoid about testing positive. I'm not sure why. I've been taking acidophilus, garlic and cranberry concentrate capsules since 32 weeks. I got the good acidophilus from the health food store that is refrigerated not the stuff sold on a shelf that is somewhat dead. Hopefully this increase my chances of testing negative.

I'm actually not at all concerned with whether I have it or not. For one thing most babies are going to be fine. The US and Canada are the only countries to even do this test and yet we don't hear about tons of babies in Sweden dying of GBS. The antibiotics have to be on board 4 hours before birth to be effective and that's just not an option for everyone. I wasn't at the hospital four hours before DD was born and I don't intend to be this time either. Besides that there are still babies who get sick despite the antibiotics. Now we're talking about a tiny number but still the antibiotics are by no means a fail-safe treatment. The risk is low of actual harm and giving antibiotics to a whole lot of women isn't a good policy as far as I'm concerned. I think it would make more sense to wait and see if the baby seemed sick and then treat if necessary. GBS comes and goes and probably far more of us are positive at the time of birth than those who actually happen to test positive at 36 weeks. My water never breaks and I never go early which is when it's riskier for the baby so yeah GBS doesn't scare me much but that's what I'm doing to try to make sure I get a negative on the test.
post #8 of 14
THanks for explaining it so much more clearly!
post #9 of 14
Regardless of what a hospital's policy is, THEY CANNOT FORCE YOU TO DO ANYTHING!

Please keep in mind that policy is NOT law. They will try to "convince" (read: harass) you into following their policy, but if you refuse, all they can do is make you sign a waiver. You do NOT have to accept antibiotics or any other medication if you refuse the test or even if you test positive. You do NOT have to stay in the hospital for 2 days or however long they want to keep you "for observation." Educate yourself on signs and symptoms and only if baby exhibits them, then consult your health care provider.

The hospitals just want to cover their behinds legally. That's why they have policy. That's also why there are consent forms and waivers.

Good Luck!

post #10 of 14
I know they can't make me stay. However if I were to leave I would be AMA and my insurance would not cover the birth and any her care. I'd rather just try to work for a negative and then try to get rid of it naturally if I'm positive and be retested than deal with insurance hassles. I've had to fight more than enough battles with things I'm refusing I'd rather to do my best to increase my odds of being in the majority who test negative.
post #11 of 14

My MW told me to swab with colloidal silver immediately before swabbing for the GBS in order to make sure I tested negative. I could do this because she gave me the kit to do the swabbing at home, and drop off the specimen at the lab. I just did it yesterday- so I am not guaranteeing anything- just passing on what I tried!

And I hear you- I would rather just fake some things that (IMHO) aren't worth the battle based on a risk/benefit analysis.
post #12 of 14

bad info on gbs

wow. you never know what you might find on the internet. here is what the "medical establishment" says about gbs:

you need antibiotics IF:

if you had a baby with ACTIVE gbs disease (not just a + culture) in a previous pregnancy, if you have a + gbs culture with THIS pregnancy, or if you did not have a culture and have any of the following: intrapartum fever (more than 100.4), preterm labor (less than 37 weeks), or prolonged rupture of membranes (more than 18 hours).

if you are allergic to penicillin, erythromycin or clindamycin is an alternative. if you are having a c-section, you don't need antibiotics for gbs.

in my professional opinion, refusing a gbs culture is a very BAD idea. gbs infection in your baby can lead to what's called neonatal sepsis, which boils down to lots of bacteria in your baby's blood.

in 1990, the CDC started taking stats on gbs. before antibiotics, about 2 babies out of 1000 (0.18%). IF the baby was infected , 6% of them died. in 2004, about 3 babies out of 10,000 (0.031%) were infected. antibiotics were the reason for that drop. IF your baby gets gbs, the result is still about the same. 4-6% of the time they will die. that rate is higher if you are african-american or you deliver preterm (23%).

that's a lot of numbers to process, so i'll translate. gbs infection in an infant is very dangerous. it doesn't happen very often, but when it does it's UGLY. if your baby gets infected with gbs, he or she will most certainly get antibiotics in the nicu (once born, you lose the right to refuse life-saving treatment for your baby).

your baby will most likely survive, but the nicu is expensive. you will be looking at thousands of dollars, and possibly hundreds of thousands. if you refused antibiotics while pregnant, your insurance company will most likely deny your claim.

before you trust advice from anyone on this forum, your friends, your midwife, or even your mother, make sure they back that advice up with what's called "double blind placebo" studies. they are the standard of any scientific study. here are my sources:


post #13 of 14
post #14 of 14
Ok, just to balance things out a bit here. I'm using Hibiclens during labor since I'm having a homebirth. I tested + with ds and I don't want to take any chances with this one, even though I don't know my current status. I've only ever had the one test. True GBS CAN be very dangerous, but the risk is also small. Just because you're gbs+ doesn't mean that antibiotics is the only choice to up your protection. You can decline testing and antibiotics, or just one or the other, and take it upon yourself to use the Hibiclens during labor if the actual risk of GBS frightens you. Just because you don't have antibiotics doesn't mean you can't do it safely (or, to be more correct, safer.) And you might still be stuck staying the 48 hours postnatal because of hospital policy, and for the same reasons (going AMA would invalidate your insurance claim) I'd go ahead and stay, what's the big deal? AND if the baby STILL gets the GBS disease, then there is no reason to decline antibiotics. The benefits would then outweigh the risks, by far.

Anyway, for the most part I agree with most others, remember that you CAN decline the test, you CAN decline the abx, and remember that even the antibiotics during labor don't guarantee your baby WON'T have serious GBS disease and still be very sick. If I were birthing in a hospital I'd be worried that I'd do the ABX and wouldn't get them in time anyway, I consider Hibiclens to be safer for this reason, and studies (someone else will have to post the links, or you can do a search here) have proven the rates of GBS infection in newborns to be nearly identical with Hibiclens or ABX.

OK, enough rambling, just my bit and now I'll hush.
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