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Opting out of the GBS test?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
At my last appointment the nurse came in a told me to "strip down cause you're having your strep B culture today". I told her I was thinking of opting out of it. She looked at me like I was a nut case and I explained that I had done some research when I was pregnant with ds on it and had decided not to do the do the culture with my last pregnancy. Mainly I do not want antibiotics pumped through my body during labor. She just kept staring at me so I said "you look like you've never heard of someone opting out of the test" to which she replied sharply "Yea because it could kill your baby!"
She made me feel so bad and infact I had to hold back tears as I waited fo rthe doctor to come in. Luckily he was very nice about it and gave me an article to read and told me just to let him know my decision at my next appointment. he did say that he has seen a baby die becasue the mom had GBS. Of course it is unclear if the outcome would have been any different if she had been tested and treated. Just the thought of antibiotics and an IV during labor and the risk of those antibiotics (I have only been on antibiotics 3 times in my life and don't know how I would even react as my mom is highly allergic to penicilan)...anyway it doesn't sound like a pleasant way to labor. I still don't know for sure what to do.
post #2 of 17
Please we didn't even do this test 10 years ago and yet babies didn't die! I asked about opting out of the test many months ago. My midwives seemed ok with the idea but they said the hospital's policy was that if I wasn't test I didn't have to get antibiotics unless I ran a fever and/or went 24 hours with a ruptured bag of water. However they would keep us there for 48 hours to make sure DD didn't develop a fever which would be taken as a sign of infection. I didn't want that so I'm getting tested. Here's the thing GBS comes and goes just like yeast or any other bacteria in our systems. Testing negative at 36 weeks just means you're negative at 36 weeks. It doesn't mean you're negative at 37 weeks or 40 weeks or 42 weeks when you give birth. And that's why I think the testing is sort of stupid I'd probably be tempted to make them keep testing me until I tested negative because it seems you're off the hook if you test negative whereas if you test positive they act like you'll stay positive forever which is just not the case. For all I know all three of my babies were born when I was GBS positive. The US and Canada are the only ones who even do this test. If you ask for it in another country they're baffled about why you want it. So don't let her bully you and make you feel like a bad mommy. It's your choice. Educate yourself about the risks and decide but don't let her convince you that every baby born to a woman who doesn't know her GBS status is risking her baby's life.
post #3 of 17
What on earth is the GBS test? I'm in Canada and had a baby in 2003, but I've never heard of this one.
post #4 of 17
Group B strep. I'm thinking only some provinces do it as some of my online friends have had it and some haven't.
post #5 of 17
You know...I'm really starting to wonder why there seems to be a test for everything when you're pregnant!! I've had two very healthy babies without even hearing of this test. Is this another blood test?
post #6 of 17
Like I said I had two very healthy babies without it as well. It's not a blood test. It is a swab of your rectum and vagina for this particular bacteria that they usually do around 36-37 weeks. Having had kids more than 10 years ago and now there is so much more testing and almost all of it worthless as far as I can tell. They didn't do the AFP or triple screen testing then either. Now it's commonplace.
post #7 of 17
GBS is a very common bacteria, alot of women carry it and don't know because they never have any problems from it. you can test positive for it, and end up having a much more "managed" delivery than if you just opt out. there are things you can do to get your GBS levels down, if it turns out you're a carrier and they're high, do a search here at mothering for GBS-there are some good threads about it. then you can retest closer to your estimated due date and see if it's clear.

i opted out of the test, and wound up in the hospital for 2 days so they could keep on eye on my dd. which is ridiculous, but whatever...i liked my nurses alot, and it was nice to have all my meals cooked and delivered to me while i chilled out in the bed with dd

i had the abx in labor, which, in retrospect, was really unneccesary and silly, but at the time, i felt like it was something i could do "thier way" to make them happy and keep them happy so they wouldnt give me grief over having a drug-free birth with no other medical intervention. it worked, and i was fine, so was my dd, no side effects from the abx, no GBS problems.

good luck to you on your decision and your birth
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by wasabi
Having had kids more than 10 years ago and now there is so much more testing and almost all of it worthless as far as I can tell. They didn't do the AFP or triple screen testing then either. Now it's commonplace.
I've noticed the increase. When I was pregnant with my 12-year-old, they did an ultrasound, and one series of blood tests. With my 2-year-old, they added more blood tests, plus the gestational diabetes test, and offered the AFP and triple screen, which I refused. It's just unbelievable!!

Well, if they bring this one up, I'm refusing it. I have enough anxiety without the bogeyman of some infection that may be gone by the time I give birth!
post #9 of 17
Put me on the list of ones who haven't ever heard of this. I may have skimmed over some info in a book seeing as I have read about alot of tests but can't really remember this one. I have had two blood tests my whole pregnancy and it would seem my mid-wife is done suggesting any more types of testing. I probably wouldn't even of had the blood tests if I had to pay for those out of pocket but those were covered (those were the only thing that was). She wanted to test for a yeast infection but I refused the exam.

There must be alot of tests out there!
post #10 of 17
Erin they gave you antibiotics in labor and still kept you for two days? Sounds like they just assumed that you were positive so what was the point in keeping you?

I did get the GD test when I was pg years ago but only because I was enormous and so they thought I could have GD. They didn't test anyone else that I knew though. Now everyone gets it.
post #11 of 17
How dare she! GRR! "health care" providers using scare tactics on vulnerable people REALLY upset me!!!

Give that uninformed so-and-so a copy of the Mothering article on GBS. It can be found here: http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...n/group-b.html

The article is a great summary of why and why not.

I'm not doing the test. A few reasons why not to bother (a few have been mentiond before):

-Testing positive for active culture today doesn't mean it will be active tomorrow.

-Antibiotics effect the ENTIRE immune system, they don't just target "bad" things. You baby is already vulnerable because of its developnig system- do you really want to blast out the good bacteria/flora that's protecting it, that you've been building up for 9 months?

-Statistically, there has been no reduction in gbs related infections or deaths when antibiotics are given which is statistically small in the first place.

-Receiving antibiotics in labor has actually increased the number of other blood infections in newborns, including e-coli, and leaves baby susceptible to more antibiotic resistant strains of germs.

Expanded versions of these reasons and more are in the article mentioned above. I just plan to keep as healthy as possible eating foods rich in vitamin c (oranges and pineapple- yum!), probiotics (raw sauerkraut and kimchee!) and if necessary, eating some fresh garlic in the last weeks (nature's antibiotic)

Good Luck!

post #12 of 17
I am going to do the test, but just for the information. If I'm positive (though I really wish I could get a quantitative measure of HOW positive I am), then I can start eating a lot of garlic and probiotics and maybe doing some other alternative things to reduce the number of GBS.

Then I plan to retest later.

But, luckily, my mw doesn't push the antibiotics at all. When I asked her it sounded like she had only had 1 person every choose to do the antibiotics in the last 10 years. I'm still hoping that I'm negative like last time...
post #13 of 17
My midwife sent me home with a kit to do the swabbing, and then drop off the specimen at the lab. She also advised that if I wanted to make sure I tested negative, I could use colloidal silver first- swabbing my vagina with the silver, and then with the testing swab. So I did. Don't know why she would have me do the test and then tell me how to get around it- I was planning on refusing- but I guess now if I need a hospital transfer (fingers crossed that I will stay in the birthing center) she will have the results and I won't be treated as if positive? Anyway- that was the way I went.

And don't you dare let some nasty nurse make you cry- she probably takes antibiotics every time she sneezes.
post #14 of 17
-Statistically, there has been no reduction in gbs related infections or deaths when antibiotics are given which is statistically small in the first place.
Sorry, no link but the CDC site has an article with stats posted from their studies, might be a good read for anyone who wants to see the statistical numbers that mainstream medicine is drawing its numbers from. Their stats do indicate a great reduction in ill babies when GBS+ mothers are treated with abx. However, they do not account for variability in patient care or assertiveness in preventing infection (ie # internal exams after membrane rupture, etc).

Also, I thought this article did a good job of outlining several common mainstream approaches to preventing GBS.


I'm taking the test for informational purposes. My MWs will allow me to choose my own course of care regardless of the results and I would like as much info as I can get to make an informed descision.
post #15 of 17
I got the test done yesterday for, like many of you, informational purposes/ to play along. My MW would have let me skip it without a fuss, but I know she feels more comfortable having me get it, so I can do that. If I'm positive, I won't consent to IV antibiotics in labor-- not unless there's a reason for them like fever or prolonged time after my water breaks. But I'd rather fight the fight then than now-- if there's an easy way out, I'll take it.
post #16 of 17
we wont be doing it..
i am not sure about universal research on GBS i do know that they do not swab for it in most european countries and there is not a dramatic difference in infant death or illness related to GBS.
the numbers I have say that 20% of women carry gbs..40-5% of the time the bacteris is transfered to baby.. of that percentage 1-2% will become *sick* (not die) 98-99% of babies how are exposed to gbs do not get sick..
there are risk factors.. like prolonged rupture of the membranes, maternal fever, urinary tract infections, premature birth...the factors increase the likely hood of gbs,, but are still factored into the overall stats.
if you are positive for gbs and do not get antibiotics it is said your baby stands a 1 in 200 chance of getting gbs..and most by far are treatable as well.. but interestingly enough women stand a 1 in 10 chance of having an adverse reaction to the antibiotics...
to each your own.. you just gotta do what you think is right...
you can boost your immune system before hand.. i am takign pro-biotics now..vitamin c in labour especially if my wters break.. on another baord a momma said careful handwashing is important..
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
My appointment is tomorrow. I haven't decided for sure what to do but I am leaning toward opting out of the test altogether. If I take the test and am positive then I will have a huge fight at the hospital if I decline antibiotics. I know that'll be a hard fight while I am in labor. Its better to just not know and then no one can do anything, unless my waterbreaks way before labor or fever,etc. I'm nervous about seeing that mean nurse tomorrow even though I know I shouldn't worry about it...
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