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Group B Streptococcus Infection

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
My test for Strep B infection just came back positive. I'm almost 38 weeks. My nurse midwife recommends antibiotics via IV once I get to the hospital for my labor. She said I can have a heparin lock IV, which will still allow me to be mobile.

Any info and experience you have to share on this topic, including links to appropriate reading is appreciated. Thanks

post #2 of 48
We had a discussion about GBS a while back and some good info was shared. I don't have the link handy, but do a search on Group B Strep and you will find it (I think). If not, I'll post my experience again.
post #3 of 48
I don't have any links. sorry. I do know however that at least in my area if you are planning a hospital birth and test positive for strep B you must undergo the anti-biotic treatment or end up having a c-section.:
I hope some one else can give you better information.

post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Erin -- I didn't even realize there is a search feature here. Fabulous!

post #5 of 48

I'm only 16 weeks, but my doctor told me I have group b strep, too and that I also have to have the antibiotics via drip. Yuk! She said I could refuse it, but that she wouldn't advise that. I did some reading and it's pretty scary if your baby gets it. However, I hate the idea of the beginning of interventions.... (My first birth was completely natural, but in the hospital. )

I did a search and found only your post. Did you find out anything else?


-Richie's mama
post #6 of 48
You don't have to have IV antibiotics if you don't want. After I did my research I decided I would get the antibiotics under three conditions:

1. Ruptured membranes for more than 24 hours.
2. Fever
3. Premature birth of the baby.

That's it. Otherwise I decided the risks were pretty small. Emily was fine when she was born. But it's really up to you.
post #7 of 48
I did have the iv drip. I had no choice in the matter, or at least I thought I didn't. Anyway, I am glad I did, because I did run a fever while I was delivering, they also had to give ds antibiotics at birth, because of the fever. But everything turned out well.

Like Erin Pavlina said, the risks really are very small, and it is up to you, but if you decide to or have to have the iv, I just want to let you know it wasn't that bad. Actually the iv was mobile, but I wasn't. I had an epidural, because I also had the dreaded pit drop in that iv-now that is bad!!!, but up until then, when it was just the antibiotic, everything was fine.

Good Luck!!
post #8 of 48
Erin -

Would you mind telling me where you did your research? Everything I've read so far scared me a lot. It implied that the risks of passing the strep onto the baby were really high and that the effects on the baby could be devastating.

Also - does anyone know how you contract group b strep and how you can get rid of it?


- Richie's Mama
post #9 of 48
From what I read and was told by my dr., strep b is present in up to 35% of women. There is no way to get rid of it, they used to give antibiotics a few weeks before delivery, but the strep b would return. That's why they now give it by iv during delivery. I was also told that I would need the antibiotics for any future delivery, because I have had 1 postive test. You can test negative for it at certain times. Apparently the strep b lives naturally in some people, posing no health risk other than passing it on to the baby during delivery.

From what I understand, the risk of anything happening to the baby is small, but if it does it's severe. That's why I would definitly have the antibiotic again. My water had been broken quite a while before they started the iv though.

Also, the baby had to be checked by the pediatrician 4 days after birth instead of the usual 2 weeks, and I was given a list of symptoms to watch out for.

I hope that helps a little!
post #10 of 48

check this link

I have seen some information about GBS on the birthlove website (www.birthlove.com) when you are there do a search for GBS and you'll get several links. This is an awsome site if you don't know it yet. I was positive for GBS but the hospital misplaced my results so they didn't start the IV until I had a fever and the infection actually went into my ds blood stream so he had to remain in hospital with antibiotics for the 10 longest days of our lives.
At the end, everything was ok, though.
post #11 of 48
Hi! You've gotten good information here but I wanted to add that I, too, am group b positive and had antibiotics with both my deliveries. I was a little worried about thrush and breastfeeding. We had no problems with that. The iv wasn't bad. They will give you 2 doses (?2 hours apart?) and you can have a heploc in the meantime. My nurse wasn't going to do it, but my doc came in and made her do it (heploc) so I could walk around. Very beneficieal in the first half of labor. The second half, I couldn't have cared less about that IV. The used it in the end to give me fluids because I was dehydrated and couldn't drink.

Of all the interventions, I don't feel like this will set you up for problems with a natural delivery if this is what you decide (IMHO)
post #12 of 48
Thread Starter 
Bummed out today -- I discovered that my hospital has a policy that strep B positive moms are not allowed to use the lovely new soaking labor tubs in the birthing rooms. Ok to use the tub at home, just not at hospital. Not sure if the risk is about cleaning the tub for next user (I'd think they could sterilize it) or risk to the mother/baby because of the strep.

My husband still would like to ask for one of the tub rooms, though -- for him!
post #13 of 48
wow, sunmom- what a BUMMER! I really don't understand what the concern is with using a hospital tub - it's not as if GBS is catching, or anything. Ask if it's ok to use the tub if your water isn't broken, maybe that's the thought behind that. What it really sounds like to me is liability, liability, liabilty... why else could you do something at home that was exactly the same except for location????

You may want to really pursue the issue, because (professinally speaking) I know of no reason why GBS + women can't labor in a tub! And water in labor is sooooooooo important.

best wishes

post #14 of 48
I had Group B strep during pregnancy, too. At first I was bummed I would need an IV, but it was really ok! I got a hep lock ( I had to ask for it), and I got 4 treatments during labor. The minimum is two, or they may need to give the baby antibiotics, then once every four(?) hours after that. It only takes about 20 minutes to get a dose, then you're free from the tubes. That in mind, you might not want to wait til the last second to get to the hospital. : Everything will be fine, though!!!!! I want to also stress the importance of a birth plan and involved partner at the hospital. Give it to everyone involved in your birth as early as possible, so you don't have to argue or make any speeches while you're in labor.
post #15 of 48
one more thing- if they won't let you use a tub, can you use a shower? my hospital didn't have a tub, but the shower was FANTASTIC!
post #16 of 48
I had group B strep this last time. I got antibiotics in labor. They kept me and the baby in a "nesting room" after I was discharged to keep watching the baby, rather than send me home and keep him in the nursery. They checked him every 4 hours for 36 hours after birth. He is fine.

However, a friend of mine didn't know she had group b strep and her water broke at home. Her baby was born at the hospital, but extremely sick because of the strep. In fact, he had to be on an ECMO machine- a heart and lung machine for babies which is pretty much a last resort!

Group b strep is nothing to mess with. I, too, couldn't get in the whirlpool tub for one reason or another- IV, water broken, post partum. oh well. I still had the birth I wanted- no drugs, pushed when I wanted, no interventions, etc.

Also, if you can't get in the tub, you probably can still get in the shower. That does a WORLD of good!
post #17 of 48
I've tested positive for Group B Strep with both pregnancies at about 36 weeks. I agree, this particular nasty is nothing to mess with. I had IV antibiotics in labor both times, but my midwives just give it right into my arm with a big old needle, takes about three minutes, max. With the first baby, I was in labor about thirty plus hours, so got I think three or four doses, with baby number two I only got one, because he came in about 11 hours. Either way, I was willing to have the antibiotics, and happy that no IV drip was needed.
post #18 of 48
post #19 of 48

my experience

Mine came back positive too, which was upsetting because I was planning a homebirth. It wasn't so bad, though - I had to have IV penicillin every four hours. I was able to walk around and after a while I just kind of forgot about it. Sometimes it burned a little but they can dilute it and slow the flow down.
post #20 of 48

Be careful of Group B strep please!

I just wanted to add as a NICU nurse (neonatal icu nurse) I have seen several cases of GBS sepsis in the last 10 years, I have to say, they have all been severe. Sure lots of moms who aren't screened or who deliver precipitously don't get antibiotics and their babies may be fine in the majority of cases BUT when GBS strikes it can be devestating. I have seen parents lose a child over this as well as see parents face life with a hanicapped child due to severe sepsis and need for ECMO as someone described earlier. So as a mother who has had 4 deliveries and about to have a 5th in June I'm opting for antibiotics. The scary thing with GBS is the baby may look great at birth but 2-5 days later usually when parents are home the baby can become very ill. SO, just my humble opinion be careful whatever route you choose and if you opt not to recieve antibiotics, please take your baby back for an early follow up. Best wishes to all mamas having to face this choice. I was never bothered by a hep lock with a few quick doses of medicine, I always was able to relax more about the birth. Take care!
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