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Getting tested for GBS?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Just wondering if anyone else is being tested for GBS (or did with previous homebirths)? I haven't talked to my midwife about it yet (will bring it up at my next prenatal), but my friend who is coming to help out at the birth was asking about it . . .
post #2 of 41
I wasn't tested before my homebirths.
post #3 of 41
I didn't test. My midwife included a sheet on warning signs of GBS disease in the packet we got initially, and if there had been any risk factors for transmission, I would have been even more careful, but there weren't.
post #4 of 41
I did not test for GBS as the test would not have changed my choices.

post #5 of 41
I got the test. Negative. It wouldn't have made me change my homebirth plan if I'd have been positive anyway. DH and I thought that if I was positive, at least we'd have the information should anything come up strange with the baby. Plus, my midwife has some alternatives to IV antibiotics if we would have wanted them.
post #6 of 41
I was tested for my first home birth, but chose not to test during my second pregnancy.

In short, my decision was based on a few things:

- how the test for GBS really tells you NOTHING about whether you are GBS + on the day of your baby's birth. If you test +, you can easily be - by the time of birth. Likewise, if you test - at 36 weeks, you can easily be + on the day of your baby's birth.

- antibiotic use is not without risk, to mother or baby. I can't recall the precise details, but I remember a very interesting reading I did that spoke of how antibiotic exposure in newborns can increase the risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

- The US and Canada are really the only Western nations that use the "blanket antibiotic" treatment course for women who are GBS +. Most use a wait-and-see approach and treat only if there is indication of infection.

- Choosing a home birth in our State, I could not have antibiotic treatment even if I were to desire it. It would require a hospital birth. My concerns of a hospital birth FAR outweighed my concerns of being GBS +.

There was a really good article I had saved while pregnant. I'll see if I can find it and post it. I got the link here on MDC, so someone else might have the link too.
post #7 of 41
I did get tested only because I had high blood pressure, so the MW and I felt like it may be more likely I'd need a hospital transfer than most homebirthers. I didn't want the hospital to treat me as unknown (aka positive) if I was actually negative. As it turned out, I was positive, had a wonderful homebirth, and didn't treat the GBS at all.
post #8 of 41
I did test, was positive, and chose to have the antibiotics. DD ended up with a bad yeast rash. I think I will test again next time, but I will reconsider what I do with the results. If I'm positive again, I will probably only treat if I have risk factors. I also want the test in case I transfer.
post #9 of 41
This same thread is also going in my due date club forum My mw doesn't seem to think I need to take the test but i'm sure she'd give it to me if I requested it. I was thinking of going the preventative route... what pro-biotics do people recommend? Any other natural preventative measures?

I have something called PB8 from pre-pregnancy that I read about in Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, and doesn't need refrigeration, but haven't been taking it during the pregnancy... Anyone else have any recommendations? I'll ask my mw too.
post #10 of 41
Geez, now that you mention it I did do a rinse with some kind of disinfectant solution (first aid section of CVS... can't remember what it was called). I did a 10:1 water to "disinfectant" rinse, the last few weeks of pregnancy - a few times a week. I wish I could remember more clearly.
post #11 of 41
I did test but did nothing about it (I was +). The babies ended up being born in their sacks so there was really no risk of transfering it to them anyway. I knew that the test results would not change my plans, but wanted to know in case of a transfer as I was having twins so had a higher chance of transfer. They were both born perfectly at home
post #12 of 41
The test wasn't routine when I had my first so it wasn't done (or even offered to me) then, but I did take it when pg with my second. I was negative. This time I don't think I'll take it, although I'm not 100% sure on that. If I do and it's + I don't plan to use antibiotics - I think I'll just be proactive with homeopathic suppression remedies.
post #13 of 41
I declined this time. I had the test with my son and I was negative. I do take probiotics daily (liquid). I also would not take antibiotics even if I were positive so that is the main reason I didnt take the test. My midwife told me that studies have shown that the outcome of babies who were watched closely after birth was the same as those treated prior to delivery. Plus like a previous poster mentioned, antibiotics are not without risks.
post #14 of 41
Desiree, you reminded me of something else - yup, there is real reason to believe that a lot of the concern for infection post-birth (a MUCH higher risk than the strep) is infection introduced by overly frequent vaginal exams and post-birth exposure to bacteria IN hospitals. The risks just aren't there in home births.

I must find that article.
post #15 of 41
...though I did want to comment that those of you who tested in case of transfer have a good point. I grappled with this a LOT when making my decision. In the end, I opted not to test but it is something that I considered.
post #16 of 41
i did the test because here in fl, if you dont have gbs results (or you are gbs + and not treated) most peds wont see your baby, and if you transfer to the hospital, they freak out and want to do a septic workup on the baby (obviously you can refuse that, but its still really stressful)

so i opted to do 3 nights of garlic suppositories vaginally, to give me a negative test. i felt okay with that because just because you test positive doesnt mean you will have it at birth, and vice versa (sp?). and there is no way i would do antibiotics in labor just for gbs- antibiotics carry a lot of risk imo.

also, most places want to test your vagina and your rectum for gbs, and i think that is stupid because the baby is probably not going to come into contact with your poop! at least not very much of it. the mw's i work with only test the vagina, and that makes so much more sense.
post #17 of 41
With our last 2 we were GBS+ and we were treated with antibiotics in labor....with my last baby it was 41 hours from the time my water broke and she was born. Would I do it again even though I know I have been + in the past. No. Both babies had nasty green mucusy explosive poop that burned their poor bottoms to the point that the skin peeled, and all I can account it to was the antibiotics. With having a HB this time I am not as concerned with testing, and if I have to transfer I would deciline the treatment anyway. JMO
post #18 of 41
I think the fact that the status can change from day to day makes the test not worth it-- if they really think antibiotics is necessary, then you would think they would give it to everyone given that the status can change from day to day. But that obviously introduces its own problems, so I think probiotics and Vit C during the last few weeks (also helps keep the sac strong) and careful monitoring of all babies after birth by mws and parents is probably the best bet for everyone. And minimizing vaginal exams, of course.
post #19 of 41
Originally Posted by alegna
I did not test for GBS as the test would not have changed my choices.


Exactly! Same here. Even with dd I was planning a hospital waterbirth and waved the GBS test. We wouldn't have done antibiotics anyway so what was the point in testing? KWIM?

post #20 of 41
My dh's thoughts on this are that we would know not to worry about the infection in the babe if I were negative. But now I'm reading that your status can change. So I guess we'll just have to learn the symptoms and not bother with the test (as I won't do the antibiotics).
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