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Group B strep: A very unfortunate part of my labor

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
I can't be the only one here that went through this. Anyone else here tested for it and had to be on an IV at the hosp during labor/delivery?

I wanted to give birth naturally so badly, and sadly, did not after giving up at the last bloody minutes, but I truly believe Group B strep had to do with it. Let me explain my story in a nutshell:

When the water breaks first in labor, as many of you know, the risks of the GBS getting to the baby are higher for some reason. Can you guess what my first labor symptom was? : Yep, that's right. I was in the kitchen when I felt water drizzling down my legs. It gradually began to gush.

Here's the thing: I've read multiple places, and learned from my educated doula, that it's NORMAL for contractions to delay after the water breaks. This is what I wanted to do- stay at home and wait until the contractions started naturally and not even get to the hospital until transition.

But because of the damn GBS (excuse my strong words), I had to go to the hospital to get on antibiotics "right away". I ended up spending the bloody night with no contractions and that's when they put me on lovely pitocin because they were impatient and wanted something to get started.

I dread my next labor because of GBS. I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE THE #%#%$#@ THING AGAIN. If it weren't for that, I could have stayed home, taken a bath, labored with my DH and doula AT HOME and then went to the hospital when I felt like it. But NO, my body just had to get Group B Strep which inconvenienced everything.

It was the reason I had to go to the hospital so early, the reason I wasn't allowed to give birth in the bath tub and it's the reason that led to pitocin.

How bad does it sound of me to not care if I get GBS next time around and labor however I damn well please? Ok, it's probably a bad attitude to have since babies can die from GBS but it still sounds so tempting.

Thoughts, suggestions, advice, constructive criticism, stories are welcome.
post #2 of 52


I'm sorry your experience was bad.

This is why I:

1. won't test for GBS
2. won't birth in a hospital short of an emergency
and
3. would refuse antibiotics in labor without serious risk factors.

-Angela
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post


I'm sorry your experience was bad.

This is why I:

1. won't test for GBS
2. won't birth in a hospital short of an emergency
and
3. would refuse antibiotics in labor without serious risk factors.

-Angela
I feel your attitude! But if you DID have GBS, isn't that critical for baby? Wouldn't it be best to test for it so you can do something about it?
post #4 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommyofwills View Post
I feel your attitude! But if you DID have GBS, isn't that critical for baby? Wouldn't it be best to test for it so you can do something about it?
Nope. That's their propagnda. It's really only a danger with a cluster of risk factors- off the top of my head, they include: ruptured water for more than 24hours, premature birth, fever in mom

-Angela
post #5 of 52
I'm sorry you chose to go to the hospital and get antibiotics and that ruined your birth for you. You certainly didn't have to, although I'm sure they made it sound like you did.
I agree with Alegna. What they told you is mostly scaremongering, and mostly untrue.
GBS is almost never an issue, and quite frankly, they don't have any way to predict in whom it will become an issue. The longer your water is broken increases risk after about 24 hours, having a prenature baby increses risk and getting a fever/signs of infection increases risk, as a do a few other things. How badly you are colonized also seems to play a serious role. Many other countries don't even test for GBS, and even if they do, antibiotics are not given unless INDICATED by prescence of symptoms. again, we still have no realy idea why some babies catch GBS and others don't, because some babies whose moms dont get antibiotics are completely fine, while some babies whose moms DO get the abx end up getting a gbs infection. So it's sort of a toss up.
There are vaginal cleanses you can do to reduce/eliminate GBS infection. Women have turned their positive GBS into a negative. You can search for solutions, but they include garlic suppositories, i believe.
The even worse thing is that even if you test negative in a subsequent pregnancy, many places are adopting a "once positive always positive" philosophy, so you will be treated +++ even if you are not. You will have to make a decision dependent on your research, which hopefully, will be saying NO to antibiotics!
I have also heard that a very few places will let you take an oral (pill) antibiotic instead of being hooked up to an IV, if you decide to get them. Mostly homebirth midwives though.
post #6 of 52
MOW,
There's another thread on this subject that includes some very important information on this subject.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=687216
post #7 of 52
I love you guys. Sometimes it's hard to believe a new comer (me, the Doula) and go against the OB/ midwife and DH. FYI I mentioned these things, but I don't blame her for not believing me just sad the way it happened.
post #8 of 52
some choices - like this - are not negotiable in the hospital. sure you can refuse (and only after they pull the dead baby card), but they'll likely keep your baby for three days with IV antibiotics after the birth.

that's why some people choose to birth at home - where they have the right to make their own choices based on evidence and research, rather than protocols and fear.

the evidence shows that a few things pose a huge risk to babies:

preterm babies
sick babies
frequent vaginal exams (hello? done all the time in the hospital, and prenatally)
being in the hospital (babies can get late-onset GBS infections from their hospital stay .. even if mom is negative!)
post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birth&Bunnies View Post
I love you guys. Sometimes it's hard to believe a new comer (me, the Doula) and go against the OB/ midwife and DH. FYI I mentioned these things, but I don't blame her for not believing me just sad the way it happened.
I know you mentioned these things And to be completely honest, I was scared and skeptical to try these natural methods because of what the midwives told me and because I have this tendency to trust the system totally. I just don't know what to think anymore. I am almost inclined to not even test for it again.
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommyofwills View Post
I know you mentioned these things And to be completely honest, I was scared and skeptical to try these natural methods because of what the midwives told me and because I have this tendency to trust the system totally. I just don't know what to think anymore. I am almost inclined to not even test for it again.
it doesn't matter if you test for it again or not - once you're positive, you're always viewed as positive.

and, I have to admit, it's not the role of a doula to prescribe it. The role of the doula is to provide information - or at least a place where women can get their own info, but I'd be hesitant to do too much pushing to do something that could potentially still be risky. offering information and research is one thing, but laying out treatment options or a plan of treatment is not in the role of a doula.

As a midwife and care provider, I feel like it is well within my role to offer suggestions for treatment - but still each woman has to choose wwhat she is comfortable with.
post #11 of 52
I birth my babies unassisted, with GSB. I treat it by using herbs to boost my immune system. It can be done.
post #12 of 52
i know where you're coming from. i tested +ve for GBS when iwas pregnant. and my water broke first - i wasn't even dilated nor really showing signs of effacement (though i was only a week before my due date).

my water broke in the wee hours in the morning and i went back to sleep. only after i really woke up at a normal time did i call the dr office to see how to proceed. i did end up with both pitocin and antibiotics during labor. i was, well, stubborn and refused to sign consent forms for the epidural.

i was blessed with a supremely speedy delivery so i had only 1 course of antibiotics. though i did need a diflucan "chaser" upon returning home.

i'm leaning towards a home birth nxt time 'round now that i've found MDC.
post #13 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife View Post
it doesn't matter if you test for it again or not - once you're positive, you're always viewed as positive.
Why is that?
post #14 of 52
Because most (esp hospital-based) providers view GBS as something that isn't likely to go away - in their eyes, women always carry it, even if it fluctuates in appearance or colonization.

Ideally, we should be getting women to view whole body health: probiotics, limiting sugar, etc., instead of throwing their entire system (and that of their newborn) off with antibiotics. It's like pulling all of your teeth because you have a higher rate of cavities.
post #15 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife View Post
it doesn't matter if you test for it again or not - once you're positive, you're always viewed as positive.
.
nak actually this is not the case anymore
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by homemademomma View Post
nak actually this is not the case anymore
I'm glad to hear that - but it's still pretty standard here, but even more so if you refuse to test in pregnancy. So is giving women oral antibiotics early in the pregnancy if their urine tests positive for GBS.
post #17 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by pamamidwife View Post
it doesn't matter if you test for it again or not - once you're positive, you're always viewed as positive.

and, I have to admit, it's not the role of a doula to prescribe it. The role of the doula is to provide information - or at least a place where women can get their own info, but I'd be hesitant to do too much pushing to do something that could potentially still be risky. offering information and research is one thing, but laying out treatment options or a plan of treatment is not in the role of a doula.

As a midwife and care provider, I feel like it is well within my role to offer suggestions for treatment - but still each woman has to choose wwhat she is comfortable with.
post #18 of 52
Around here, some providers treat GBS as a "once positive, always positive" and some don't. The worst I've seen are providers that treat with antibotics, EVEN AFTER THE MOM HAS TESTED NEGATIVE! The rationale was "oh, you might have gotten it since we tested..." :

There's lots of GBS information floating around on the net and IRL. The most sensible I have found is:

*40% of women will test positive for GBS at any given time.
*Just because you are positive once, doesn't mean you will be again.
*One factor that can influence GBS is the level of yeast in your vagina. If you plan to test for GBS next pregnancy, take probiotics and limit refined sugar (yeast LOVES sugar) to reduce yeast levels.
*GBS is transmittable only if baby comes into contact with it, if the membranes release before baby crowns. To minimize transfer risk (which is minimal anyway), take measures to reduce possibility of SROM before labor. There is evidence that taking 500+mg of Vitamin C daily during pregnancy strengthens the inter-cellular connections of the amniotic sac (reducing P/SROM) and it definitely boosts your immune system to fight the GBS.
*Also, plan a birth with a care provider that doesn't mess with the membranes before or during labor.

Good luck!

S.
post #19 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweeetpea View Post
Around here, some providers treat GBS as a "once positive, always positive" and some don't. The worst I've seen are providers that treat with antibotics, EVEN AFTER THE MOM HAS TESTED NEGATIVE! The rationale was "oh, you might have gotten it since we tested..." :

There's lots of GBS information floating around on the net and IRL. The most sensible I have found is:

*40% of women will test positive for GBS at any given time.
*Just because you are positive once, doesn't mean you will be again.
*One factor that can influence GBS is the level of yeast in your vagina. If you plan to test for GBS next pregnancy, take probiotics and limit refined sugar (yeast LOVES sugar) to reduce yeast levels.
*GBS is transmittable only if baby comes into contact with it, if the membranes release before baby crowns. To minimize transfer risk (which is minimal anyway), take measures to reduce possibility of SROM before labor. There is evidence that taking 500+mg of Vitamin C daily during pregnancy strengthens the inter-cellular connections of the amniotic sac (reducing P/SROM) and it definitely boosts your immune system to fight the GBS.
*Also, plan a birth with a care provider that doesn't mess with the membranes before or during labor.

Good luck!

S.
What great information! Thank you.
post #20 of 52

gbs and home birth

I gave birth a healthy child that became sick of GBS (sepsis and meningitis, early onset) because I did not receive the corresponding antibiotic during labor. I did not have ANY of the risk factors, the chances for my baby to get sick were so low!!! I started labor when I was at 40 weeks, no premature membrane rupture, I declined epidural. Everything was fine until 2 days after my son was born, he started having seizures. He tested positive for GBS everywhere…After this horrible experience, even when the chances are very low, I would never take them if by doing that I am risking my baby’s life. Is it worth the risk? Treatment according to CDC Guidelines consists of intravenous administration of ampicillin every four hours during labor. This does not require a continuous IV infusion, only a heplock, which still enables moms to move around freely and have the waterbirth they dream of. I would never advice a gbs positive mother to not take the antibiotics, that SO irresponsible!!!!. GBS has to be taken seriously. For more information visit http://www.groupbstrepinternational.org/
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