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Group B strep - Page 3

post #41 of 58
I'm a big fan of Midwifery Today's website. always lots of useful information!

post #42 of 58

also big on midwiferytoday! Got quite a bit of great info. infact that is where I got the link to the article I mentioned above. See you on the boards!

post #43 of 58
In our practice we recommend "the swab" as a way to prove status in case we go to the hospital (we're a homebirth practice). We let the women take the swab into the bathroom and get their own sample.

In my area, the doctors usually take a vaginal sample, drag the swab down the perineum and around the rectum...pretty much guaranteeing a positive result.

The CDC Guidelines keep changing in regards to GBS, for a while some of the Boston area hospitals adopted the "wait and watch" strategy, and if signs of infection showed in laboring mothers they'd administer antibiotics...of course these signs are often fever and elevated BP (how many women do you know who don't get elevated BP and/or sweaty in labor???)

Definitely check out the Midwifery Today site, they have fantastic information GBS. GBS infection in a newborn, while rare can be very dangerous.

Take care,
post #44 of 58

I was B Strep + with my first and had a very beautiful. healthy homebirth. The only thing I did was mega echinacea. 10 days on, 5 days off. I never made it to the off part because I went into labor a few days early.

ANYWAY...as said before..it's a very controversial thing.

Happy HOME birthing!

post #45 of 58
Hi Everyone,

Just to give you all an update, I took antibiotics--a form a penicillin for 7 days and my second culture came back negative. I'm also taking garlic everday and echinacea 7 days on and 7 days off.

My doctor gave me an article about the CDC changing it's recommendations from monitoring risk factors to testing everyone, and administering antibiotics during labor to all who test positive, but even that article cautioned that antibiotics during labor is a short term solution because of resistance.

I checked out the _Midwifery Today_ site for information on GBS and was concerned because there were what seemed to be obvious errors in the information there, most notably using GBS and Beta Strep interchangeably. Of course, there's always going to be conflicting information out there, but the _Midwifery Today_ article stated things that pretty much everything else I read had concensus on.

post #46 of 58
Originally posted by bluevervain
In my area, the doctors usually take a vaginal sample, drag the swab down the perineum and around the rectum...pretty much guaranteeing a positive result.
so how do you recommend a culture being done?
post #47 of 58

Group B Strep

I am 35 weeks and have to make a decision about getting the Group B Strep test done or waivering it. My midwife is cool about me not getting it done, I just have to sign a waiver. With my ds' pregnancy, I used a different midwife, and she didn't give me much info on it, but I do recall signing a waiver against it. Anyways, what have all of you homebirthin' mamas done in regards to this test? I'm leaning towards not getting it done this time, but I wanted to hear some other's opinions first. TIA!
post #48 of 58
AHHH, what a complicated issue.....
There are lots of info on the archives- in case you want to check.

My story-
I am 37 weeks and just switched midwives from those that practice in a hospital to one who does homebirths.
I stayed so long with the hospital birth because of cost (it would ahve been free!) and assumed I would just go to the hospital at the very very last minute- so I would ahve all the comfort of home.
Well, I tested positive for strep, so that birth plan was thrown out the water.
Actually, being positive for strep was very freeing- it made the descion of leaving a practice I felt was coarse and too medical very easy.
You see, in the hospital, the midwives would insist on giving me 2 IVS of antibotics before Iw as pushing.

My homebirht midwife is not required to test. She has dealt with it before.
She is fine with giving me a homebirth- as long as I am past 37 weeks (already there), have no fever during labor, and my water is not broken for longer than 24 hours. These factor raise the risk of the baby getting strep.
My midwife also feels that hopsital birthed babies get strep- or at risk for strep- more often because of interventions like fetal monitoring thru your vagina, and other items that enter thru the cervix- whihc is like little ladders for the bacteria.

Strep isvery very bad when the baby does get it- thought that is rare. I am planning on using a topical recipe to lower the amount of the bacteria in my vagina before I birth.

I would ask your midwife what she would do diff if you tested positive, and if she has worked with any patients that ahve strep.
In my case, I am glad that I know I ahve strep, because if a fever or the extended water broken occurs- we know to take it seriously.
You also may test negative this week, and positive next, so it isnt a fool proof test either.

It is a hard thing, one I think we wish we could all look into the future and see the obvious outcome- but we cant.

Good luck
post #49 of 58
I'm only 26 weeks, but already wondering what choice I'll make (to test or not). At first I thought I might as well since I heard it could be linked to UTIs, of which I've had many, but then I found that your GBS state could change in as little as 24 hours. Why do I want to resign myself to taking antibiotics in labor when it will probably (knock on wood) be weeks after I test? (Also, I just don't like anyone but my DH in that alleyway.) So I *think* at this point that I have decided not to test, and will instead only consider antibiotics in labor if I fall into any of the three risk categories; fever, early water breaking, or preterm labor. That's just what I'm planning-- this is my first so I have no prior experience.

SquirelNutkin, I've also heard about the alternative remedies to GBS. Can I ask what you're using? I'm a still new to the whole "alternative medicine" scene, but very excited by it all. It's a little overwhelming at first...
post #50 of 58

ignorance IS bliss

Short answer: Don't get the test done

I've done lots of research because, dangit, I am GBS+. Once 'they' find out you are +, it's with you for life.

Even if you test again w/\ a subsquent pg, you still were + that one time.

Williams Obstetrics, THE OB textbook, says in their 20th edition from 1997:

Because of confustion, conflicting opinions, and lack of definitive data, there has been no universal approach to group B strep screening and treatment.

While I'm more into the lay midwife way of birthing, I feel that the pre-emminent OB text is THE place to go for the conservative, 'shield me from litigation and use any and all interventions available' opinion. And that's their stand on the topic.

(PS, I don't think IV antibiotics are harmless, I think they cause thrush in newborn babies' mouths)
post #51 of 58
Strep has become a very hot topic in the last 5 years. Just this month, here in Texas they are mandating that mothers take 2 tests- one at 37 and one at 39. A big jump from what it was years ago.

There are a lot of recipes out there for keeping strep levels down, but-
Heres what my homebirth midwife reccomended-
Do this twice daily, with breakfast and dinner:
acidophilus- 4 billion cells per dose
echinacea- 350 mg capsules- 2 capsules
garlic- 580 mg capsules- 2 capsules
vitamin C- 500 mg with bioflavonoids
grapefruit seed extract- 15 drops

In addition to this, insert a capsule of goldenseal vaginally (near the cervix) every night before you go to bed. Avoid sugar and junk food and eat plenty of fresh produce-5 or more daily. Continue with your protein and whole grains.

good luck all- b
post #52 of 58
Tiny shoes, I would like to point out that, actually, most standards of care regarding this is to routinely test, rather than treat by history.

We have had many moms who have tested positive with previous pregnancies and tested negative with subsequent pregnancies. Even most of the most conservative OB offices in the area test routinely and only treat positive or symptomatic rather than treating by history.

Of course, it should always be your choice to be tested or treated for anything, and I am not debating that point at all. I only wanted to point out that, even in the most conservative circles, it is not necessarily "once positive, always positive." There is plenty of research out there in conservative journals supporting treating only positive or symptomatic women, and unsupportive of blanket treatment for previously positive.
post #53 of 58
Hello mellie-bellie!
Just wanted to add my input LOL! I am 40 wks, refused the screening, and also refused antibiotics even if I show the 'symptoms'. I feel the antibiotics given during labor/delivery to be more harmful than the small chance my babe would get strep B.
Twelve years ago, my niece was born and got the strep B. They quarantined her and her mother, gave the baby antibiotics and allowed her to be breastfed. She is fine. So, even if my baby got it, I know that it is treatable.
I think the mandated testing of strep B is just another money making scheme, and really has nothing to do with the health and well-being of our babies.
I worry that if I let them test me and I am positive, then it gives them the ability to over ride my refusal of antibiotics KWIM? And just think of all the positive, good flora/fauna that is wiped out when you are given antibiotics, I think it would open the door for all sorts of nastier diseases for my baby.

JMO and good luck!
post #54 of 58
My baby broke her water two weeks early. As I had no pain, and actually thought I was incontinent at first, my midwife checked me that morn and just by chance did a swipe for GBS. Suffice to say, I was not the least bit concerned with her check, nor the outcome. I think I had way too much on my mind, like
"What! I have two more weeks!"

She told me that I would probably go into labor that day, and I did, late that afternoon. My 4 hour labor, and home waterbirth was a peaceful and phenomenal journey. Our Ava was gorgeous, and in perfect health.

The next day, Annette came back to our home and said that it was the strangest thing, that my swipe had come back positive (after the birth).

GBS is a normal bacteria that can get dangerously out of control, just like candida and so many others that we don't have a handle on yet. I believe that our floras are influenced greatly by our diet and hormones, and this explains the natural fluctuation of numbers.

Great advice, SquirrelNutkin! And thank you SO much for the recipe for combating a possible attack! In the late portion of my next pregnancy, I will definitely do this, with my awesome midwife's approval.
post #55 of 58
also...there are many threads here re: this topic. try searching for it.

my two cents...dont do it...i tested positive and i worried for nothing. (had a successful HB anyway, treated w/alternative remedies like the homeopathic and also vaginal suppositories--though in my opinion, it is also or can be a "yoni" issue. i think it helps to resolve neg. feelings you have about your vagina before birthing. i believe this "cured" my beta strep...we got the second neg. culture back after birth)

didn't test w/baby two and i would never test again. but you must resolve this issue (obviously) for yourself. it's just a lot of women *do* test positive...and needlessly worry.
you know what is right for you and your baby.......good luck
post #56 of 58
at what week should you start the regimen and for how long? until you deliver?
post #57 of 58
SquirelNutkin said:
There are lots of recipes for keeping strep levels down, but
here is what my homebirth midwife recommended-
Do this twice daily with breakfast and dinner:
acidolphilous- 4 billion cells per dose
echinecea- 350mg capsules- 2 capsules
garlic- 580mg capsules- 2 capsules
vitamin C- 500mg with bioflavinoids
grapefruit seed extract- 15 drops
(bold added by me)

FYI- garlic taken internally can thin the blood and lower blood pressure. it should be used with *extreme* caution towards the end of a pregnancy because it can lead to unnecessary hemoraging after the birth.
post #58 of 58
I didnt know that about the garlic.
It was reccommended by several midwives- both my own and online.
Another option is a product called Natribiotic- which is a combination of most of what I listed earlier, but without the garlic.

Goldenseal- I am not sure how long, etc. There is a thread on mothering, if you search under homebirth and gbs- you find a whole thread about goldenseal. The woman who started the topic suggested using a goldenseal and cocaoa butter suppoistory mixture once a night for 3 nights, then wait 2 nights, and start again if you havent had the baby. I think the implication is to start as late as possible so that your vaginal flora/fauna is balanced.
I would also mix the goldenseal with cocoa butter for an easier time of it. With just capsoles- I felt like I had ants in my pants. She mixed 6 capsules to 3 tbls cocoa butter and froze into 8 drops.
I want to also caution that it is only a goldenseal suppository. ABSOLUtely do not take internally- as that is conindicative for alls tages of pregnancy.

Another recipe I found online here at motheirng- A few tablespoons each of yarrow root, rosemary, thyme, and candelua, 1./2 cup sea salt and a quart of water used as a bath or a douch. I have found this remedy easier and less messy, and unpleasant.

Anyhow, I second the advice of not testing. The risk is pretty low of passing it, unless you have had some of the mentioned complications- which would be signs of concern on their own anyhow.
I certainly wasnt tested with my first child- as it wasnt policy yet, and who know if I would be positive or not. But I certainly didnt feel as worried or concerned as I do this round.

Anyhow, good luck to all,
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