Midwives, please entertain another GBS question. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 03-27-2009, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes, I know. Another one , but there are a few variables which are making my decision difficult and I want to know what you all think.

I tested GBS +, swab was taken at 36 weeks. MW has recommended oral amoxicillin at onset of labor, then every 4 hours afterward. Homebirth is still on, and she's not pushing me to do the abx, just recommending. I have done enough research to feel good about alternatives in general. Vaginal garlic, echinacea/astragalus, probiotics, vitamin C, chlorhexidine wash during labor, etc. all seem to make sense.

However, my immune system has been compromised this pregnancy. I have never had so many colds in my life. I have already been treated with a round of abx for pneumonia about 2 months ago (I hated to do it, but could not breathe). I take 1 - 2 Emergen-C daily, drink Kombucha and Kefir regularly, and have been taking probiotic caps since I took the pneumonia abx. I feel like, gosh - if I tested GBS+ after all that, I must be pretty heavily colonized? Does being sick increase my risk of heavy colonization? Or is that just me being paranoid? I have thought about going the herbal/ probiotic route hard core and asking MW to swab me again next week - I'll be 38 weeks - is this a total waste of time?

I really don't want to take the abx, don't want babe to start out with that crap in her system and the problems which could result. Yet, I know I'm not in my tip-top immune health despite constant efforts all winter long. If I did decide to take abx, would I be better off requesting penicillin and ditch the amoxicillin? I an 99.9% sure that I'm not allergic, and from my research it seems the better option.

BTW other than the freak colds/pneumonia this winter, I am the picture of health, healthy pregnancy, never had a UTI in my life that I am aware of, no vaginal discomfort, can count the yeast infections I have ever had on one hand (it's been years), have a great diet, and am a regular yoga practitioner and teacher, teach creative movement to children - very healthy and active.

Thanks for listening, I am interested in hearing your responses. I trust my midwife and respect her judgment, but am interested in an array of professional opinions.
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#2 of 3 Old 03-27-2009, 08:26 PM
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This is a really hard question to answer because the proposed treatment is oral antibiotics. Is there evidence to suggest this is effective for GBS - it is new to me? It is hard to compare your proposed path to something I'm not familiar with.

I've come to believe that GBS is a natural inhabitant of some women's GI tract in 2009 - perhaps it wasn't always that way, but it seems to be true now. I don't think that having it is a sign of ill health. In the same way that all healthy vaginas contain some yeast (and some bacteria), GBS can live in the gut and rectum. As such, I'm not sure it can be irradicated with anti-microbials. There isn't supposed to be bacteria in the urine, for example, or the lungs (as in your pnemonia), so I think you can support the natural function of your body (ie, bacteria freedom) in those areas with herbs and dietary changes.

Please don't believe that the GBS is a referendum on your healthiness. If you eat well and exercise, I beleive you! Having GBS doesn't change my opinion of you.

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#3 of 3 Old 03-27-2009, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, I wasn't thinking that I'd be judged for being GBS+ (thanks for saying it, though ), I'm just trying to state as much as I can about my health, and that I don't have any of the 'warning signs'. From what I have researched, there are links between the mother's overall health and immunity and colonization, then a connection between high colonization and contraction of GBS infection. If I were not heavily colonized, I wouldn't worry as much. But I wonder if my compromised immunity leaves me susceptible to high colonization. I can't get a quantified test, so it's a guessing game in either case. I have heard that detection of GBS in urine can indicate high colonization, so I'm thinking of getting a urine test.

As far as oral abx go, it seems that there are mixed reviews on the effectiveness on this tactic - Some say that the oral abx will not cross the placenta anyway, that the chances of absorption before baby passes through vagina are sketchy...but this is what my MW recommended and I have seen it recommended by other midwives.

Maybe I'm thinking too much about this. It just caught me so off-guard. Both of my pregnancies have been completely glitch-free, so this is a totally new line of thought for me. I'm having to deal with the whole "my body is not broken" thing, no fun. I mean, I know it's not, but still...
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