Group B Strep - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 07-22-2005, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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16 days until my due date and I just found out this morning that I am positive for Group B Strep. The nurse explained that they will administer antibiotics before labor and that the odds are my little one won't become infected. However, I'm still having a hard time with this. I can't stop thinking about the 'what-ifs'. I am terrified that I could be such a danger to my own baby. I have been planning on a water birth at a birth center but my Mom suggested today on the phone that in light of this I should consider a hospital birth. I would appriciate any comforting words of wisdom or advice from mothers who have gone through this.
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#2 of 14 Old 07-22-2005, 05:26 PM
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Group B strep is just the latest scare tactic IMO. I didn't get tested. I would have refused antibiotics. I birthed at home and will never do it any other way (unless there's an emergency)

I wouldn't worry.

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#3 of 14 Old 07-22-2005, 06:28 PM
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I just found out I'm GBS positive today...kinda bummed about it. It is pretty common (35% of women....) so I'll be getting IV antibiotics during labor. I'm not too concerned though...since there's a low chance of the baby getting infected if I'm treated. I am just concerned about wiping out all my "good" flora. I've been taking probiotics for many weeks now...guess it didn't help. But I'll continue after the birth to prevent yeast problems. I guess there are worse things that could happen IMO. I'm a pedi nurse and have seen lots of newborns.

Good luck to you. I think as long as you are treated, you should be fine with your original birth plans...
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#4 of 14 Old 07-22-2005, 08:08 PM
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I was heavily colonized in my first pg (had a UTI due to GBS, which is a sign of a bad infection), and was automatically treated my second pg because of that. I just had a hep-lock and got the antibiotics once every 4 hours with my first. With my second, well, she was born 20 minutes after they started the antibiotics . So, we just had to watch her more closely for signs of infection (take her temp, etc), but she was fine. I had planned to have a birth center birth orignially for this one (can't due to my blood pressure), and wouldn't hesitate to do so due to the GBS issue. I think your baby's risk is very, very, very low with being treated with the antibiotics, and being in a hospital wouldn't improve the odds any, kwim? Actually, the odds of infections in general are higher in hospital, so in that way you may be better off.

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#5 of 14 Old 07-22-2005, 10:20 PM
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Rest assured that there are many women who test positive and have happy and healthy deliveries every year. I think the number is like 1 in 4. It is very uncommon that baby gets sick, and there are several methods of treatment. But the antibiotics would be the same wether you are in the hospital or the birth center, so why change your birth plans? Don't let this one thing change your plans.
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#6 of 14 Old 07-22-2005, 10:31 PM
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i was grp b positive and took the antibiotic iv during labor and did a water birth.

dont change your plans. the give you an iv for 8 hour intervals until you give birth.

dont worry. the only thing ifoung distracting was the plastic bag around my arm to keep it dry.
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#7 of 14 Old 07-22-2005, 11:04 PM
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I also had this during my first pg, and an accompaning UTI. Even after antibiotics, I was still positive so had to have the antibiotics during labor/birth. If you change your mind and go to a hospital, that is what they will do. It sounds as if it is the same treatment you would get at the place you initally chose to give birth, so why change?

Now, for my second pg, I asked my midwife, with whom we are planning a homebirth, what we would do if I was positive again. She cannot administer IV antibiotics, but told about a practice they are using in England now involving douching with something in particular every four hours. I read up on it and it sounded good. The chances of passing the infection on to the baby are VERY remote, even with no treatment whatsoever. It is just that is can be very serious if it does happen.

I think your baby will be totally safe with you getting the antibodies at the birthing center - go for it!

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#8 of 14 Old 07-23-2005, 12:09 AM
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Definitly don't change your birth plans. I am giving birth at a birth center and if you choose to get tested, and get a positive, you can choose to have antibiotics. What did your midewife say? If you have medical concerns talk to her and get her persective.

Can anyone give me a good (accurate, not doctor horror) site that explains exactly what is Strep B, how it effects you, the chances of the baby contracting it and what happens if the baby contracts it? Thanks!
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#9 of 14 Old 07-23-2005, 10:12 PM
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I did a bit of research on this and was under the impression that if the baby even did get it (which didn't seem super likely) then the baby could be treated with antibiotics, too. It didn't seem like a big deal according to the article I read.

Hope all goes well!
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#10 of 14 Old 07-23-2005, 10:31 PM
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I am group b strep positive as well.
We are planning a home waterbirth.
As we get closer to my due date, my midwife wants to try a garlic remedy to see if that helps clear it up. She says it's just about always effective with her GBS+ moms. If that doesn't work, I have the option of getting IV antibiotics at home. Most likely, I may either ask for antibiotics to take in the days/weeks leading up to labor, which I've heard is also effective, or will just decline all together.
If my water breaks early on in labor, I may accept the IV antibiotics or not. My midwife says she's had plenty of GBS+ moms refuse IV antibiotics, even after their water breaks early in labor.
She says they watch the baby a little more closely, but I don't think she's ever had any problems with babies getting it.
Best of luck to you in making your decision.

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#11 of 14 Old 07-23-2005, 10:47 PM
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Search Henci Goer and Group B Strep!

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#12 of 14 Old 07-23-2005, 11:46 PM
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I posted earlier this week but I was group b strep + with dd. No one ever told me. I didn't know until I requested my records for my homebirth midwife. The hospital as far as I can tell wasn't alerted either. DD is fine. Homebirth midwife says we'll do echinacea at 36 weeks for 10 days to try to get rid of it.
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#13 of 14 Old 07-23-2005, 11:54 PM
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It's ok- Group B Strep is totally normal- it is a part of the normal bacteria in the bodies of around 30% of women- it has a very very small chance of actually causing your baby any problems

I tested Group B Strep positive too- but after reviewing the stats and risk factors I felt totally comfortable going ahead with my homebirth- I got a lot of useful info from this website

I did the Hibiclens vaginal wash every 4-5 hours after my water broke and after 20 hours of laboring with ruptured membranes I gave birth to my son- he never had any problems and I felt much better about this method of dealing with Bstrep than having antibiotics- there are risks with having antibiotics too...

The dr.s like to make it sound like your baby will die if they don't give you IV antibiotics but in the vast, vast majority of cases this just isn't the case.

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#14 of 14 Old 07-26-2005, 03:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your responses! After talking with my midwife and reading the article she suggested (instead of the scary articles I found online) I'm feeling much much better. I am going ahead with my original plan, the only change will be that the birth center will require us to stay 12 hours after birth for observation. When I think about it I am a little relieved to know that I will have the additional support for breastfeeding as well for those 12 hours! This was my first post to and I am so grateful that such a resource exists. Thank you all again for helping me to realize that I am not alone in this
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