Group B Streptococcus Infection - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 48 Old 01-03-2002, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My test for Strep B infection just came back positive. I'm almost 38 weeks. My nurse midwife recommends antibiotics via IV once I get to the hospital for my labor. She said I can have a heparin lock IV, which will still allow me to be mobile.

Any info and experience you have to share on this topic, including links to appropriate reading is appreciated. Thanks

Amy
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#2 of 48 Old 01-04-2002, 12:11 AM
 
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We had a discussion about GBS a while back and some good info was shared. I don't have the link handy, but do a search on Group B Strep and you will find it (I think). If not, I'll post my experience again.
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#3 of 48 Old 01-04-2002, 12:11 AM
 
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I don't have any links. sorry. I do know however that at least in my area if you are planning a hospital birth and test positive for strep B you must undergo the anti-biotic treatment or end up having a c-section.:
I hope some one else can give you better information.

peggy
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#4 of 48 Old 01-04-2002, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Erin -- I didn't even realize there is a search feature here. Fabulous!

Amy
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#5 of 48 Old 01-08-2002, 12:36 AM
 
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Hi.

I'm only 16 weeks, but my doctor told me I have group b strep, too and that I also have to have the antibiotics via drip. Yuk! She said I could refuse it, but that she wouldn't advise that. I did some reading and it's pretty scary if your baby gets it. However, I hate the idea of the beginning of interventions.... (My first birth was completely natural, but in the hospital. )

I did a search and found only your post. Did you find out anything else?

Thanks.

-Richie's mama
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#6 of 48 Old 01-08-2002, 01:38 AM
 
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You don't have to have IV antibiotics if you don't want. After I did my research I decided I would get the antibiotics under three conditions:

1. Ruptured membranes for more than 24 hours.
2. Fever
3. Premature birth of the baby.

That's it. Otherwise I decided the risks were pretty small. Emily was fine when she was born. But it's really up to you.
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#7 of 48 Old 01-08-2002, 03:16 AM
 
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I did have the iv drip. I had no choice in the matter, or at least I thought I didn't. Anyway, I am glad I did, because I did run a fever while I was delivering, they also had to give ds antibiotics at birth, because of the fever. But everything turned out well.

Like Erin Pavlina said, the risks really are very small, and it is up to you, but if you decide to or have to have the iv, I just want to let you know it wasn't that bad. Actually the iv was mobile, but I wasn't. I had an epidural, because I also had the dreaded pit drop in that iv-now that is bad!!!, but up until then, when it was just the antibiotic, everything was fine.

Good Luck!!
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#8 of 48 Old 01-09-2002, 01:41 AM
 
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Erin -

Would you mind telling me where you did your research? Everything I've read so far scared me a lot. It implied that the risks of passing the strep onto the baby were really high and that the effects on the baby could be devastating.

Also - does anyone know how you contract group b strep and how you can get rid of it?

Thanks.

- Richie's Mama
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#9 of 48 Old 01-09-2002, 02:04 AM
 
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From what I read and was told by my dr., strep b is present in up to 35% of women. There is no way to get rid of it, they used to give antibiotics a few weeks before delivery, but the strep b would return. That's why they now give it by iv during delivery. I was also told that I would need the antibiotics for any future delivery, because I have had 1 postive test. You can test negative for it at certain times. Apparently the strep b lives naturally in some people, posing no health risk other than passing it on to the baby during delivery.

From what I understand, the risk of anything happening to the baby is small, but if it does it's severe. That's why I would definitly have the antibiotic again. My water had been broken quite a while before they started the iv though.

Also, the baby had to be checked by the pediatrician 4 days after birth instead of the usual 2 weeks, and I was given a list of symptoms to watch out for.

I hope that helps a little!
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#10 of 48 Old 01-09-2002, 04:34 AM
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I have seen some information about GBS on the birthlove website (www.birthlove.com) when you are there do a search for GBS and you'll get several links. This is an awsome site if you don't know it yet. I was positive for GBS but the hospital misplaced my results so they didn't start the IV until I had a fever and the infection actually went into my ds blood stream so he had to remain in hospital with antibiotics for the 10 longest days of our lives.
At the end, everything was ok, though.
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#11 of 48 Old 01-10-2002, 11:51 AM
 
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Hi! You've gotten good information here but I wanted to add that I, too, am group b positive and had antibiotics with both my deliveries. I was a little worried about thrush and breastfeeding. We had no problems with that. The iv wasn't bad. They will give you 2 doses (?2 hours apart?) and you can have a heploc in the meantime. My nurse wasn't going to do it, but my doc came in and made her do it (heploc) so I could walk around. Very beneficieal in the first half of labor. The second half, I couldn't have cared less about that IV. The used it in the end to give me fluids because I was dehydrated and couldn't drink.

Of all the interventions, I don't feel like this will set you up for problems with a natural delivery if this is what you decide (IMHO)
Heather
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#12 of 48 Old 01-10-2002, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bummed out today -- I discovered that my hospital has a policy that strep B positive moms are not allowed to use the lovely new soaking labor tubs in the birthing rooms. Ok to use the tub at home, just not at hospital. Not sure if the risk is about cleaning the tub for next user (I'd think they could sterilize it) or risk to the mother/baby because of the strep.

My husband still would like to ask for one of the tub rooms, though -- for him!
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#13 of 48 Old 01-10-2002, 07:51 PM
 
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wow, sunmom- what a BUMMER! I really don't understand what the concern is with using a hospital tub - it's not as if GBS is catching, or anything. Ask if it's ok to use the tub if your water isn't broken, maybe that's the thought behind that. What it really sounds like to me is liability, liability, liabilty... why else could you do something at home that was exactly the same except for location????

You may want to really pursue the issue, because (professinally speaking) I know of no reason why GBS + women can't labor in a tub! And water in labor is sooooooooo important.

best wishes

Barbara
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#14 of 48 Old 01-11-2002, 06:52 PM
 
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I had Group B strep during pregnancy, too. At first I was bummed I would need an IV, but it was really ok! I got a hep lock ( I had to ask for it), and I got 4 treatments during labor. The minimum is two, or they may need to give the baby antibiotics, then once every four(?) hours after that. It only takes about 20 minutes to get a dose, then you're free from the tubes. That in mind, you might not want to wait til the last second to get to the hospital. : Everything will be fine, though!!!!! I want to also stress the importance of a birth plan and involved partner at the hospital. Give it to everyone involved in your birth as early as possible, so you don't have to argue or make any speeches while you're in labor.
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#15 of 48 Old 01-11-2002, 06:54 PM
 
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one more thing- if they won't let you use a tub, can you use a shower? my hospital didn't have a tub, but the shower was FANTASTIC!
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#16 of 48 Old 01-19-2002, 11:57 AM
 
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I had group B strep this last time. I got antibiotics in labor. They kept me and the baby in a "nesting room" after I was discharged to keep watching the baby, rather than send me home and keep him in the nursery. They checked him every 4 hours for 36 hours after birth. He is fine.

However, a friend of mine didn't know she had group b strep and her water broke at home. Her baby was born at the hospital, but extremely sick because of the strep. In fact, he had to be on an ECMO machine- a heart and lung machine for babies which is pretty much a last resort!

Group b strep is nothing to mess with. I, too, couldn't get in the whirlpool tub for one reason or another- IV, water broken, post partum. oh well. I still had the birth I wanted- no drugs, pushed when I wanted, no interventions, etc.

Also, if you can't get in the tub, you probably can still get in the shower. That does a WORLD of good!
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#17 of 48 Old 01-19-2002, 03:09 PM
 
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I've tested positive for Group B Strep with both pregnancies at about 36 weeks. I agree, this particular nasty is nothing to mess with. I had IV antibiotics in labor both times, but my midwives just give it right into my arm with a big old needle, takes about three minutes, max. With the first baby, I was in labor about thirty plus hours, so got I think three or four doses, with baby number two I only got one, because he came in about 11 hours. Either way, I was willing to have the antibiotics, and happy that no IV drip was needed.

....living, learning and loving everyday with the Sweet Pea Bridgade
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#18 of 48 Old 02-05-2002, 03:38 AM
 
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#19 of 48 Old 02-07-2002, 04:24 AM
 
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Mine came back positive too, which was upsetting because I was planning a homebirth. It wasn't so bad, though - I had to have IV penicillin every four hours. I was able to walk around and after a while I just kind of forgot about it. Sometimes it burned a little but they can dilute it and slow the flow down.
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#20 of 48 Old 02-08-2002, 03:17 PM
 
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I just wanted to add as a NICU nurse (neonatal icu nurse) I have seen several cases of GBS sepsis in the last 10 years, I have to say, they have all been severe. Sure lots of moms who aren't screened or who deliver precipitously don't get antibiotics and their babies may be fine in the majority of cases BUT when GBS strikes it can be devestating. I have seen parents lose a child over this as well as see parents face life with a hanicapped child due to severe sepsis and need for ECMO as someone described earlier. So as a mother who has had 4 deliveries and about to have a 5th in June I'm opting for antibiotics. The scary thing with GBS is the baby may look great at birth but 2-5 days later usually when parents are home the baby can become very ill. SO, just my humble opinion be careful whatever route you choose and if you opt not to recieve antibiotics, please take your baby back for an early follow up. Best wishes to all mamas having to face this choice. I was never bothered by a hep lock with a few quick doses of medicine, I always was able to relax more about the birth. Take care!
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#21 of 48 Old 02-09-2002, 01:11 AM
 
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I just wanted to add that I took the three things Erin stated to my midwives, and they agreed that I didn't have to have the test, but if any of those three situations occurred, I would consent to antibiotics. Simple solution. But I would imagine it all depends on the protocol of the hospital and the laws in your state, the birthsource website was a great deal of help to me, as well, in making this decision.
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#22 of 48 Old 02-09-2002, 02:52 PM
 
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The antibiotics you receive in labor DO NOT have to enter your body via i.v. - my homebirth midwife does 2 (I think) injections before the baby is born in the hip of the mother and this was shown to work as well as i.v. antibiotics. Also, I attended a birth at a local birthing center where they could not get a vein for the iv. to administer antibiotics. Since she began pushing shortly thereafter, she skipped the antibiotics altogether because infection of the baby is EXTREMELY rare. If I were you (famous last words : ) I would inquire about the injectable form of antibiotics... that way you would be free from an iv./heparin during your labor, which can be quite cumbersome.
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#23 of 48 Old 04-06-2002, 09:35 AM
 
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I tested positive very early in the pregnancy and am now 31 weeks. I will be cultured again about 34-36 weeks. If that comes back positive again.....I am trying to decide about using IV antibiotics during labor. I will be delivering at an independent birth center and the midwife is equipted to administer them. My initial feelings are to use them if I have preterm labor, develop a fever or have ruptured membranes for 18 hours or longer. If things procede normally, I'm thinking of not having them. This is my first baby and all has been well so far. I have read a good bit about GBS but am wanting some personal experiences with this if anybody else has had to make this decision and wants to share their experience.
I feel the risk is small but serious if it develops in the baby. My biggest concern is that IF I have to have hospital transport, I'll be in the hospital mega medical machine and not have a say in the procedures done to the baby if I opt NOT to have the ampicillin. I DO NOT want to be seperated from the baby or have invasive tests done to it just because I chose not to have the meds. I also don't want to bombard this tiny newborn infant with antibiotics at it's entrance to the world. What a deliema! I guess this is just the first of a lifetime of heavy decisions regarding the best interest of our baby!
Thanks for any input!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#24 of 48 Old 04-06-2002, 11:54 AM
 
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I tested positive group b with both pregnancies. The first pregnancy was full of interventions bc I didn't know any better. The second time, although I planned a natural birth, I did have the antibiotics. I know the efficacy is questionable and it can be viewed as as open opportunity for more interventions........for me, I was more worried about my infection in the baby's tiny body than the antibiotics.
Especially with the second, it was not bad, nothing else was put in the iv except fluid because i couldn't keep fluids down, they put in a hep loc so I had full mobility. Neither infant had thrush problems (something I worried about) or any other ill effects that I know of.
I understand your dilema....welcome to the wonderful world of parenting!
heather
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#25 of 48 Old 04-06-2002, 02:41 PM
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I have tested + for the strep B also. This is my first pregnancy and I am to have antibotics for acouple of hours before the baby is born, so that they will receive the antibotics. For me it isn't a question of whether or not to have them, I feel that whatever is best for the baby I'll do. I would rather be safe than really sorry!! Just my opinion!!

Chelsi
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#26 of 48 Old 04-06-2002, 02:58 PM
 
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PuppyFluffer,

In the past, there have been many in depth and interesting discussions on Group B strep. If you click on search and then type "Group B" into the query, you will find a lot of information.

~Laura
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#27 of 48 Old 04-06-2002, 03:12 PM
 
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newmommyinnov,

Just to let you know, some people, including myself, think that what is best for our babies in a birth free of unnecessary interventions. So, many women here would choose not to have antibiotics pumped into our babies - unless it did become necessary. I did not even take the Group B strep test when I was pregnant - that was my choice.

Every parent must do what he/she thinks is right for their child. What you do for your child is not necessarily what I would do, but it is right for your family. So, I am not knocking it. I just want you to know you do have a choice.

~Laura
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#28 of 48 Old 04-06-2002, 04:12 PM
 
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I completely understand your concern that if you do test postive at 36 weeks and your midwife is able to let you decline antibiotics in labor (some standards are that if you decide to test, you are bound to follow the result)that if you do transport all kinds of stuff will be done to the baby.

This is unfortunately true. GBS CAN be a serious concern for some babies - the problem is of course, no one knows which ones. This is a real tough decision (again, welcome to being a parent!)and I would NEVER say make a decision out of fear, but oh, my I've seen some really terrible interventions done to newborns because their GBS "status" was positive or even UNKNOWN.

What does your midwife say?

My own personal decision here is to have the antibiotics if I test positive. I'll find out next visit, I'm 38 weeks. But I know my situation is that usually there isn't time for much to get to the baby!

Good luck! and best wishes for a lovely, peaceful, natural birth.

Barbara
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#29 of 48 Old 04-06-2002, 11:42 PM
 
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jordmoder,

thanks for the feedback. My midwife has placed the decision with me and has given me some literature to read about the risks and chances of infection. She basically said to locate a pediatrician or family practice doctor and discuss it with them as it is a decision that affects the baby untimately and that is the domain of the baby's doctor. I did interview a ped. who recommends the antibiotics but will observe the baby for problems before beginning any interventions. If problems appear then we'd be on the medical roller coaster and I don't think that I could deny their usual route of diagnosis/treatment. I certainly don't want to harm my baby in any way.

I might have opted not to have the GBS test done but I had some very early spotting and the gyn that I saw at that time asked about any other discharge and I said I did not think I had anything unusual. She did a culture "just because' and it came back positive for Group B strep. That is how I have the knowledge that I carry this bacteria. I might test negative again. My midwife has suggested we test and hope for a negative result. She'll do what ever I want as far as antibiotics. I have that flexibility at the birth center. I don't have that at the hospital should I need to go there.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#30 of 48 Old 04-07-2002, 02:21 PM
 
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i tested negative in my firdt pregnancy and positive in my second. I decided to have the antibiotics, after talking at length with my midwife who said she has seen more than one baby die from contracting group b strep at birth. But when it came time, i wound up with a 2 hour labor at home and a mad dash to the hospital to birth my baby, she was born an hour after i arrived at the hospital and it was too late to bother with the antibioyics, so I didn't have them. we had to have bloodwork done on her, which i was so upset about but it didn't phaze her, she didn't even cry! her tests came out fine and she was closely observed for the next day or so, no problems.
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