What is everyone doing about GBS testing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious what you other mamas are doing with regard to the Group B Strep test.

I was never tested in my first pregnancy and was completely unaware of its existence. And my baby was fine and naver gave me a thing to worry about.

Now I'm leaning toward being tested and accepting the antibiotics if I do test positive. I don't have a problem with the antibiotics as much as I have problems having an IV (even with a heplock). I'm thinking I'll ask the MW to take out the IV altogether in between doses. Does that sound reasonable?

When will you be tested if you decide to take the test?

Would you consider re testing closer to your due date if you do test positive?
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#2 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 01:28 PM
 
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I tested positive with Miles. My ob, being completely stupid, stripped my membrames, without my permission at 39 weeks. A week befor my due date, and 1 week 9 days befor I actually gave birth. I guess she was unaware of my positive status with the gbs. God forbid she take a second to read my chart. The stripping of membrames without permission is another thing altogether.

Fast forward to labor: I'm given antibiotics, and they break my water at about 4 centimeters. Inviting gbs to party in the birth canal. Oh, and check me every hour or so.(again giving a free ride to anything that wants up to mess things up)

Miles is born and whisked away for "testing" due to the gbs status, and his "heavy breathing". Turns out he's sepsis, and we're at the hospital Thurs. - Mond. with a nurse coming to our house every day for 2 weeks to give him a shot of antibiotics.

I will not be tested. I will however, do a vaginal wash with hibi-cleanse at the onset of labor, which has been AS EFFECTIVE as anti-biotics in treating GBS. If your concerned at all check into the hibi-cleanse route. My case was completely mismanaged, and I feel myself and Miles were exposed to a butt load of anti. that did us no good.
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#3 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 03:58 PM
 
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I don't plan to be tested at all. I've heard too many "iffy" stories about it - people testing positive, then negative closer to the due date, etc. It just seems like an invitation for unneccessary meddling. My midwife told us a story about a woman who decided to be tested but then "forgot" to pick up the results until after her homebirth. She was gbs positive but everything turned out fine.
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#4 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 04:00 PM
 
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I do plan on being tested...I tested Neg. last time. But if I test positive I will only accept antibiotics during labour if I also have other risk factors....or maybe not even then. I don't really plan to have any of the risk factors, not that anyone does...but with Ember my water did break at the onset of labour and she was born 15 hrs later, so if my water were to break again this time I think the baby would likely be born before the 12 hr mark. And I rather doubt that we'd have 4 hrs in which to give me IV unless I knew prior, I don't plan on spending 4 hrs in the hospital before delivery...so I guess that I want to know so that I can look into other possibilities for treatment if infact I am.

Of course every midwife is different, but with mine the choice was not have the testing and get treated if there are risk factors, or get tested and have treatment if there are risk factors. So I'd rather test and in if neg. not have to worry about being treated if there happens to be risk factors KWIM. I think, but didn't ask, that this is just one of the rules set out for her by the BC gov. but I could be wrong.
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#5 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momadance
do a vaginal wash with hibi-cleanse.
What is this? Where do you get it?

My OB just told me that she would be doing the GroupB swab next visit (36wks). As non-interventionist as her office is overall, this is one test she does require and she is all for the antibiotics during labor and all that. I tested neg with Hannah, so I'm not too worried. But I'd like to have a back-up plan to discuss with her, just in case.
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#6 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 05:31 PM
 
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With my first 2 pg's I tested neg for GBS. For this one, I had seen a different midwife at a birth center for my first appt at 6 weeks. She tested me for GBS , not by doing a vaginal swab, but an anal swab. And of course it came out positive. My mw now gave me the option to be tested or decline. I am still going to be tested, correctly this time and hopefully it will be neg. But if I do end up being pos., then I have the option of a few treatments. I will probably just do some homeopathic remedies and take oral antibiotics for a few weeks and then be retested. If still postive then, I'll continue oral antibiotics and then the babe will get a shot of antibiotic within an hour after birth. No IV for me during labor.
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#7 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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My midwife just left a few minutes ago and this is one of the things that we discussed today. Basically, she is fine with whatever I decide to do regarding whether I want to be tested or not, and how I would like to treat it if I do opt to test and it turns out to be positive.

After talking to her about it for a while, I decided to take a fairly moderate, middle-of-the-road approach to it. I'll go ahead and get tested next week when I have my appointment with her backup OB. If positive I'll do the antibiotics but ONLY IF other risk factors are present during labor (water being broken for an extended period of time, etc.).

Although the decision is ultimately up to me and my midwife will support whatever I choose to do, she feels that this is a very reasonable approach. If I do opt for antibiotics during labor, she prefers to give them via intermuscular injection as opposed to an IV. If I really want, she'll set up an IV but would prefer not to do so...all of the tubing and so forth is just a hassle and doesn't really fit into most people's vision of a homebirth.
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#8 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmmm, I asked my midwife if there was any way other than IV to receive the antibiotics and she said "no"! Whats the deal? The intramuscular shot would be preferrable for me too as I HATE, HATE, HATE IVs. I'll ask again next week.
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#9 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 07:00 PM
 
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This topic came up in my OB appt today as well. I wasn't seeing my regular Dr. but the sub Dr. says that IV is the only treatment as well. Hopefully my regular OB will be a bit more open minded. I'll likely take the test, hope for the best, and be prepared to fight for less intervention if it comes back positive. :

Dr. says to test around 4 weeks before due date since the flora after 4 weeks could be changed. I know that this was a topic of a Mothering magazine a few months back; will have to find that issue again.
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#10 of 35 Old 09-03-2004, 07:17 PM
 
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we are planning a homebirth with our midwife.

i talked to mw about gbs last week. essentially, i have the choice to be tested or not.

it's true, you can test postivie then be negative a week later, it moves in and out of your intestines where it lives (and is helpful).

the only possible issue we might have was if i didn't test and had fever druing labour, i'd need antibiotics anyway. in the middle of the night, if she doesn't have them on-hand, that means a hospital transfer.

what i think i will do is get tested. if +ve i will ask her to bring antibiotics to my home, but they would only be administered if i had any symptoms or risk factors. a +ve test alone, is not enough to convince me.


i am *very* interested in the hibi-wash mentioned earlier. could you please post more info about it, or a link? tia!
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#11 of 35 Old 09-04-2004, 03:33 AM
 
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I asked my midwife yesterday if she does the GBS test and she said yes. That was pretty much the extent of our conversation, because I really didn't have a problem with it. I was tested last time and it was negative, so I guess that's why I hadn't put too much thought into it. The pamplets I've gotten from my midwife mention doing the hibi-cleanse during labor after every time at the toilet. I guess if the test came back positive, we would figure out what to do from there.

Gosh, momadance - that sounds awful what happened to you and Miles! I definitely wouldn't be testing either if we'd been through that mess.

Mom to two boys, 7 and 10.  Expecting 3rd boy any day now with DH (his first).

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#12 of 35 Old 09-04-2004, 04:48 PM
 
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Yeah it did suck. The thing is too, if you've tested positive for one pregnancy, your treated with IV anti's in a hospital setting, regardless of your current status, and refusal can result in being booted from your current care provider. I don't know if that's a Georgia thing, or all over the place.
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#13 of 35 Old 09-05-2004, 10:49 PM
 
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I'm not getting tested at all. My MW offers is but does not do it routinely unless a woman asks for it. This is pretty much her policy on all testing - iron, GBS, GD, PKU, etc...her "policy" is that she informs her clients of the risks and benefits and it is up to them. I am comfortable just skipping the swab, as well as the GD test. I'm upping the probiotics in my diet at the end of the pregnancy as a precaution.
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#14 of 35 Old 09-07-2004, 12:34 PM
 
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I'm not getting tested either.
Here if you test posistive for Strep B you are automaticaly put on antibiotics during labour. And since there are clear signs that develop if a woman is Strep B positive during labour (high fever for example) I don't see the point in testing a few weeks ahead even though the infection may or not be present during labour. If I show symptoms during labour then I will take the antibiotics. But I do not want to take antibiotics and expose my new born's sysytem to a medicine that'll destroy the very important bacteria that is growing in his digestive tract for no reason.
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#15 of 35 Old 09-08-2004, 06:20 PM
 
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#16 of 35 Old 09-08-2004, 08:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aircantu1
Can't we just use antibiotics if there are symptoms?
that would be my take on it. my midwife mentioned that at mount sainai in toronto, they did a study that showed that only women who were positive and HAD SYMPTOMS benefitted from the antibiotics. can you discuss this with someone in advance (sorry, i didn't notice how far along you are)

good luck!
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#17 of 35 Old 09-08-2004, 11:38 PM
 
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#18 of 35 Old 09-17-2004, 12:54 PM
 
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i tested GBS+ i asked the dr. what are the chances of the baby getting it, she said 1% but that it can be pretty severe if they do get it. but now that i've been reading more about it, i'm wondering if it's a blessing in disguise - being able to argue against internal exams, membrane stripping and water breaking?

i'm going to be laboring as long as possible at home, so i'm wondering if they'd even have time to do the IVs. will know in a few weeks

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#19 of 35 Old 09-21-2004, 07:41 PM
 
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uhhh ... just found out today, from our pediatrician actually, that they use penicillin or amoxycillin for the GBS IV at our hospital. i'm allergic to both! the "stop breathing" kind of allergy. i called and found out they have only 2 other alternatives, both of which i've also had asthma/hives reaction to. i find out Thursday what's up. i wish i hadn't said yes to the test ... they'll end up treating Willow if i can't be treated, even if she doesn't get sick i'd rather have 1000 needles than her have to have even one.

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#20 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 04:49 AM
 
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Argh, Meli that sucks : Will they want to treat Willow even in the absence of warning signs/symptoms?? Gosh I would be wishing I hadn't tested too! Hopefully you will get some better news on Thurs! You'd think that they'd also be concerned about her being allergic since you are! Let us know what you find out.
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#21 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 09:57 AM
 
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Have you been trying any homeopathic remedies? Maybe you could and then insist on being retested?
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#22 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 10:41 AM
 
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I had to deal with this issue as I had an ob do a vaginal swab really early in the pregnancy. I had a bit of a discharge so she did a swab without even talking to me about it. She never discussed the GBS issue with me. It came back positive and she wanted me to take oral anitibiotics then - in the first trimester. I said NO WAY and started researching. Everything I read talked about antibiotics in labor, not prior.

I talked to my midwife about it quite a bit. I just could not make inner peace with the antibiotics. She suggested I talk to my pediatrician as it really is an issue to affect the baby, not the mother. The GBS is a part of some women's natural flora and does not cause them problems, it's only troublesome if the baby gets infected with it...

So I set out on a mission to find a ped and discuss it. I was told that regardless of whether I had antibiotics in labor or not, they would still monitor the baby in the hospital. If the baby showed any signs of infection, they would begin testing and treatment. I asked lots of questions and didn't like many of the answers. What struck me the most was the ped saying that the outcome for babies of mothers who took the antibiotics verses the women who didn't was not very different at all.

What I ultimately did was lots of probiotics throughout the pregnancy, got retested closer to due date (was still positive) and decided t have the antibiotics if I had any of the risk factors. I had none of the risk factors, had a very easy birth at the independent birth center and just monitored my baby closely at home. I did alot of reading about GBS infection in infants. I monitored her temperature frequently for the first two weeks. (I did this as there is an early onset and a late onset version of the infection.) Ultimately, I trusted my inner voice to know what we needed to do and it all worked out great!

Good luck!

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#23 of 35 Old 09-22-2004, 10:43 AM
 
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There is also a great post on either I'm pregnant or Birth and Beyond that talks about hibi cleanse...pamamidwife had links to LOTS of studies showing it works as well as antibiotics....check it out!

Amy, USCG wife and homeschooling, ebfing, homebirthing Mama to M (8), L (6), L (2.5)
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#24 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 12:14 AM
 
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i've read about hibi-cleanse as well, no $ to do it though (too much month at the end of my money!). my main worry is that they'll be observing her whether we decline the automatic antibiotics or not, for 48 hours ... which means no rooming in i'm trying to stay focused and positive but honestly i'll need to just argue a LOT with the dr. tomorrow about this. there's a 1% chance Willow would come down with GB, but the chances of problems with antibiotics is much higher, and the chances of infection from her IV is higher, chances of them doing unnecessary interventions if they observe her is higher ... arrrgh!

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#25 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 12:53 AM
 
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mellybean, that's terrible that they'll be "observing her" for 48 hours regardless of whether you take the antibiotics or not. not being able to room in is really unfair!!

well, I just found out today I tested positive for GBS, though I was negative last pregnancy. Of course, in my case it's totally moot, because with a cesarian there is no chance of transmission to the baby. My doctor said that unless my water breaks early, there is no need for antibiotics for either me or baby, so thank god the c/s is working in my favour for once, lol.

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#26 of 35 Old 09-23-2004, 01:02 AM
 
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Meli, have you selected your pediatrician? I would find a ped to talk to about all of this. Find out what the ped's personal protocal is in this situation. Find out what the hospital's protocol is in this situation. They may not be the same!

Ask what after-birth monitoring is done with the baby and exactly what that entails. Does it interfere with the baby rooming in? Ask what risk factors they look for. Ask what they do if "a" happens, what they do if "b" happens and what they do if "c" happens.

If I had an uncomplicated birth, with no risk factors for GBS (Preterm labor, maternal fever, ruptured membranes and not birth for "x" hours....) I'm be signing myself out of that hospital so fast! Why stay for all the nonsense? I contend that a mother carrying her baby in arms, nursing on demand and being with her will know if something is wrong. I contend that a mother will know and that isolating the baby in one of those boxes in the nursery is not the best for the child or the best for monitoring her.

GBS really is a pediatric issue, not an ob issue. It's an ob issue only in administering antibiotics during labor but the end result is that the baby will have to deal with any issues steming from it. It was comforting to me to discuss the issue in detail with a ped before the birth. Nothing he said made me feel like I was increasing my child's health by taking antibiotics in labor as long as I had a normal labor and delivery. He basically told me they would monitor the baby regardless of what the mother did. I asked for definations of monitor and we talked about risk signs to look our for. I also asked if it was against the law for me to sign out myself and my child against medical advice. He said no....now I think that could be a slippery slope and doubt I'd put that question on the table again. Just cause I dont' want the medical establishment to have plans to call cps ahead of time.... Luckliy, all went well with my birth and my baby was perfectly healthy. I hope your baby is as well and that you have a beautiful birth experience.

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#27 of 35 Old 09-25-2004, 07:13 PM
 
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*nods* we have a pediatrician. she said that the monitoring can be done with rooming-in, but to be prepared for "alarmist" behavior depending on the nurse or ped-on-call. this pediatrician doesn't work in the hospital i'm birthing at, but is part of a group near our house that's too good not to go with. the good thing is because she's outside their system, they have to call her for approval on most things and can't just randomly assign anyone on call *whew*my hope is that i get there in time for an IV full and that's the end of it.

had a row over the GBS issue at my last appt., i reminded them of my antibiotic allergies (all the 'cillins, 'mycins and 'cyclines) and the dr. said they had to re-do the swab test to find out which antibiotic will work, if any. i asked why that hadn't been done in the first place, my allergy notifications are prominent in my records! "well the lab makes mistakes" : basically i have to *request* the red bracelet when i come in, to avoid "mistakes" :

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meli

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#28 of 35 Old 09-25-2004, 07:33 PM
 
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I have never been tested, this is both my third birth and hb. I once asked my mw about it and she said the baby is watched for a fever. As I recall(twas 4+years ago) she didnt really like the tests and I have to agree after having read about them.
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#29 of 35 Old 09-25-2004, 08:50 PM
 
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I have never been tested for gbs either. Is it just protocol in some hospitals?
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#30 of 35 Old 09-26-2004, 10:56 AM
 
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I'm really nervous now after reading all these posts about GBS. I'm scheduled for my test this week. I guess i'll take it to see the results. I was negative last time. I'm just nervous if I decline the test what will they do If I take the test what will the "insist" on doing. Luckily my OB is very nice and appears to be very flexible on what I want. I've only been seeing him for a few weeks now.

Well I off to go research. Any good links out there?

Carrie
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