ok - time to get serious about GBS - need your advice - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 04-17-2008, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I had my 30 week appointment today and had a chat with a new midwife. Well, not really new, she delivered dd, but I haven't seen her in this pregnancy.

Anyhoo...I was GBS positive in my last pregnancy and was one of those rare women who a)didn't do the abs and b) whose child actually ended up sick and spent two weeks in the NICU. All of the midwives have told me about how important it is to get into the hospital at the first sign of labor, especially since my first labor was fast by 1st timers standards (9 hours). This is now the second midwife who has talked about possible induction with me, to make sure I get the two recommended doses. Now, I have to say that I am leaning towards the abx, because let me tell you, having a newborn in the NICU is living hell!! BUT, I don't want to be induced, I refuse actually. There is no telling that I will even transmit the GBS to this baby, even if I am positive again, right???

I told my midwife today that I don't want to be induced because of fears of a c-section. She said "you are right to fear that". She then said, if my cervix is ripe they could break my bag of waters and then hope that i go into labor. Uhm...nope! That is an intervention to me.

I asked about being tested at 37 weeks and she said I could do that even that hospital protocol is to automatically treat me. She said if I was negative then we would have to make a decision about whether to still treat.

Now, after all that...my question. Help me test negative ladies!! I don't want to be bullied into an induction or intervention. I had a HEAVENLY labor with my dd, exactly as I wanted it. I don't see why I would have anything but the same with the second, unless they start messing with me.

I am taking probiotics twice a day, drinking tons of water, and I just started taking cranberry extract. What else? When should I start garlic??

Should I post this in the birth professionals section, to see what any midwives might say?
Thanks ladies!!
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#2 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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"There is no telling that I will even transmit the GBS to this baby, even if I am positive again, right???"

That's right.

I refused GBS testing with DS, we had to transfer and the Ped made a huge fuss and DS wound up in the NICU. We are going to refuse testing this time also, hopefully stay at home this time and treat if there are risk factors that come up. Have you read the Mothering.Com article on GBS? It's really good.


There are lots of things you can do to try to get a negative test. I've had a few girlfriends have success with the natural remedies and a few re-tests.

Are there any Naturopaths in your area you could call with experience in this arena?

It's my understanding that most women do the garlic treatment for 3-5 days. (Peeled, un-nicked clove of garlic in your vagina overnight). For the days right before you re-test.

There's also the VERY diluted tea tree oil with olive oil tampon thing (I think the goal is to have it in for 2-4 hours daily) for a longer duration than the garlic, more like a week or two.

Probiotics are great.

Take LOTS of vitamin C.

Making sure you get lots of "living dairy" - yogurt, fermented dairy products, sour dough bread.

You can also do vaginal yogurt treatments, I know some women who you used the cream applicators from Monistat treatments to insert the yogurt.

Homebirthing, homeschooling AP, gardening maniac running a working farm. No circ, no vax, no cable TV. EC'd and CD'd, tandem BF'd.  Cheese and soap making goat and child herder.
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#3 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 12:18 PM
 
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I may be missing the point of the post, but if you want to "TEST NEGATIVE", my midwife told me exactly how to do it:

Wipe the swab in the crease of your elbow.

In my midwife's office, the midwife had us test our own urine, chart our own weight and perform our own GBS tests. She suggested that there was 'no real way to know that we tested correctly'.

But you may want to find an actual way to get rid of the GBS in your system (if it is there...). I am not sure about that one....
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#4 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Raw Vegan Mama View Post
I may be missing the point of the post, but if you want to "TEST NEGATIVE", my midwife told me exactly how to do it:

Wipe the swab in the crease of your elbow.

In my midwife's office, the midwife had us test our own urine, chart our own weight and perform our own GBS tests. She suggested that there was 'no real way to know that we tested correctly'.
.
Ha! Love it.


Your MW sounds a lot like mine:
"Swab anyone's butthole and the results aren't bound to be pretty".

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#5 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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I wanted to add that I test positive with my first and the abx were a pain in the butt! Even with the hep-lock thing. It made my labor bothersome, and I had lots of fluid I needed to get rid of, as well. In addition, I had a yeast infection and the baby had thrush 2 weeks later. Not good for breastfeeding, or my sore bottom.

Please keep us posted on this!
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#6 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Twwly View Post
Ha! Love it.


Your MW sounds a lot like mine:
"Swab anyone's butthole and the results aren't bound to be pretty".
EXACTLY! LOL!!!!!
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#7 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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Subbing to this...

I tested + with #1 and had abx, was told with #2 that they would automatically treat me as + : so I had abx then too. Was told with #3 that the recommendation was leaning to wards testing each pg and treating accordingly. I tested negative, but the OB strongly suggested I get the abx anyway so I did. : THIS time, the MWs promised me that they do not treat if I am negative. I wanted to test at 32 weeks and then retest if I can up positive, and 1 midwife was for that, but another said that it would be a big red flag on my chart if I tested + at all. She suggested doing the natural stuff and testing at 36 weeks like normal.

So that's my plan and I really, really, really want to test negative!
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#8 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 05:31 PM
 
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Also, you can request that they ONLY swab your vulvar/vaginal area. It really doesn't matter if you have GBS in your rectal area since you're not pooping your baby out.

I was GBS positive with DS#1, neg with DS#2 and didn't test at all with DD.
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#9 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think that because I had an infected baby that they are more likely to follow the ACOG/CDC guidelines. I am pushing to get tested at 37 weeks but I also had GBS culture out in my urine at my 8 week appointment. Retests have come up negative, but they are all aware of my dd's history so they are nervous. I was happy that my mw would even consider not treating me if I was negative though, that was a good sign to me!!

I wish I could swab my elbow, but they do the swabs. This stressed me out a little. It also makes me wonder if I really should come in as soon as I think I am in labor, as my mw suggested. I went in the first time at 7 cms after 3 hours of laboring at home. I don't really want to get into the hospital and start the clock ticking before I need to.

Ugh...if I wasn't also worried about a sick baby I would just refuse the abx. But, the memory of tha NICU experience haunts dh and me.

Anyway, I'll let you know how this comes out.

jacqueline
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#10 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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I just wanted to let you know that with my first I tested + had the antibiotics and it was NO BIG DEAL for us. The baby never got thrush and the heplock was not that big a deal for me at all. With my second I tested negative. If I test positive well I will do the antibiotics this time. I lost my last son to a rare chance of a cord accident so I am not comfortable taking chances... however the being induced would bother me too. I would just go to the hospital right away and get the antibiotics. Even if 9 hours is fast... you only need what two doses 4 hours apart? The majority of women labor for that long

By the way with the second one.. I did not put the garlic up there. I just had tons of garlic with EVERYTHING, I took probiotics and vitamin C and then added garlic to anything from salads, to spaghetti (lots there) to rubbing it on toast and eating it. Anyway I could think of
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#11 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 06:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamatosaskia View Post
Ugh...if I wasn't also worried about a sick baby I would just refuse the abx. But, the memory of tha NICU experience haunts dh and me.
jacqueline
After reading over things better, I think that you should have the abx. I think (for me it would be, at least) that would be the only comforting thing you could do. I cannot imagine having my baby in the NICU, especially when it is easily prevented.

I am imagining that, even though the probabilty of your child getting sick is the same as it was the first time you birthed, the likelyhood is lessened, since you have already gone through it once. But why chance it? Take the little discomfort in having the abx (but not inducing) and then enjoy those first two weeks at HOME with your babe!

Sending you lots of Love & Light...
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#12 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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My MW told me to take echinecea, vitamin C, and acidophilus daily for the 2 weeks preceeding the GBS test. If you're really + you'll test positive no matter what and probably need the abx, but an immune system boost can lower the bacterial count, so if you might have been borderline, this could tip the scales in your favor. Certainly can't hurt.

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#13 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Raw Vegan Mama View Post
After reading over things better, I think that you should have the abx. I think (for me it would be, at least) that would be the only comforting thing you could do. I cannot imagine having my baby in the NICU, especially when it is easily prevented.

I am imagining that, even though the probabilty of your child getting sick is the same as it was the first time you birthed, the likelyhood is lessened, since you have already gone through it once. But why chance it? Take the little discomfort in having the abx (but not inducing) and then enjoy those first two weeks at HOME with your babe!

Sending you lots of Love & Light...
Thanks. My plan was to take the abx all along, even if I test negative. I just thought that if I tested negative they would stop talking about inductions, which is the real concern. I had a heplock put in with dd and it didn't bother me at all.

j
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#14 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 08:12 PM
 
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OK. I have absolutely no expertise in this area - like you, I'm trying to avoid being group B strep positive. But even if I am, I think I am going to refuse the antibiotics for the reasons outlined in this article: http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...n/group-b.html

I haven't talked to my midwife about using clorhexidine, and haven't ascertained if it's available in my area, but if it is, I am considering using it. Plus I'm doing the probiotics, too, and washing with Dr. Bronner's tea tree oil soap, in the hope that helps.

busy mama of three
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#15 of 21 Old 04-18-2008, 08:23 PM
 
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I'm in the middle of trying to get a neg test this pg too
I tested positive from my last mw visit and she has recommended that I do the garlic clove every other night for 2 weeks followed by yogurt supposotories for a week then do a hibiclens douche the day of the retest...

This is my last night of garlic and this next week I'm doing the yogurt and I'll post back with hopefully some good news that all that hassle was worth it

about testing on your arm
My mw lets me do my own testing too but I think I'm still doing it the good ol fashioned way (minus the butt hole part) Just to see if the remedy really truely helped:

If I get a negitive this time then I plan on doing the yogurt periodically till birth to help keep up the growth of the good flora
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#16 of 21 Old 04-19-2008, 02:02 PM
 
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Can I ask a couple of questions from the "GBS-preventative experts" here?

Does anyone's MW not test? Mine doesn't. She just said to keep an eye on the baby for illness. That honestly makes me kind of nervous since I know I have been GBS+ before. FWIW, this is my first time using a MW/having a homebirth (and I'm really excited...just nervous about this one issue). I was on abx with my first three births (the doc wouldn't test with my third, but I know I was positive with my first...and I think, second - I was young and it's been awhile...I know I was on abx though). I was negative with my fourth. I had no abx, but did have an OB who insisted that I have an IV line anyway - another story, ugh.

Anyway, knowing that I've been GBS+ before, I just feel uneasy doing no testing and not knowing at all this time. Abx are not an option and that's fine, but I still highly prefer to know I'm in the clear. This may sound really dumb on my part, but even after reading articles, etc., the natural methods seem a little unclear to me. I'm not a big fan of garlic at all and never have used it whole...do you taste it through your whole body using it vaginally? (Dumb question, I'm sure...but garlic has an overpowering effect on me - makes me feel sick, sometimes for days.) Also, those who take probiotics, which ones do you use?

Thanks in advance; I feel rather goofy posting this but taking care of this issue on my own is brand new to me.
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#17 of 21 Old 04-19-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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My MW encourages her patients to make their own decisions about their care, which means a lot of them decline GBS testing, and they treat on risk factors, which is what your MW is also suggesting by the sounds of things.

Have you read the GBS article here on Mothering? It may put your mind at ease.

And no, if you put garlic in your vagina you won't taste it.

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#18 of 21 Old 04-19-2008, 02:28 PM
 
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My MW encourages her patients to make their own decisions about their care, which means a lot of them decline GBS testing, and they treat on risk factors, which is what your MW is also suggesting by the sounds of things.
Yes, I understand that and think it's wonderful to have the choice, but given the option on this one and knowing my history/discomfort on this issue, I personally would prefer to be tested. I wouldn't choose to decline GBS-testing if given the option. I understand why people don't test and totally respect that, but, for me, I prefer to know since I've had it before and feel so uneasy about it. However, I would choose to avoid abx unless they were definitely necessary. I'm just trying to straighten out all of this info and I want to make sure that I'm doing the preventative measures correctly. I guess it's a no-brainer for most, but very new and strange to me trying to figure it all out just from what I've read. I tend to initially be skeptical of putting anything in my vagina that's not meant to be there. I have read several articles, but not being personally familiar with whole garlic (since I cannot tolerate it), it all still seems pretty foreign to me. Quite frankly, I think I need an illustrated chart... We all have different learning styles, right?

Quote:
And no, if you put garlic in your vagina you won't taste it.
LOL, thanks...believe me, I know how ridiculous that sounds. However, I literally "taste it" for days on end (from my digestive tract) after consuming just a little bit of it. Of course, my vagina isn't connected there (I do know that...haha!)...but I just need to know that there's no way of the 'flavor'...um...resonating? Sorry if TMI, but I guess I was also thinking of "garlicky" discharge making it's way in the back door...and that's all I'll say there. I think I've already dug a deep enough hole for myself on this one and am rather embarrassed. The garlic smell I would just have to deal with, I suppose.
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#19 of 21 Old 04-19-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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I worried about the smell too
I've tried the "low odor" garlic pills before (orally) and although I couldn't really "taste" or smell it my dh said that I REEKED of garlic odor for the next full day:

I was super worried about the cloves making me reek too but I put them in at night so if there was a taste at all I must have slept through it and not noticed and my dh was plesantly surprised that it gave my skin/breath no garlicy odor at all
I even peeled AND nicked them and still no lingering odor
Now taking them back out smelled terrible though
I had to wrap them and deposit them in the kitchen trash cause the one and only time I threw one into the bathroom trash I walked in there later in the day and the entire bathroom smelled like stinky garlic

Starting tonight we are doing 7 days of "yogurt sex" (as my mw calls it, when you use yogurt as a 'lube' on him) If we can't keep up with the 7 day marathon I'll suplement with injecting it with a medicine syringe on our "off" nights

I have a question too about yogurt
If you use simply the "plain unflavored" yogurt at the grocery store it still has sugar in it. Is that OK? Will the natural bioflora in it cancel out the yeast feeding sugar it contains???
I just want to make sure I'm helping rid the GBS without causing a yeast flare up along with it:
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#20 of 21 Old 04-20-2008, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

I am glad that this thread is helping others! I have decided to stop reading online about GBS, I just googled it and that wasn't a good thing . I have now totally freaked myself out and am having anxiety about this babe's health. I would really love to hear from women who were carriers or had an infected baby and how their next one turned out.

I am going to quiz my midwife, yet again, about this when I see her next Friday.

Thanks!

Jacqueline
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#21 of 21 Old 06-19-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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Can I ask a related question?

Do the preventative measures - yogurt, garlic, etc - only cause a negative test result, or are they actually efficacious in preventing GBS? As in, should you be continuing these remedies all the way until labor to REALLY prevent your baby from getting sick?
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