Let's talk about GBS testing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The time is rolling around.... who's doing it? Who's not? and why?

I am still undecided, I need to do more research on this topic. (With DD I did every test under the sun because I didn't realize I had a choice )

Any good links or info on GBS testing?
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#2 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 11:20 AM
 
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Don't have any good links for you off hand, but I read up on it earlier and decided that it wasn't something we'd test for. My mw is also fine with that as well, she'll give the test if you want it, but doesn't require it. For us, the chance of having it and it impacting the little one after birth was too small to do the testing - I'd rather do observations after the birth than automatically do a course of antibiotics during labor (especially when I'm staying home to avoid such interventions).

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#3 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What kinds of things would you observe for after the birth? Just general signs of infection?
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#4 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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Didn't do it / not doing it.
Actually, other then the peestick at each visit - I'm not havign any tests done.
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#5 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, peestick was all I did too. I knew I didn't want to do triple screen/glucose test/ etc. Just undecided on this one! I guess I still have some weeks to decide though.
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#6 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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Well, our mw does not test. I am sure the backup OB will test. I am going to do garlic prior to that test and if it is negative, great. If it is positive then I will do garlic and hibiclens prior to my due date/birth and will refuse IV antibiotics in a hospital transfer until they test me again - which is unlikely anyway.

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#7 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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I tested positive for GBS last pregnancy(#3) which means now if I test or not I automaticlly have to have antibiotics every 4 hours I think when I go into labor. I really dont mind thought cause if its something like that in the birth canal that can hurt the baby then Ill take it.

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#8 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 12:25 PM
 
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When does it usually get done?

I read some stuff awhile back on it (including garlic) but I don't remember much. It was linked from a thread in this group, though. A bunch of midwifery links, and maybe some Australian links. I remember mention of grapefruit in particular, and that was when I was eating 1 grapefruit a day. Not so much at this point in the season!

I was thinking about taking some probiotics in advance of the test, since we have them....

I definitely don't want to get surprised by the swab at an appointment. It seems like it'll be coming up, though. (I'm 31 weeks tomorrow.) The OB didn't mention it at my last appointment, but I'm seeing her again next week. I wonder if she'll give me a heads up, or if it will be "time" for the swab at that appointment. I've had zero internals so far this pregnancy.

If you refuse the swab & you are having a hospital birth with an OB, is it likely that they will treat you as if you are GBS+? I suppose you still can refuse IV antibiotic treatment "against medical advice," but I'd rather not have to deal with extra scrutiny of the babies after the fact, especially if I'm negative.
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#9 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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I'm glad you brought this up because I have been wondering too.

I think they do swabs of the vagina and anus around 35 weeks.

I also think I read that the chances of a baby contracting the infection are 1/200 births. Some people believe that is "bad numbers" because it lumps full term births and preemie births together and I guess the full term births are actually much less likely to contract an infection.

And apparently the antibiotics given will kill all bacteria in the birth canal which is no good because there is some good bacteria that plays an important role?

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#10 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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My midwife does the test if we want it, but it's not required. We're planning on doing the test, but I'll be loading up on probiotics before hand and if the test still comes out positive, we'll do probioics and hepicleanse before the birth.

Any tips on loading up with probiotics? When you do garlic, how is the best way to get the most benefit? Raw?
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#11 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 12:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmyC View Post
If you refuse the swab & you are having a hospital birth with an OB, is it likely that they will treat you as if you are GBS+? I suppose you still can refuse IV antibiotic treatment "against medical advice," but I'd rather not have to deal with extra scrutiny of the babies after the fact, especially if I'm negative.
This is what I am wondering too. I am going to ask the midwife at my next appointment what the "policy" is.

I need to do more research. I don't think I will refuse the test but if I am positive, I may refuse the antibiotics depending on the risk of infection vs risk of effects of antibiotics.

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#12 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 01:08 PM
 
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not doing the test here. didn't do it with dd, and it wasn't a problem, even when we had to transfer to the hospital. we just go the same route as xixstar, watch for any sign of infection during labor and after birth (fever, heart rate/BP issues, etc.) and go from there.
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#13 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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Never done it.
My midwife is fine with watching for signs in the mother during labor and the baby afterwards, mostly fever.

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#14 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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I will be doing the antibiotics during labor. I haven't been tested, but ds was GBS+ (full term) and spent his first weeks in the nicu. I was tested when I was pregnant with him and I tested negative, so I think the test is kind of pointless. I'm not even sure I believe having antibiotics during labor helps, but I'm not risking it. I'm also refusing cervical checks and AROM.
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#15 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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I've only had it done w/ ds2. My OB w/ ds1 didn't do it and my midwives that I have now, and had w/ ds3 don't do it, unless requested.
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#16 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm doing it--refused it last time but I was at a birth center and they were fine with it. I asked my OB this time if I could refuse it and he said no. They will treat me as if positive. I asked him not to swab the butt and he said they don't do that anyway. Also, if I test postive they will let me test again. He said to stay home as long as possible during labor and then they won't have time to hook me up to antibiotics if I am pos. I figure with all the other shit going on I don't need to have a fight with my OB right now. I'm not too happy about all the intervention and tests I have to have because of GD but I'm getting tired and I just really don't care anymore. All I care about is that the baby can get treatment if it's hypoglycemic after birth.
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#17 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JennaW View Post
And apparently the antibiotics given will kill all bacteria in the birth canal which is no good because there is some good bacteria that plays an important role?
This is the reason I would be opposed to receiving the IV antibiotic treatment....one of the key benefits of a vaginal birth is that the baby's sterile gastrointestinal tract is colonized with the mother's bacteria. The quality of the development of the baby's intestinal microbiota is influenced directly and dramatically by the type of delivery.

Having antibiotics during the birth would be extremely upsetting to me! Lesser but real concerns would be the potential for all sorts of hassles from the get-go, for instance with thrush. But I really, really want my babies to have that gut colonization from the vaginal birth, and after that to be exclusively breastfed to have that lower gut pH established right away, and have their best odds chance of getting the full benefit of it. (As I understand it, the odds go down with early supplementation, and breastfed infants who receive supplements develop a gut flora more like formula-fed infants, even though they are breastfed....)

I guess the quality of the initial colonization depends on the condition of the various moms in question--it's not a constant or uniform "benefit." (Although better to be colonized by the mother's tract than by environmental microbes from the air in a hospital, or the staff, or other infants in a nursery, etc.) Some guts are better/healthier than others, so having a healthy flora BEFORE birthing is a worthy goal...not just ruling out GBS. I wonder sometimes if there's a connection here to allergies, "leaky gut syndrome," etc. And to which breastfed babies tend to do better in terms of fighting off illness, etc. (Because obviously, not all exclusively breastfed babies are "created equal," either.)

It seems too hard, though, to know what factors weigh in the most.....conscious preconception nutrition on the part of both parents, prenatal nutrition, an excellent balance of beneficial flora for gut colonization, exclusive breastfeeding, delaying or avoiding vaccinations versus vaccinating on schedule from the beginning.... Which factor tips the scale???

Seems like I've read stuff over the last 2 years or so about probiotic therapy & colic, too, which would make sense.
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#18 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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I am planning at this time to do it. I just am completely paranoid about having a healthy baby. I haven't heard any negatives to getting the test...are there any?

Rachel - Married to my Best friend & Mama to Quinn Patrick 7/18/08 - Mama to : Clover too
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#19 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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I am planning at this time to do it. I just am completely paranoid about having a healthy baby. I haven't heard any negatives to getting the test...are there any?
Well if you test positive you will get a mark on your chart. You can always refuse the antibiotics, though. Also, I read a mothering article and it says babies treated with antibiotics during labor are at more of a risk for e coli.
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#20 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 02:56 PM
 
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I'll have it done just like I did last time. I don't have any problem with taking abx if need be. I get them when I'm sick, and I get them for my son when he's sick... I wouldn't want to put my baby at risk for anything... that's all I need is my family having something else to talk about, like the homebirth isn't voodoo enough. LOL
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#21 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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I am planning at this time to do it. I just am completely paranoid about having a healthy baby. I haven't heard any negatives to getting the test...are there any?
perception of negatives depends on the person -- if you test positive, your care provider may require you to take iv antibiotics during labor. This can also mean that they may want you to come into the hospital earlier, too, to administer the antibiotics, versus just letting you labor at home as long as possible. Also, with a GBS+ status, your care provider may be a bit stricter about watching the clock as well and may use it as one more 'card' to get you to follow their plan for your birth (versus your baby and body's plan).

Some care providers will let you skip the test or skip the antibiotics if you're positive, but will subject the child to more tests or observations following the birth. I would discuss all of this with your care provider (in addition to doing some research on it) and just be fully informed about what your choices are, what the real risks are, and make a decision you're comfortable with.

As with any test or intervention, moms should be 100% informed about what the real risks and benefits are for everything -- this means taking a proactive role in looking up information and asking questions. Some care providers give overly simplistic answers that don't really provide enough information for you to truly provide "informed consent". If you don't know the real information behind a procedure or test, then you're not making an informed decision.

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#22 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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I am planning at this time to do it. I just am completely paranoid about having a healthy baby. I haven't heard any negatives to getting the test...are there any?
I guess a negative could be coming up positive and being put on antibiotics during delivery, as a result.

I think Jenna (and/or maybe someone else) referenced the statistics of infection being transmitted in known GBS+ cases. Those stats would be something to weigh against the flat policy of treating with antibiotics in a preventative way.

Somebody started a thread here awhile back (since January or February, though) about GBS. I think it specifically was about hibuclens, or hibiclens. There were links about preventing GBS in your own system, treating for it before the birth, and also information about what the transmission rate is if you ARE GBS+ and give birth vaginally without antibiotic treatment.
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#23 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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An OB would make it sounds like you are + at 35/37 weeks and if you don't take the antibiotics during labor it will hurt your baby, which is not true. For starters, you may not be positive when you give birth - this is in fluctuation and can change week to week. On the flip side, you test negative, you COULD be positive and they wouldn't test or treat, and chances are you'd end up with a ok baby. Our mw has never tested, nor had a postive baby from a positive mommy in over 1000 births (all her births over her 30 years). It does happen, as we've had one mommy respond on here that her son had it, but the test is NOT the way to catch it, unless it is done at the start of labor. It is performed too early and the results can change before birth to make the test unreliable, IMO.

PS the test results of using garlic and/or hibiclens are much greater of reducing colonization than IV antibiotics during labor...

Mommy to 6 year old dd and almost 2 year old ds, working to become happy every day and healthy along the way!
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#24 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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talked to midwife yesterday and she's fine with me refusing.

but I think we are going to test and then only treat a postive IF preterm birth or if membranes are broken for a extended period of time She's also fine with this

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#25 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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I have to, i have already tried to fight other tests and my midwife came out and told me to find someone else to see. Well i am too lazy at this point to see someone else. Eventhough this really makes me mad she has been there with my other births and knows me so well. And is the most supportive of VBAC's and natural births in town. No real other choices!

So i will be tested at 36 weeks, i made sure to ask ahead and make a note on my calendar. I will start pushing garlic and probiotics this weekend in prep for my tuesday appiontment.

What i always felt was so silly about the test is that this "bad" bacteria is normal for all woman to have on and off. so this week we test one way and the next week or when we are in labor it could be completely different. I think if they really want to test you they should do it in labor if they want to know whats really going on in there. of course they wouldnt do that. instead they test a month or more before the baby is due.........just doesnt make sence. Then if you do have antibiotics you can have tons of problems like thrush which leads to breastfeeding issues right off the bat.

its just not having a choice that makes me mad!

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#26 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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hibiclens?? when i looked it up everything i found was about topical antibacterial washes and creams?? How would i use this before the test to help me test negative?? or is it some other form?

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch way.....hospital. C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#27 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 07:38 PM
 
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i'm testing, but truthfully i'm not sure why, as i would absolutely refuse abx after five months of thrush with my last kid...

Jenny (27) partner to Michael (28) mama to Zoe (8) Selene (4) Garvin (2) and baby Gwendolyn (born 14 Jan 2011)
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#28 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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Not doing it obviously but I will probably do garlic starting at around week 38, or GSE since I already have some

http://www.purebirth-australia.com/c...tions/gbs.html
http://www.joyousbirth.info/articles...lapproach.html
http://www.unhinderedliving.com/bstrep.html
http://www.sgbirthservices.com/gbs4.pdf

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#29 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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Thank you for those links!

Jenna in love with my DH Jon, loving our 2.5 year old, Caroline Tulip, and expecting another little one in August!
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#30 of 54 Old 05-22-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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Here's the Mothering article (one of them, anyway):
http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...n/group-b.html
I think I am still on the fence. Sounds like a positive test does not necessarily mean you must treat, because the likelihood of the baby contracting this thing seems to depend on how high the mother's concentration of bacteria is, as well as whether the baby is full term etc etc. I guess if my mw insists on the test I will get it, then see about how I feel about abx at delivery.
The downsides to the abx are pretty compelling, to me.

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