GBS screening thoughts? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 12-15-2008, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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With my daughter, I pushed the testing from 36 weeks to 38 weeks. I was confident I wasn't going to go early, and understand GBS status can change, and wanted screening results that might be more relevant. I also decided regardless of my screening results, if I met the risk criteria in labor (PROM, maternal fever, etc), I would request prophylactic antibiotics, for fear that despite negative screening, I had since become positive, or was a false negative. (I was negative, and did not have any risk factors during my labor.)

I cannot remember what I did with my son.

I am considering declining the screen this pregnancy. For similar reasons to why I pushed the date previously. I have heard about a preventative protocol that basically kills off any GBS bacteria... involves a lot of garlic. Need to research that more.

What are all of your thoughts?
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#2 of 24 Old 12-15-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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I'm getting tested on week 36 and if it's positive, I'll do what I need to do to try to correct it (but not mask the results -- genuinely correct it), in effort to not only avoid prophylactic a/bx but also to protect my child. The reason I like being tested early is it gives me plenty of time to treat the infection if the results are positive. The longer I wait, the less time to correct it, plus Winnie came a full week early (on her own), so timing is an issue for me personally.

I've been taking strong probiotics and encapsulated cranberry regularly this pregnancy, in hopes of keeping everything healthy and unfriendly to GBS.

I tested negative last time but still got the a/bx due to my waters having been broken for longer than 12 hours, despite having NO symptoms.

But there's a difference between a potential and vague infection that may or may not develop, and one that is already currently present.

I think the notion of basing the choice for a/bx on symptoms makes sense, personally. But I think the notion of skipping the test entirely, especially if you can have it done close to your due date, is a bit iffy.

That's just me though. Good luck with whatever you choose. If you're considering skipping the test entirely, I definitely recommend taking a strong probiotic daily from here on out to help keep the environment healthy and unfriendly to GBS.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#3 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 12:20 AM
 
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They actually found GBS in my urine at my last visit!!! I was so devastated, but what can ya do? If it has made it all the way up into your urine you are highly colonized. So of course they put me on ABX. That gave me a raging yeast infection naturally. I am finally back in shape though. I guess I will just have to get the IV during labor. I hate that, but am trying not to dwell on it. I just pray it doesn't give us thrush.
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#4 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 12:44 AM
 
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milky, get some very good probiotics. The Dr Ohhira's brand is excellent and very effective. Take them two hours+ after taking the a/bx. That should help keep the yeast at bay.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#5 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I already do take probiotics daily.

I wouldn't do anything to mask the results. I just worry that I would test positive only to be negative at birth, or REALLY worry that I would test negative, and become colonized by the time I give birth. It is why I am really interested in the GBS homeopathic preventative protocol.
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#6 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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Oh gosh, I certainly wasn't trying to imply that you were trying to mask it. I just mentioned it because it seems like I keep hearing about mamas who are more interested in passing the test than correcting the issue, which doesn't make sense to me.

Anyway. Sorry if it came off I was implying otherwise. That totally wasn't my intention.

I am not really freaked over the idea of testing negative and then it turning positive, only because I figure if I keep doing what I've been doing then it won't create a welcome environment for the GBS. Maybe that's naive though, I don't know.

Some of it is up to fate, I suppose, but while I'm fine with a/bx for treating known infections, especially if they could be harmful to my newborn, I'm very gunshy when it comes to prophylactic a/bx, because of the awful thrush issues we had last time.

Anyway. Sorry for rambling. Good luck to you no matter what you end up doing, and keep us posted!

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#7 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 02:24 AM
 
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they don't even test for it here for a homebirth...since the midwife can't do antibotics in labor anyway...


So not being tested...

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#8 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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Oh yeah, I will def be getting on the probiotics about a month before due date. I am so prone to yeast anyway.
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#9 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nighten View Post
Oh gosh, I certainly wasn't trying to imply that you were trying to mask it. I just mentioned it because it seems like I keep hearing about mamas who are more interested in passing the test than correcting the issue, which doesn't make sense to me.

Anyway. Sorry if it came off I was implying otherwise. That totally wasn't my intention.
Not at all- was just worried I was being unclear with regards to my intent.
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#10 of 24 Old 12-16-2008, 09:22 PM
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I've been taking probiotics for years, and I upped to a stronger strain earlier in my pregnancy to help with constipation issues. I'll have the swab at 36 weeks so if I test positive it will likely have been inevitable! I have no issues with antibiotics -- unless my water actually breaks they don't make you come into hospital any earlier.
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#11 of 24 Old 12-23-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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Jumping in here from March...

The thing that I'm having trouble with is that I'm having a hospital birth with the same midwife that caught my son. I adore this mw. However, I don't have the option to know my status and proceed from there with my choice of tactics. If I have a GBS+ result come back, their insurance mandates that I have abx in labor, which I don't want except if the birth is way early or PROM or fever etc. I lose the option to do it the way I want to do it. So what then? I mean, I assume I could sign an AMA, but... still...

Vanessa - aspiring Traditional Foods momma of Graham & Margot
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#12 of 24 Old 12-24-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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I think I'll be declining the test if possible. I strongly disagree with using antibiotics in any other than life threatening situations. I've never tested positive for GBS and I'm pretty confident that my chances of passing it on to my baby during birth are minute.
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#13 of 24 Old 12-24-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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I will agree to being tested, but I won't agree to the antibiotics. I do things regularly as well to make the environmnt for GBS unfriendly.

I avoid sugar and take probiotics regularly and eat a whole foods diet.

If by chance I do test positive for it, I will do an proactive homeopathic course of herbs and diet to correct it, and then ask to be retested. I am very against the use of antibiotics in most situations.
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#14 of 24 Old 12-24-2008, 01:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nuwavemomma View Post
Jumping in here from March...

The thing that I'm having trouble with is that I'm having a hospital birth with the same midwife that caught my son. I adore this mw. However, I don't have the option to know my status and proceed from there with my choice of tactics. If I have a GBS+ result come back, their insurance mandates that I have abx in labor, which I don't want except if the birth is way early or PROM or fever etc. I lose the option to do it the way I want to do it. So what then? I mean, I assume I could sign an AMA, but... still...
Is there no way for the midwife to test you but "forget" to send the lab results to the insurance? I cannot imagine the insurance mandating such a thing, honestly. That removes the right of the doctor/midwife and is so impersonal and wrong, honestly. How awful.

I'd talk to the midwife and in the meantime, bone up on some super probiotics (we love the Dr Ohhira's brand) and also consider taking cranberry. It helps keep the urinary tract clear, which I believe can help given that GBS sometimes colonates there, yes? Regardless, cranberries have vitamin C which can help boost your immune system.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#15 of 24 Old 12-24-2008, 02:37 PM
 
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GSE is also a good choice for remaining GBS free!
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#16 of 24 Old 12-24-2008, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nuwavemomma View Post
Jumping in here from March...

The thing that I'm having trouble with is that I'm having a hospital birth with the same midwife that caught my son. I adore this mw. However, I don't have the option to know my status and proceed from there with my choice of tactics. If I have a GBS+ result come back, their insurance mandates that I have abx in labor, which I don't want except if the birth is way early or PROM or fever etc. I lose the option to do it the way I want to do it. So what then? I mean, I assume I could sign an AMA, but... still...
It's the insurance that requires it, not your provider? If you don't want the abx, then sign an AMA.
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#17 of 24 Old 12-26-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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i had a doc the first time, she let me do it myself. it was 34 weeks...still no clue of why but whatever, i didnt go to anyone after 36 and had a hosp birth almost 43 so i guess its a good thing it was neg so noone tried to force abx.

with my second, i had a few things that they tried to tell me THEIR insurance mandated, if they didnt do vertain things they couldnt see me..well..i didnt want to go there anyway, and switched to a bc i never had insurance with anyone telling me i had to on my end, id have a major problem with that! its not up to them!

anyway then the second i didnt do it and this one im not going to.
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#18 of 24 Old 12-27-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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Jumping in from January becuase I really struggled with this. I had declined at my 36 week appointment and was okay with the decision, but I found myself rethinkinng it when my thoughts would drift in the shower or just before falling asleep. When I was awake, I could reason with myself and I read a lot on the internet. I decided to look for sites from the UK since I'd heard that they don't routinely test there, but the first one to come up was a site that was a group of parents who had lost babies to GBS disease, pushing for standard testing. In the end, no matter how much I reasoned with myself, I would come back to worrying about it at bedtime. I ended up doing the swab at my 38 week appointment. I was GBS+ with my first, and GBS- with my second. I've yet to get the results this time.

I struggle with the standard of giving every GBS+ woman antibiotics, and I don't believe that it's necessarily warranted. In the end I decided that if the unthinkable did happen (and I understand the chances are minute), and we lost this baby to GBS disease, and we had gone against the community standard for testing and treatment, I don't think I could ever forgive myself. So... I did the test.

ETA: With my daughter, I only had time for one dose of abx, but they weren't concerned. With my son, I may have had time for one dose, but we were only there for 80 minutes before he was born. I imagine that even if I am GBS+ this time, I won't have time for the full course of abx.
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#19 of 24 Old 12-27-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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My (homebirth) MW does not recommend the test, but she does offer it along with loads of info. She is not allowed to use antiobiotics anyway, so even if you test with her, your results don't mean you get abx. Most countries don't test for GBS and they have better birth outcomes than we do. Seems silly to be such an issue here with insurance companies "mandating" it and all...

That said, we do the test. I get the test at 36 weeks, receive results at 37 weeks, and then spontaneously birth just days later. I was GBS+ with both of my previous children despite probiotics and a strong vaginal garlic regimen. I assume I will be this time too. In labor I refuse all vaginal exams and use a hibiclens wash every 2 hours. My water has never broken more than a minute or two prior to the birth, and my pushing phases are very fast...so we don't worry about it much. But, we like having the result so that *IF* the baby seems ill in the first few days, we know my status.

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#20 of 24 Old 12-29-2008, 08:48 AM
 
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My naturopath said she could do the test and if it were positive, she has natural solutions for GBS other than antibiotics, but didn't go into detail.

My midwife said she doesn't routinely do it, but offers it, and again, offers some alternative non-antibiotic solution if one is positive. It's interesting to me, because when I had my other two, nobody did it, but now it's a big deal... then again, it seems pretty awful IF babies contract it and get sick. So I haven't decided what to do.
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#21 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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GSE is also a good choice for remaining GBS free!
I had an appointment yesterday with my midwife, and she mentioned that we would do the GBS test in two weeks (36wk appt). I asked her whether we could re-test if it came back positive, and she said no, BUT strongly suggested that I start taking grapeseed oil extract three times a day right away. So I'm going to give it a shot. She also said that if I come back positive she will let me go to the hospital for the abx, leave the heplock in, and go home to labor a little longer if I feel like it. So that made me feel better.

I'm so happy that I switched from a traditional OB/Gyn to my OB/midwife practice. I can't imagine not having a midwife!

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#22 of 24 Old 12-30-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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...I asked her whether we could re-test if it came back positive, and she said no...
You can retest. Why would she say no? Your insurance may not want to pay for it, but it isn't expensive. I would demand a retest, or just refuse abx all together.

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#23 of 24 Old 12-31-2008, 11:39 AM
 
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You can retest. Why would she say no? Your insurance may not want to pay for it, but it isn't expensive. I would demand a retest, or just refuse abx all together.
That's a good question--I don't know why I couldn't retest. I guess we'll see how it goes and then I can throw a fit if I have to and try to get them to retest me at 38wks...

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#24 of 24 Old 12-31-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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That's a good question--I don't know why I couldn't retest. I guess we'll see how it goes and then I can throw a fit if I have to and try to get them to retest me at 38wks...
I mean, it just makes no sense if you weren't allowed to retest. They KNOW this bacteria is transient and your status can change within days. Why wouldn't they want the most recent and accurate results to go by? Seems absurd and unethical NOT to take more accurate information if it was available.

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