not testing for GBS - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've just looked into it and have decided to decline the GBS test based on the tiny risk rate (to the baby), not to mention the inefficiency of the test (could be negative today positive tomorrow).

I'm having a homebirth. I assume that even if I ended up in a hospital, I can refuse anything I want, including antibiotics just because I didn't get tested!

Anyone else?

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#2 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 04:24 PM
 
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Wow, I feel dumb. It never occured to me that there could be a risk to the baby. Isn't it just a swab?

I talked to my CNM about not doing it, because it's ridiculous. She admits that it's ridiculous and that everyone knows it's ridiculous, but it's "hospital policy." She said that I can refuse it BUT. The hospital will treat me as GBS positive "just in case" and if I want to leave before the mandatory monitoring period after birth (24 hours?) for GBS positive mothers, then my chart will be noted that I checked out "against medical advice" and my insurance may not pay for the entire birth. Again, ridiculous.

But we talked about ways to pass the test, like a garlic vaginal suppository (sexy) and I decided that if there was no harm in taking it and it would make my life easier in the long run, I'd just take it.
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#3 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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I have never done it. With DD1 we transferred in and like the pp said they did treat me as GBS+....and like I had the plauge and didn't know it. I did try and refuse it but they would have refused to give me the pain killer I was there for. In the end I got it despite a ton of protesting on my end. Just keep in mind that while yes, you can refuse anything, you may not be in the mind set/mind frame to adequately do so. I know we weren't and we were only there for an hour before DD1 was born (non-emergency reasons so it wasn't even like I could blame it on that sort of chaos ). If it's that important that you not get the antibiotics in a case of transfer make sure everyone absolutely knows it (i.e. support team).

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#4 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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Yeah, the problem would be if you needed to transfer for some reason. With no test results on file, they most likely would treat you as GBS+ and require IV abx or testing the baby after birth (that was what my hospital required with DD--either abx for me or taking her blood and keeping her admitted for 2 days while they waited for the cultures to grow ).

Ruby2: the risk to the baby mentioned by OP is the small risk of transmission, even if mama is GBS+. The test is just a swab and I can't imagine any risk to the baby for that (short of some really overeager HCP swabbing way up to your cervix and accidentally breaking your water or something crazy like that).

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#5 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 06:37 PM
 
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I don't mind this one, as long as the midwife/ob doesn't do it super early-- and only does the test at the last possible time, so that the results are more accurate. I've had it with 3 previous pregnancies and have always been negative.

That said, I understand that some test are more stressful/ PITA then just not taking it.

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#6 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by notjustmamie View Post
Ruby2: the risk to the baby mentioned by OP is the small risk of transmission, even if mama is GBS+. The test is just a swab and I can't imagine any risk to the baby for that (short of some really overeager HCP swabbing way up to your cervix and accidentally breaking your water or something crazy like that).
Yes, what she said. I didn't mean that the test itself carried a risk to the baby. Just that the chances of the baby contracting the GBS is small enough to be off my radar!

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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post

I don't mind this one, as long as the midwife/ob doesn't do it super early-- and only does the test at the last possible time, so that the results are more accurate. I've had it with 3 previous pregnancies and have always been negative.

That said, I understand that some test are more stressful/ PITA then just not taking it.
Yeah, this is not a deal breaker for me at all. But I've decided not to do it anyway! I think the widespread testing for GBS is pretty peculiar to the US.

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#7 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 09:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That was my first multiple quote! It sure was easy!

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
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#8 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notjustmamie View Post
Yeah, the problem would be if you needed to transfer for some reason. With no test results on file, they most likely would treat you as GBS+ and require IV abx or testing the baby after birth (that was what my hospital required with DD--either abx for me or taking her blood and keeping her admitted for 2 days while they waited for the cultures to grow ).
This is the only reason I'm doing it. In case of transfer so I can tell them if I'm negative (which I hope I am) so they wouldn't do all kinds of invasive and unnecessary things to the baby. I wouldn't get abx if I were +, just all the usual precautions.
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#9 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Adasmommy View Post
That was my first multiple quote! It sure was easy!


It is totally dumb. Like my midwife said today, "what is logical about the US health care system?!"

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#10 of 18 Old 10-20-2009, 10:15 PM
 
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If you get the GBS test just to have a negative on file, before you go, do a HibClens scrub down there really well. I am also sure there are herbal things you can do to get rid of the bacteria long enough to get swabbed.

Mindie, wife to Mark, not-so-crunchy mom to Dylan (4/04); Devon (6/06); Dorothy (9/07); Derek (12/19/09); Daniel (12/18/10); Newbie D (2/22/12)

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#11 of 18 Old 10-21-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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Another homebirther. I didn't get tested last time and don't plan to this time.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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#12 of 18 Old 10-21-2009, 12:47 AM
 
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Your outcomes from GBS disease are a lot worse than ours for some reason, though: you have both a higher incidence and a higher rate of death from it.

UK protocols are automatic antibiotics if you have GBS in your urine at any point in pregnancy, or if your waters have been broken for more than 18 hours or there are any symptoms of infection whatsoever: though as ever, there's the right of refusal and informed choice.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#13 of 18 Old 10-21-2009, 08:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby2 View Post
But we talked about ways to pass the test, like a garlic vaginal suppository (sexy) and I decided that if there was no harm in taking it and it would make my life easier in the long run, I'd just take it.
OK, I have also been avoiding the GBS test but had to chime in to at your comment about the garlic suppository.
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#14 of 18 Old 10-21-2009, 10:20 AM
 
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If you don't get tested and you transfer pretty much any pedi will treat you as if you were GBS positive. They will want to draw blood and monitor baby. Baby will get numerous blood sugar checks, blood cultures, and a cbc. If baby spikes a temp at all postpartum, they will likely want to do a spinal.

Is this all necessary? No, not at all. But, sepsis from GBS does progress rapidly and can be life/death. Does it happen often? No, not at all.

If you refuse this on your baby, it is very likely you'd have to sign out AMA and you'd likely have a pretty big battle with CPS. I'm not trying to sound threatening, just realistic on what you'd likely encounter.

So for me, I'd personally do the swab so that my baby wouldn't have to go through all of that. The swab doesn't go all the way in, just inside the labia and rectum. It's uncomfortable for a few seconds and done. Most MW are more than happy for you to do it yourself.
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#15 of 18 Old 10-21-2009, 11:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mauri456 View Post
If you don't get tested and you transfer pretty much any pedi will treat you as if you were GBS positive. They will want to draw blood and monitor baby. Baby will get numerous blood sugar checks, blood cultures, and a cbc. If baby spikes a temp at all postpartum, they will likely want to do a spinal.
I can definitely understand that line of reasoning. I guess people who aren't getting it will need to decide which situations will lead them to transfer from a HB. For me, I will not transfer unless my life or the baby's life is absolutely at risk. In that case, it would be an emergency C-section scenario so the status of my GBS would be mute.

Di Linh, mama to DS1 (7), DD(4), DS2 (b 12/01/09)
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#16 of 18 Old 10-21-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Your outcomes from GBS disease are a lot worse than ours for some reason, though: you have both a higher incidence and a higher rate of death from it.
That is interesting. I wonder why the difference?
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#17 of 18 Old 10-22-2009, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Your outcomes from GBS disease are a lot worse than ours for some reason, though: you have both a higher incidence and a higher rate of death from it.

UK protocols are automatic antibiotics if you have GBS in your urine at any point in pregnancy, or if your waters have been broken for more than 18 hours or there are any symptoms of infection whatsoever: though as ever, there's the right of refusal and informed choice.
Very interesting! Thanks for the info!

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#18 of 18 Old 10-22-2009, 04:23 AM
 
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That is interesting. I wonder why the difference?
I have no idea. Our stats on GBS are getting worse though, which is one of the reasons why PROM is being managed so aggressively over here these days- the guidelines have changed from 96 hours post-ROM to 24 hours to initiate induction these days.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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