Suggestions for decreasing chances of being Strep B positive at the 36 week culture? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 04-10-2011, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

For my first pregnancy I tested positive for Strep B at 36 weeks.  Does anyone have any natural suggestions for me to try to encourage a negative result?  In other words, is there anything I can do now at 27.5 weeks to reduce my chances of being Strep B positive at 36 weeks?

 

Thanks!

 

--Katie

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#2 of 20 Old 04-10-2011, 08:07 PM
 
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I'd load up on pro biotics and eat yogurt if you're not allergic to dairy. 

 

From what I've heard Strep B may be present in one part of your vagina and not in the other.  So to say sometimes women who are positive at 36 weeks and re-tested again before birth can/have come up negative.

If it's in your urine, that's a different story. 


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#3 of 20 Old 04-10-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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My midwife has women soak in a bath with apple cider vinegar (not much--maybe 1/4 cup in the tub) around three times a week from 30 or 32 weeks on. She claims that she has never had a positive test for anyone who does this consistently. Worked for me!



 
 
 
 

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#4 of 20 Old 04-11-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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I'm also interested in this, because I'm giving birth at home, and would rather not have any "hang-ups" or things that upset my already kind of nervous partner :) I've heard probiotics, but the apple cider is new. Might consider that. Any brand of probiotics that people recommend? I have a generally healthy diet, but I've considered probiotics in general, and now at 29 weeks, I think it's time. Thanks!
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#5 of 20 Old 04-11-2011, 08:51 AM
 
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all of those ideas, plus... you can also take echinacea and lots of vitamin C (6000mg a day, or less if it gives you diarrhea) and wash with tea tree soap, I even put one drop of tea tree oil a day in my vagina for a week before the test, just to make sure (I tested negative, but of course, I might have anyway)

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#6 of 20 Old 04-11-2011, 11:00 AM
 
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I've also heard of people washing with something called hibiclens before the GBS test: http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1255964/your-thoughts-requested-on-gbs-and-hibiclens

And make sure that when you do the swab, (my MW last time had me go to the bathroom and do it myself) that you do it *only* in your vagina. And if someone else must do it, just make sure they stay away from your anus, as it's normal for most everyone to test pos for GBS there, which leads to false positives when practitioners swab there. (The baby's not coming out that hole!)
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#7 of 20 Old 04-11-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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just subbing so I can be sure to find this when Ihave time to really read it. smile.gif

Jenica- Wife to R & mama to C 8/27/09, my little blonde bombshell and D 7/23/11, whom we love so much we gave him an extra chromosome      cd.gifwinner.jpgfemalesling.GIF
 

 

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#8 of 20 Old 04-15-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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That's funny, because they had me test *specifically* in/around my anus for my first pregnancy and I tested positive too - and it sucked. I wound up on an antibiotic drip during labour that was more uncomfortable and annoying than my contractions were. >.<  I swore I wouldn't do the test at all this time, because I will absolutely refuse the drip one way or the other.  I wonder if I'd have tested differently if I'd only done a vaginal test?

 

Great other-advice though, ladies!


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#9 of 20 Old 04-16-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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My midwife said doing the hibiclens before the test can give you a false negative and then you could end up with problems at the birth if you are actually GBS+.  It would be better to do some other preventative things to boost your immune system (probiotics, echinacea, vit. C, etc.) and then do hibiclens douches daily after you get the results that you are GBS+ in order to avoid abx.  My midwives at least will allow me to forego abx. if I do a daily hibiclens douche after getting a positive test.  

 

I've tested positive 3 out of 4 times now, the only time I tested negative was when my husband was deployed so I think he's the carrier.  I did do everything I could the last 3 pregnancies to try to test negative, including super doses of probiotics, echinacea, vit. c, garlic pills, whole garlic cloves inserted vaginally for 3 nights prior to the test, and even douching the morning of the test.  Still I've tested positive twice.  Although I've always blindly followed the rules to swab both the vagina and anus.  I will do all that as well as not swabbing the anus area and trying the ACV baths.  I've never heard of that before.  


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#10 of 20 Old 04-16-2011, 02:56 PM
 
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Oh, I also wanted to say that I wouldn't forgo the test, although that's up to everyone's personal discretion.  If you are birthing in a hospital or were to get transferred to a hospital and have not had the test, there's a strong likelihood that you and your baby will be treated as though you have GBS and if there is not time to give you abx, they can keep the baby for 3 days and do IV abx the whole time.  I did refuse abx. once, even knowing this, and tried to refuse them last time, but my midwives started getting nervous when my water had been broke for 6 hours and labor had not yet started and they were very pushy about me having them.  And I will refuse them again this time, but if I had any inkling that I might be in need of a hospital transfer I'd have the midwives give me abx. before I got to the hospital.  I'd rather have them than have my baby kept in the hospital for 3 days.


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#11 of 20 Old 04-18-2011, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions!  I will definitely be trying the apple cider vinegar tub soaking.

 

I also just found this on line:  http://theninemonthclub.com/pregnancy-nutrition-and-group-b-strep/

 

Also, I think the protocol for my midwive practice is to swab the anus as well.  Are there any studies out there saying that this is not a good idea to do?

 

Thanks.

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#12 of 20 Old 04-18-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightswimming View Post

Also, I think the protocol for my midwive practice is to swab the anus as well.  Are there any studies out there saying that this is not a good idea to do?

 

Thanks.


DDCC to answer this.  During my pregnancy with dd#2, my midwife (cnm) swabbed both areas.  I questioned her (rather forcefully LOL) and was told that the current protocol was to swab both vagina & anus.  Me ==> hopmad.gif ... 'cause how many people test NEGATIVE when swabbed anally?  I did test positive.  I also stayed my butt home and u/c'ed, for many reasons.  I had no other risk factors for GBS issues and my daughter was 100% healthy.


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#13 of 20 Old 04-18-2011, 03:26 PM
 
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I've also heard a course of echinacea (two weeks, once a day) will help you test neg.  I was taking echinacea last time during the time of my test because I was sick (I was neg), but i am considering taking it this time time just for this reason.

good luck!

 

eta: my midwife informed me last time that gbs is one of those things that once you test pos, you will always test pos (there is nothing you can do to change that)  but I have heard so many people say they did change their status I am not sure where they are getting that.  anyone have some good reference for that? 


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#14 of 20 Old 04-19-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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You just don't want to try to  "cheat" or "fool" the test. GBS can be very serious. There have been documented cases of women who were advised to use garlic and hibiclens to pass the GBS test, but they really still had GBS and they lost their babies.


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#15 of 20 Old 04-19-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxintheSnow View Post

You just don't want to try to  "cheat" or "fool" the test. GBS can be very serious. There have been documented cases of women who were advised to use garlic and hibiclens to pass the GBS test, but they really still had GBS and they lost their babies.



While I think the above is a good point, I think women are talking about this because the "solution" in hospitals is to tether you to an IV, which limits your mobility and starts you and your baby out with an imbalance from lack of good bacteria.    So, while GBS *is* serious, it's also worth discussing alternatives.

 

My homebirth midwife is similarly not a fan of "fooling" the test by doing hibiclens before the test.   She did recommend probiotics, and I'm looking at other oral supplements/boosters to help the good bacteria.  If I test positive, I can choose antibiotics at home, or hibiclens every number of hours during labor (which I understand is standard protocol in many parts of Europe, where they have the same or better outcomes).  I will choose the hibiclens if I am positive, and I will advocate for that continuing even if I have to transfer to the hospital.  FYI, about 10 years ago, there was sometimes an antibiotic shot in the butt that was an option if GBS+.  Though that still means that you and the baby are exposed to antibiotics, at least you didn't have an IV the whole labor.  I'm not sure why that isn't an option anymore, but could be worth some research.

 

Just to put it a different way, I think it's very valid to consider these alternatives, because the outcome of testing positive has serious ramifications (both for how you're treated in labor, and how labor/after labor time is affected, and for the small but serious possibility of your baby getting infected). 

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#16 of 20 Old 04-19-2011, 08:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firecat View Post

 

eta: my midwife informed me last time that gbs is one of those things that once you test pos, you will always test pos (there is nothing you can do to change that)  but I have heard so many people say they did change their status I am not sure where they are getting that.  anyone have some good reference for that? 

I've never had a midwife say that.  That's the reason they test you every time you're pregnant, because it can change.  And just for the record, I was positive with my first two babies, negative with my 3rd, and positive again with my 4th.  

 

I agree completely about not cheating the test.  But doing things to boost your immunity can do no harm at all.  My midwife did give me a shot in the butt of abx. last time because I have major problems with yeast.  I'm not sure which abx. she gave me, but it's not the normal one, and it has much less chance of causing yeast/thrush problems.  But I'd still rather avoid abx. if I can.  

 

FertileMyrtle, I was planning to do hibiclens last time, but be aware that many midwives will not allow you to do hibiclens once your water is broke.  For the first time ever for me, my water broke before labor began, so I was unable to use the hibiclens at all.  Thus, the pushing of abx and the shot in the hiney.  
 

 


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#17 of 20 Old 04-20-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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The abx you get in the hossy is generally Ampicillin every 4 hours unless you're penicillin allergic then you get one of two other antibiotics which are both 8 hour dosing. I have never had a patient who was tethered to an IV who didn't want to be. I hook up the antibiotics, they take 30 mins to run in, I flush the line then disconnect it so you are free to move. Some of it has to do with the doctor and if the write for a continuous line (which they basically all do as a standard because they would have to UN check the box to NOT have a running line) but as the nurse, I have the capacity to ask them to change the order based on the patients wishes. SO... my point is that if you end up in the hossy just ask the doctor or nurse to just run the line during the administration. 2cents.gif

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#18 of 20 Old 04-21-2011, 04:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamahen2coop View Post

The abx you get in the hossy is generally Ampicillin every 4 hours unless you're penicillin allergic then you get one of two other antibiotics which are both 8 hour dosing. I have never had a patient who was tethered to an IV who didn't want to be. I hook up the antibiotics, they take 30 mins to run in, I flush the line then disconnect it so you are free to move. Some of it has to do with the doctor and if the write for a continuous line (which they basically all do as a standard because they would have to UN check the box to NOT have a running line) but as the nurse, I have the capacity to ask them to change the order based on the patients wishes. SO... my point is that if you end up in the hossy just ask the doctor or nurse to just run the line during the administration. 2cents.gif


Thanks for this info .... making a note of it!!
 

 


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#19 of 20 Old 05-04-2011, 04:13 PM
 
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So what probiotics should I get and where should I get them?

ETA_ Also, say it was DH who was carrying it and giving it to you (can that happen??) how could you treat him to get rid of it? I was just thinking that if 30-40% of the population has it (I'm assuming they meant entire population and not just childbearing women population) maybe it's DH? never really thought of it before.

ETA again- ALSO... I was just thinking that I'd share... all the providers I work with do a susceptibility testing on any GBS positive results. I'm not sure if this is standard everywhere or if it's just them. But if you get tested and plan to be treated with antibiotics I would double check that they did a susceptibility testing on it.

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#20 of 20 Old 05-04-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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I've been reading a lot about this because my 35-week testing is coming up soon, and I am only going to allow them to take a vaginal swab, not an anal swab. If my vagina is colonized, I might consider taking the antibiotics (which the midwives at my birthing center said could be administered intermittently during labor and I wouldn't have to be hooked up to an IV the whole time). However, I've read several research studies that suggest that although the IV antibiotics greatly decrease the risk of the baby having complications from Group B strep, they INCREASE the risk of the baby getting an antibiotic-resistant infection of another type of bacteria, such as E. coli. So the overall rate of infection and mortality rate is about the same, regardless of whether or not you take the antibiotics. I'm still researching, but I'm leaning towards refusing the antibiotics anyway, even if I do test positive from the vaginal swab. I am a very strong believer that antibiotics should only be used as an absolute last resort, and never given prophylactically. I'm worried about how the antibiotics will affect the colonization of my baby's body with friendly bacteria, which is a major factor in the baby's long-term and short-term health.

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