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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-18-2006 02:29 AM
leurMaman I tested positive with DS, and I will test again this time. My midwife administered antibiotics at the birth center during labor. I will to this again, if need be - just to be safe.
12-14-2004 01:46 PM
Pam_and_Abigail Hey this is a great thread! I am just today thinking about gbs, since my mw brought it up. I think I will not have the test, but take some acidophoilus and vitmain c.
09-28-2004 06:45 PM
dmartin Thank you, Momma2Liam, for (re-) posting the information! It is just what I've been looking for. I will talk to my midwives about earlier testing (around 34 weeks) so that I can I have time for the treatment, if I do test positive for GBS.
09-28-2004 06:11 PM
Momma2LiamandTara Here is the info/article/post that was mentioned earlier. I hope it's okay to post it like this. No idea how to do it nay other way.

I help people out

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,607
Hibiclens, an antiseptic found at many drug stores, has been used with success by many people as a wash diluted with water three times a day to combat colonization.

There's also lots of other treatments, involving herbs and foods....Here's a GBS Positive Treatment Plan:

GBS Positive Treatment Plan
-by Karen Ehrlich, CPM, LM

This is an anecdoatal experiment, designed to see if the following both treats GBS infection in the mother, and prevents the baby from getting infected/sick. If someone is trying to use this for prevention, I think that doing simple probiotics is a better idea. Please let me know what results you have if you choose to use this experiment.

This was designed for women who choose to be tested late in pregnancy (the current protocol is 36 weeks- I test at 34 weeks so there is time for the treatment to work if it is positive), whose culture is positive, and who are interested in getting clinical proof that they have eliminated the GBS from their system so they don't have to deal with medical alarmism about being GBS positive. However, if someone does test GBS positive, I recommend staying on the treatment through the rest of the prenancy, since GBS is known to come back when conventional antibiotic treatment is discontinued.

The plan was developed by a pregnant woman in San Francisco who tested positive for group beta strep. She was planning a homebirth, and wanted to avoid hospitalization and antibiotics. She successfully eliminated the bacteria from her genital/anal tracts. Her midwife has used it successfully with two other mothers, and is currently working with a fourth woman who is using this plan. That midwife tells me that it took about 3 weeks to obtain negative cultures, but that she could see that it was working after weekly tests because each subsequent culture showed less GBS growth. I tried it once, but the woman went into labor before she had the time to rid her system of the GBS.

I have added grapefruit seed extract, on the suggestion of another midwife who has used it successfully.
Twice a day, with breakfast and dinner:

• acidophilus - 4 billion cells per dose (The first time I heard a naturopath speak about preventing this infection in babies, he stated that using high doses of probiotics- acidophilus, bifidus, etc.- in the last weeks of pregnancy would prevent the problem.)
• echinacea - 350 mg capsules - two capsules (Note that some people are allergic to echinacea!- this is best used in the last couple of weeks of pregnancy only.)
• garlic - 580 mg capsules - two capsules
• vitamin C - 500 mg with 200 mg bioflavonoids
• grapefruit seed extract - 15 drops

A culture is done every week, to see if the bacteria are decreasing. Whatever the reading is closest to delivery is supposedly the most reliable.

If this regimen is successful at eliminating GBS, I would suggest staying on it until birth, to give the mother the best possible likelihood that it will not be present in her vagina at the time of birth


And, more:

Strep B Holistic Approach
By Gloria Lemay-

The concern about Strep B involves two groups at high risk of infection:

l. premature infants under 37 weeks gestation

2. any infant in utero with membranes ruptured longer than l8 hours
Contractions are a possible indicator of infection but this is a concern in weeks 0-36. After 36 weeks, Braxton Hicks are normal and a good sign of a healthy, toned uterus getting ready to push a baby out. Strep B in the vagina is not necessarily illness-related. Just as we commonly have Strep A in our throats on a swab and have no sore throat symptoms, so from one day to the next can we all culture positive for Strep B without any symptoms or danger to our unborn babies. This is why many practitioners refuse to test for it and simply wait to test until such time as the above two "at risk infant scenarios" show up. One day you might test positive and the next be negative. To treat with antibiotics before labour would NOT be recommended. Your body could build up a resistance to the antibiotics and so could your babe's body. Then, if either of you got a more serious infection after the birth, the antibiotics might be ineffective. It can also lead to thrush, vaginal yeast, and severe colic in the months after birth.

I would advise you to do as many things as possible to minimize your risk of ANY infections and maximize your immune system. Some safe suggestions:

l. Boost Vit. C in your diet e.g. eat 2 grapefruit per day. Other good sources of Vit C : red peppers, oranges, kiwi fruit.

2. Drink a cup of Echinacea tea or take 2 capsules of echinacea every day

3. Get extra sleep before midnight. Slow down your schedule.

4. Take 3 tsps of Colloidal Silver per day. Take it between meals. Hold the liquid in your mouth a few minutes before swallowing. Coll Silver can be purchased in most health food stores.It is silver suspended in water. It is antibiotic in nature and safe in pregnancy.

5. Plan ahead for extra warmth after the birth for both you and baby. Hot water bottles, heating pads, hot packs, big towels dried in a hot dryer during the pushing phase--will all help you and baby keep extra toasty after birth and reduce stress. Have a friend or family member assigned to be in charge of the "Mother/baby warmth team". The colostrum from your breasts is the best antibiotic treatment your baby could ever get.

5. Other good prevention tips: Keep vaginal exams to a minimum--0 is best. Do not permit artificial rupture of the membranes. Do not allow children of other families to visit the new baby for the first 3 weeks. Keep your older kids healthy so they are not sneezing and coughing on new baby.

I hope this is helpful to you. I often think that we must have had a lot of women who were Strep B positive in the 800 or so births that I have attended. We do not test unless we have long rupture of membranes and/or a preemie. Once the baby is born, we keep all women warm and baby skin-to-skin with the cord intact (velcroed to Mom) and, of course, all our mothers breastfeed. I have never had a baby sick with Strep B in twenty years.

More from Nancy McKay, childbirth educator:

To add to Gloria's regimen:
• Capsicum (cayenne pepper) is higher in vit. c than any other known substance, *and* chases bacteria and virus' from the body.

• Garlic! lots of garlic! antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral- and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol to boot.

• Take echinacea for only two weeks at a stretch, with a break of two weeks. This stimulates your body's own immune system w/out it becoming 'dependent' on the herb to keep it in high gear. Don't take echinacea (or St. John's Wort, or ginkgo) if trying to conceive; they interfere
with the penetrability of the egg (sperm can't get in)- also men shouldn't take under same circumstances as their sperm is made less viable.

• Store colloidal silver in cool dark place, away from anything metallic/mechanical (fridges, microwaves/radios etc).
09-28-2004 07:15 AM
dmartin I tested postive for GBS during my first pregnancy, and was on the iv with antibiotics during Nadja's birth. Now, I'm early in my 2nd trimester with baby #2, and wonder if there are ways to maintain a healthy flora down there to prevent another positive GBS test? I know the prevailing answer is "no, no one knows what causes it...or how/why it comes and goes" but I've heard passing words from a couple of midwives that there may be ways to prevent a positive test. Certain herbs - as a tea, or external application? Has anyone heard anything about this? Your ideas/comments are appreciated, thanks!
09-26-2004 09:56 AM
Momma2LiamandTara I'm really nervous now after reading all these posts about GBS. I'm scheduled for my test this week. I guess i'll take it to see the results. I was negative last time. I'm just nervous if I decline the test what will they do If I take the test what will the "insist" on doing. Luckily my OB is very nice and appears to be very flexible on what I want. I've only been seeing him for a few weeks now.

Well I off to go research. Any good links out there?

09-25-2004 07:50 PM
stanleymama I have never been tested for gbs either. Is it just protocol in some hospitals?
09-25-2004 06:33 PM
momto l&a I have never been tested, this is both my third birth and hb. I once asked my mw about it and she said the baby is watched for a fever. As I recall(twas 4+years ago) she didnt really like the tests and I have to agree after having read about them.
09-25-2004 06:13 PM
mandalamama *nods* we have a pediatrician. she said that the monitoring can be done with rooming-in, but to be prepared for "alarmist" behavior depending on the nurse or ped-on-call. this pediatrician doesn't work in the hospital i'm birthing at, but is part of a group near our house that's too good not to go with. the good thing is because she's outside their system, they have to call her for approval on most things and can't just randomly assign anyone on call *whew*my hope is that i get there in time for an IV full and that's the end of it.

had a row over the GBS issue at my last appt., i reminded them of my antibiotic allergies (all the 'cillins, 'mycins and 'cyclines) and the dr. said they had to re-do the swab test to find out which antibiotic will work, if any. i asked why that hadn't been done in the first place, my allergy notifications are prominent in my records! "well the lab makes mistakes" : basically i have to *request* the red bracelet when i come in, to avoid "mistakes" :

09-23-2004 12:02 AM
PuppyFluffer Meli, have you selected your pediatrician? I would find a ped to talk to about all of this. Find out what the ped's personal protocal is in this situation. Find out what the hospital's protocol is in this situation. They may not be the same!

Ask what after-birth monitoring is done with the baby and exactly what that entails. Does it interfere with the baby rooming in? Ask what risk factors they look for. Ask what they do if "a" happens, what they do if "b" happens and what they do if "c" happens.

If I had an uncomplicated birth, with no risk factors for GBS (Preterm labor, maternal fever, ruptured membranes and not birth for "x" hours....) I'm be signing myself out of that hospital so fast! Why stay for all the nonsense? I contend that a mother carrying her baby in arms, nursing on demand and being with her will know if something is wrong. I contend that a mother will know and that isolating the baby in one of those boxes in the nursery is not the best for the child or the best for monitoring her.

GBS really is a pediatric issue, not an ob issue. It's an ob issue only in administering antibiotics during labor but the end result is that the baby will have to deal with any issues steming from it. It was comforting to me to discuss the issue in detail with a ped before the birth. Nothing he said made me feel like I was increasing my child's health by taking antibiotics in labor as long as I had a normal labor and delivery. He basically told me they would monitor the baby regardless of what the mother did. I asked for definations of monitor and we talked about risk signs to look our for. I also asked if it was against the law for me to sign out myself and my child against medical advice. He said I think that could be a slippery slope and doubt I'd put that question on the table again. Just cause I dont' want the medical establishment to have plans to call cps ahead of time.... Luckliy, all went well with my birth and my baby was perfectly healthy. I hope your baby is as well and that you have a beautiful birth experience.
09-22-2004 11:53 PM
Piglet68 mellybean, that's terrible that they'll be "observing her" for 48 hours regardless of whether you take the antibiotics or not. not being able to room in is really unfair!!

well, I just found out today I tested positive for GBS, though I was negative last pregnancy. Of course, in my case it's totally moot, because with a cesarian there is no chance of transmission to the baby. My doctor said that unless my water breaks early, there is no need for antibiotics for either me or baby, so thank god the c/s is working in my favour for once, lol.
09-22-2004 11:14 PM
mandalamama i've read about hibi-cleanse as well, no $ to do it though (too much month at the end of my money!). my main worry is that they'll be observing her whether we decline the automatic antibiotics or not, for 48 hours ... which means no rooming in i'm trying to stay focused and positive but honestly i'll need to just argue a LOT with the dr. tomorrow about this. there's a 1% chance Willow would come down with GB, but the chances of problems with antibiotics is much higher, and the chances of infection from her IV is higher, chances of them doing unnecessary interventions if they observe her is higher ... arrrgh!
09-22-2004 09:43 AM
True Blue There is also a great post on either I'm pregnant or Birth and Beyond that talks about hibi cleanse...pamamidwife had links to LOTS of studies showing it works as well as antibiotics....check it out!
09-22-2004 09:41 AM
PuppyFluffer I had to deal with this issue as I had an ob do a vaginal swab really early in the pregnancy. I had a bit of a discharge so she did a swab without even talking to me about it. She never discussed the GBS issue with me. It came back positive and she wanted me to take oral anitibiotics then - in the first trimester. I said NO WAY and started researching. Everything I read talked about antibiotics in labor, not prior.

I talked to my midwife about it quite a bit. I just could not make inner peace with the antibiotics. She suggested I talk to my pediatrician as it really is an issue to affect the baby, not the mother. The GBS is a part of some women's natural flora and does not cause them problems, it's only troublesome if the baby gets infected with it...

So I set out on a mission to find a ped and discuss it. I was told that regardless of whether I had antibiotics in labor or not, they would still monitor the baby in the hospital. If the baby showed any signs of infection, they would begin testing and treatment. I asked lots of questions and didn't like many of the answers. What struck me the most was the ped saying that the outcome for babies of mothers who took the antibiotics verses the women who didn't was not very different at all.

What I ultimately did was lots of probiotics throughout the pregnancy, got retested closer to due date (was still positive) and decided t have the antibiotics if I had any of the risk factors. I had none of the risk factors, had a very easy birth at the independent birth center and just monitored my baby closely at home. I did alot of reading about GBS infection in infants. I monitored her temperature frequently for the first two weeks. (I did this as there is an early onset and a late onset version of the infection.) Ultimately, I trusted my inner voice to know what we needed to do and it all worked out great!

Good luck!
09-22-2004 08:57 AM
momadance Have you been trying any homeopathic remedies? Maybe you could and then insist on being retested?
09-22-2004 03:49 AM
OakEmber Argh, Meli that sucks : Will they want to treat Willow even in the absence of warning signs/symptoms?? Gosh I would be wishing I hadn't tested too! Hopefully you will get some better news on Thurs! You'd think that they'd also be concerned about her being allergic since you are! Let us know what you find out.
09-21-2004 06:41 PM
mandalamama uhhh ... just found out today, from our pediatrician actually, that they use penicillin or amoxycillin for the GBS IV at our hospital. i'm allergic to both! the "stop breathing" kind of allergy. i called and found out they have only 2 other alternatives, both of which i've also had asthma/hives reaction to. i find out Thursday what's up. i wish i hadn't said yes to the test ... they'll end up treating Willow if i can't be treated, even if she doesn't get sick i'd rather have 1000 needles than her have to have even one.
09-17-2004 11:54 AM
mandalamama i tested GBS+ i asked the dr. what are the chances of the baby getting it, she said 1% but that it can be pretty severe if they do get it. but now that i've been reading more about it, i'm wondering if it's a blessing in disguise - being able to argue against internal exams, membrane stripping and water breaking?

i'm going to be laboring as long as possible at home, so i'm wondering if they'd even have time to do the IVs. will know in a few weeks

09-08-2004 10:38 PM
aircantu1 n
09-08-2004 07:45 PM
Proudly AP
Originally Posted by aircantu1
Can't we just use antibiotics if there are symptoms?
that would be my take on it. my midwife mentioned that at mount sainai in toronto, they did a study that showed that only women who were positive and HAD SYMPTOMS benefitted from the antibiotics. can you discuss this with someone in advance (sorry, i didn't notice how far along you are)

good luck!
09-08-2004 05:20 PM
aircantu1 n
09-07-2004 11:34 AM
mirthfulmum I'm not getting tested either.
Here if you test posistive for Strep B you are automaticaly put on antibiotics during labour. And since there are clear signs that develop if a woman is Strep B positive during labour (high fever for example) I don't see the point in testing a few weeks ahead even though the infection may or not be present during labour. If I show symptoms during labour then I will take the antibiotics. But I do not want to take antibiotics and expose my new born's sysytem to a medicine that'll destroy the very important bacteria that is growing in his digestive tract for no reason.
09-05-2004 09:49 PM
Lucysmama I'm not getting tested at all. My MW offers is but does not do it routinely unless a woman asks for it. This is pretty much her policy on all testing - iron, GBS, GD, PKU, etc...her "policy" is that she informs her clients of the risks and benefits and it is up to them. I am comfortable just skipping the swab, as well as the GD test. I'm upping the probiotics in my diet at the end of the pregnancy as a precaution.
09-04-2004 03:48 PM
momadance Yeah it did suck. The thing is too, if you've tested positive for one pregnancy, your treated with IV anti's in a hospital setting, regardless of your current status, and refusal can result in being booted from your current care provider. I don't know if that's a Georgia thing, or all over the place.
09-04-2004 02:33 AM
Court I asked my midwife yesterday if she does the GBS test and she said yes. That was pretty much the extent of our conversation, because I really didn't have a problem with it. I was tested last time and it was negative, so I guess that's why I hadn't put too much thought into it. The pamplets I've gotten from my midwife mention doing the hibi-cleanse during labor after every time at the toilet. I guess if the test came back positive, we would figure out what to do from there.

Gosh, momadance - that sounds awful what happened to you and Miles! I definitely wouldn't be testing either if we'd been through that mess.
09-03-2004 06:17 PM
Proudly AP we are planning a homebirth with our midwife.

i talked to mw about gbs last week. essentially, i have the choice to be tested or not.

it's true, you can test postivie then be negative a week later, it moves in and out of your intestines where it lives (and is helpful).

the only possible issue we might have was if i didn't test and had fever druing labour, i'd need antibiotics anyway. in the middle of the night, if she doesn't have them on-hand, that means a hospital transfer.

what i think i will do is get tested. if +ve i will ask her to bring antibiotics to my home, but they would only be administered if i had any symptoms or risk factors. a +ve test alone, is not enough to convince me.

i am *very* interested in the hibi-wash mentioned earlier. could you please post more info about it, or a link? tia!
09-03-2004 06:00 PM
BeansMomma This topic came up in my OB appt today as well. I wasn't seeing my regular Dr. but the sub Dr. says that IV is the only treatment as well. Hopefully my regular OB will be a bit more open minded. I'll likely take the test, hope for the best, and be prepared to fight for less intervention if it comes back positive. :

Dr. says to test around 4 weeks before due date since the flora after 4 weeks could be changed. I know that this was a topic of a Mothering magazine a few months back; will have to find that issue again.
09-03-2004 05:06 PM
Jillerina Hmmm, I asked my midwife if there was any way other than IV to receive the antibiotics and she said "no"! Whats the deal? The intramuscular shot would be preferrable for me too as I HATE, HATE, HATE IVs. I'll ask again next week.
09-03-2004 04:45 PM
Wabi Sabi My midwife just left a few minutes ago and this is one of the things that we discussed today. Basically, she is fine with whatever I decide to do regarding whether I want to be tested or not, and how I would like to treat it if I do opt to test and it turns out to be positive.

After talking to her about it for a while, I decided to take a fairly moderate, middle-of-the-road approach to it. I'll go ahead and get tested next week when I have my appointment with her backup OB. If positive I'll do the antibiotics but ONLY IF other risk factors are present during labor (water being broken for an extended period of time, etc.).

Although the decision is ultimately up to me and my midwife will support whatever I choose to do, she feels that this is a very reasonable approach. If I do opt for antibiotics during labor, she prefers to give them via intermuscular injection as opposed to an IV. If I really want, she'll set up an IV but would prefer not to do so...all of the tubing and so forth is just a hassle and doesn't really fit into most people's vision of a homebirth.
09-03-2004 04:31 PM
Soogie With my first 2 pg's I tested neg for GBS. For this one, I had seen a different midwife at a birth center for my first appt at 6 weeks. She tested me for GBS , not by doing a vaginal swab, but an anal swab. And of course it came out positive. My mw now gave me the option to be tested or decline. I am still going to be tested, correctly this time and hopefully it will be neg. But if I do end up being pos., then I have the option of a few treatments. I will probably just do some homeopathic remedies and take oral antibiotics for a few weeks and then be retested. If still postive then, I'll continue oral antibiotics and then the babe will get a shot of antibiotic within an hour after birth. No IV for me during labor.
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