Mothering Forums - Reply to Topic

Thread: Group B strep Reply to Thread
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-16-2002 07:53 PM
SquirelNutkin I didnt know that about the garlic.
It was reccommended by several midwives- both my own and online.
Another option is a product called Natribiotic- which is a combination of most of what I listed earlier, but without the garlic.

Goldenseal- I am not sure how long, etc. There is a thread on mothering, if you search under homebirth and gbs- you find a whole thread about goldenseal. The woman who started the topic suggested using a goldenseal and cocaoa butter suppoistory mixture once a night for 3 nights, then wait 2 nights, and start again if you havent had the baby. I think the implication is to start as late as possible so that your vaginal flora/fauna is balanced.
I would also mix the goldenseal with cocoa butter for an easier time of it. With just capsoles- I felt like I had ants in my pants. She mixed 6 capsules to 3 tbls cocoa butter and froze into 8 drops.
I want to also caution that it is only a goldenseal suppository. ABSOLUtely do not take internally- as that is conindicative for alls tages of pregnancy.

Another recipe I found online here at motheirng- A few tablespoons each of yarrow root, rosemary, thyme, and candelua, 1./2 cup sea salt and a quart of water used as a bath or a douch. I have found this remedy easier and less messy, and unpleasant.

Anyhow, I second the advice of not testing. The risk is pretty low of passing it, unless you have had some of the mentioned complications- which would be signs of concern on their own anyhow.
I certainly wasnt tested with my first child- as it wasnt policy yet, and who know if I would be positive or not. But I certainly didnt feel as worried or concerned as I do this round.

Anyhow, good luck to all,
09-12-2002 05:43 PM
clovergirl SquirelNutkin said:
There are lots of recipes for keeping strep levels down, but
here is what my homebirth midwife recommended-
Do this twice daily with breakfast and dinner:
acidolphilous- 4 billion cells per dose
echinecea- 350mg capsules- 2 capsules
garlic- 580mg capsules- 2 capsules
vitamin C- 500mg with bioflavinoids
grapefruit seed extract- 15 drops
(bold added by me)

FYI- garlic taken internally can thin the blood and lower blood pressure. it should be used with *extreme* caution towards the end of a pregnancy because it can lead to unnecessary hemoraging after the birth.
09-09-2002 11:25 PM
valeria_vi SquirelNutkin,
at what week should you start the regimen and for how long? until you deliver?
09-08-2002 12:47 AM
indigolilybear also...there are many threads here re: this topic. try searching for it.

my two cents...dont do it...i tested positive and i worried for nothing. (had a successful HB anyway, treated w/alternative remedies like the homeopathic and also vaginal suppositories--though in my opinion, it is also or can be a "yoni" issue. i think it helps to resolve neg. feelings you have about your vagina before birthing. i believe this "cured" my beta strep...we got the second neg. culture back after birth)

didn't test w/baby two and i would never test again. but you must resolve this issue (obviously) for yourself. it's just a lot of women *do* test positive...and needlessly worry.
you know what is right for you and your baby.......good luck
09-08-2002 12:31 AM
bebeh20 My baby broke her water two weeks early. As I had no pain, and actually thought I was incontinent at first, my midwife checked me that morn and just by chance did a swipe for GBS. Suffice to say, I was not the least bit concerned with her check, nor the outcome. I think I had way too much on my mind, like
"What! I have two more weeks!"

She told me that I would probably go into labor that day, and I did, late that afternoon. My 4 hour labor, and home waterbirth was a peaceful and phenomenal journey. Our Ava was gorgeous, and in perfect health.

The next day, Annette came back to our home and said that it was the strangest thing, that my swipe had come back positive (after the birth).

GBS is a normal bacteria that can get dangerously out of control, just like candida and so many others that we don't have a handle on yet. I believe that our floras are influenced greatly by our diet and hormones, and this explains the natural fluctuation of numbers.

Great advice, SquirrelNutkin! And thank you SO much for the recipe for combating a possible attack! In the late portion of my next pregnancy, I will definitely do this, with my awesome midwife's approval.
09-06-2002 11:56 PM
~member~ Hello mellie-bellie!
Just wanted to add my input LOL! I am 40 wks, refused the screening, and also refused antibiotics even if I show the 'symptoms'. I feel the antibiotics given during labor/delivery to be more harmful than the small chance my babe would get strep B.
Twelve years ago, my niece was born and got the strep B. They quarantined her and her mother, gave the baby antibiotics and allowed her to be breastfed. She is fine. So, even if my baby got it, I know that it is treatable.
I think the mandated testing of strep B is just another money making scheme, and really has nothing to do with the health and well-being of our babies.
I worry that if I let them test me and I am positive, then it gives them the ability to over ride my refusal of antibiotics KWIM? And just think of all the positive, good flora/fauna that is wiped out when you are given antibiotics, I think it would open the door for all sorts of nastier diseases for my baby.

JMO and good luck!
09-06-2002 11:36 PM
lorijds Tiny shoes, I would like to point out that, actually, most standards of care regarding this is to routinely test, rather than treat by history.

We have had many moms who have tested positive with previous pregnancies and tested negative with subsequent pregnancies. Even most of the most conservative OB offices in the area test routinely and only treat positive or symptomatic rather than treating by history.

Of course, it should always be your choice to be tested or treated for anything, and I am not debating that point at all. I only wanted to point out that, even in the most conservative circles, it is not necessarily "once positive, always positive." There is plenty of research out there in conservative journals supporting treating only positive or symptomatic women, and unsupportive of blanket treatment for previously positive.
09-06-2002 08:07 PM
SquirelNutkin Strep has become a very hot topic in the last 5 years. Just this month, here in Texas they are mandating that mothers take 2 tests- one at 37 and one at 39. A big jump from what it was years ago.

There are a lot of recipes out there for keeping strep levels down, but-
Heres what my homebirth midwife reccomended-
Do this twice daily, with breakfast and dinner:
acidophilus- 4 billion cells per dose
echinacea- 350 mg capsules- 2 capsules
garlic- 580 mg capsules- 2 capsules
vitamin C- 500 mg with bioflavonoids
grapefruit seed extract- 15 drops

In addition to this, insert a capsule of goldenseal vaginally (near the cervix) every night before you go to bed. Avoid sugar and junk food and eat plenty of fresh produce-5 or more daily. Continue with your protein and whole grains.

good luck all- b
09-06-2002 02:49 PM
tinyshoes Short answer: Don't get the test done

I've done lots of research because, dangit, I am GBS+. Once 'they' find out you are +, it's with you for life.

Even if you test again w/\ a subsquent pg, you still were + that one time.

Williams Obstetrics, THE OB textbook, says in their 20th edition from 1997:

Because of confustion, conflicting opinions, and lack of definitive data, there has been no universal approach to group B strep screening and treatment.

While I'm more into the lay midwife way of birthing, I feel that the pre-emminent OB text is THE place to go for the conservative, 'shield me from litigation and use any and all interventions available' opinion. And that's their stand on the topic.

(PS, I don't think IV antibiotics are harmless, I think they cause thrush in newborn babies' mouths)
09-06-2002 12:57 AM
XmasEve I'm only 26 weeks, but already wondering what choice I'll make (to test or not). At first I thought I might as well since I heard it could be linked to UTIs, of which I've had many, but then I found that your GBS state could change in as little as 24 hours. Why do I want to resign myself to taking antibiotics in labor when it will probably (knock on wood) be weeks after I test? (Also, I just don't like anyone but my DH in that alleyway.) So I *think* at this point that I have decided not to test, and will instead only consider antibiotics in labor if I fall into any of the three risk categories; fever, early water breaking, or preterm labor. That's just what I'm planning-- this is my first so I have no prior experience.

SquirelNutkin, I've also heard about the alternative remedies to GBS. Can I ask what you're using? I'm a still new to the whole "alternative medicine" scene, but very excited by it all. It's a little overwhelming at first...
09-05-2002 09:21 PM
SquirelNutkin AHHH, what a complicated issue.....
There are lots of info on the archives- in case you want to check.

My story-
I am 37 weeks and just switched midwives from those that practice in a hospital to one who does homebirths.
I stayed so long with the hospital birth because of cost (it would ahve been free!) and assumed I would just go to the hospital at the very very last minute- so I would ahve all the comfort of home.
Well, I tested positive for strep, so that birth plan was thrown out the water.
Actually, being positive for strep was very freeing- it made the descion of leaving a practice I felt was coarse and too medical very easy.
You see, in the hospital, the midwives would insist on giving me 2 IVS of antibotics before Iw as pushing.

My homebirht midwife is not required to test. She has dealt with it before.
She is fine with giving me a homebirth- as long as I am past 37 weeks (already there), have no fever during labor, and my water is not broken for longer than 24 hours. These factor raise the risk of the baby getting strep.
My midwife also feels that hopsital birthed babies get strep- or at risk for strep- more often because of interventions like fetal monitoring thru your vagina, and other items that enter thru the cervix- whihc is like little ladders for the bacteria.

Strep isvery very bad when the baby does get it- thought that is rare. I am planning on using a topical recipe to lower the amount of the bacteria in my vagina before I birth.

I would ask your midwife what she would do diff if you tested positive, and if she has worked with any patients that ahve strep.
In my case, I am glad that I know I ahve strep, because if a fever or the extended water broken occurs- we know to take it seriously.
You also may test negative this week, and positive next, so it isnt a fool proof test either.

It is a hard thing, one I think we wish we could all look into the future and see the obvious outcome- but we cant.

Good luck
09-05-2002 08:38 PM
mellie-bellie I am 35 weeks and have to make a decision about getting the Group B Strep test done or waivering it. My midwife is cool about me not getting it done, I just have to sign a waiver. With my ds' pregnancy, I used a different midwife, and she didn't give me much info on it, but I do recall signing a waiver against it. Anyways, what have all of you homebirthin' mamas done in regards to this test? I'm leaning towards not getting it done this time, but I wanted to hear some other's opinions first. TIA!
04-22-2002 11:55 AM
Originally posted by bluevervain
In my area, the doctors usually take a vaginal sample, drag the swab down the perineum and around the rectum...pretty much guaranteeing a positive result.
so how do you recommend a culture being done?
04-21-2002 12:39 PM
sarahwebb Hi Everyone,

Just to give you all an update, I took antibiotics--a form a penicillin for 7 days and my second culture came back negative. I'm also taking garlic everday and echinacea 7 days on and 7 days off.

My doctor gave me an article about the CDC changing it's recommendations from monitoring risk factors to testing everyone, and administering antibiotics during labor to all who test positive, but even that article cautioned that antibiotics during labor is a short term solution because of resistance.

I checked out the _Midwifery Today_ site for information on GBS and was concerned because there were what seemed to be obvious errors in the information there, most notably using GBS and Beta Strep interchangeably. Of course, there's always going to be conflicting information out there, but the _Midwifery Today_ article stated things that pretty much everything else I read had concensus on.

04-20-2002 11:32 PM
MAMA-J Barbara

I was B Strep + with my first and had a very beautiful. healthy homebirth. The only thing I did was mega echinacea. 10 days on, 5 days off. I never made it to the off part because I went into labor a few days early. said's a very controversial thing.

Happy HOME birthing!

04-20-2002 03:23 PM
bluevervain In our practice we recommend "the swab" as a way to prove status in case we go to the hospital (we're a homebirth practice). We let the women take the swab into the bathroom and get their own sample.

In my area, the doctors usually take a vaginal sample, drag the swab down the perineum and around the rectum...pretty much guaranteeing a positive result.

The CDC Guidelines keep changing in regards to GBS, for a while some of the Boston area hospitals adopted the "wait and watch" strategy, and if signs of infection showed in laboring mothers they'd administer antibiotics...of course these signs are often fever and elevated BP (how many women do you know who don't get elevated BP and/or sweaty in labor???)

Definitely check out the Midwifery Today site, they have fantastic information GBS. GBS infection in a newborn, while rare can be very dangerous.

Take care,
04-05-2002 11:11 PM
temama ramlah

also big on midwiferytoday! Got quite a bit of great info. infact that is where I got the link to the article I mentioned above. See you on the boards!

04-04-2002 03:04 AM
ramlita I'm a big fan of Midwifery Today's website. always lots of useful information!
04-04-2002 02:10 AM
sarahwebb I too have tested positive for GBS. My nurse practitioner prescribed 7 days of Amoxocilling and said if I didn't go into labor before restesting negative, I shouldn't worry about it. I started the Amoxocillin Monday and am about 37 weeks. The second culture results should come back Friday April 10. My EDD is April 21. (With further research, I'm not convinced that getting a negative culture result April 10 will insure that I am still negative at the time of delivery)

My midwife isn't concerned at all. She's recommended echinacaea extract 1 week on and 1 week off until I deliver as well as garlic supplement everyday to help boost my immune system. She also says that babies born at home are more likely to get the treatment they need, because they have 1 to 1 or greater attention and the mother, father or midwife will notice the symptoms and get the baby to treatment before the condition becomes serious. The only infant death she knew of from GBS in our area in the last two years was in a hospital nursery where the nurses weren't paying attention. She says that she will stay longer to help watch the baby since we know that I have had a positive culture.

My first cousin's doctor says that it's no big deal in full term babies. She says that she administers antibiotics during labor as a precaution for GBS positive women, but she doesn't think it's necessary because GBS is rarely life threatening for full term babies. Boy was Dh (who wasn't too hip on the whole homebirth thing to begin with) relieved to hear such reassurring information from a doctor...

My midwife recommended the following website. It's pretty deep and I'm still reading and digesting, but it has a wealth of information:

All the best,

edited to spell my own name's that for pregnancy brain?
04-03-2002 01:10 AM
temama You might want to check this article before make up your mind on antibiotics being used during your birth. I hope this helps.

[URL= b strep.htm]
03-27-2002 09:08 AM
yaboobarb Thank you all!
It is great to hear such reassuring things! My midwife is telling me the same things.

Just to be safe, I meet with the Ped. on Friday, and if I hear anything different or interesting I will let you know!

The OB-DR (who was my parallel/backup care, but not anymore) made me feel like the ONLY place to be in the Hospital on IV antibiotics......... or else!


I was hoping that your experiences would reassure me, and they did! (I also checked out the other thread on B strep... thanks!)
03-27-2002 04:01 AM
indigolilybear i had a homebirth w/baby one w/beta strep pos results. there is another thread here (or maybe at "i'm preg.") about this a while ago w/lots of good posts.
anyway, i did homeopathic remedy (didn't work for me) and homeopathic suppositories (that did work along w/my own personal intuitive work!!--may sound weird but it's what i believed the beta strep thing was truly about). you are supposed to have 2 neg. results back before you can deliver w/o antibiotics (you can also take them orally around due date time) but I had only had one neg. result back. however, my midwife said she felt i was fine. and we were!!
didn't test w/baby two. bottom line, as you midwife informed you, shouldn't be any big deal. and the odds are w/you!!
just get in touch w/your body. beta strep at best is a very controversial thing. most women actually are beta strep pos and on the aformentioned thread someone had a good link to some great info.
good luck and happy birthing!! you can do it.
03-26-2002 11:54 PM
candiland The midwife I use does two intramuscular injections of penicillin before the birth, while the woman is in labor. Also, in Europe, it's the norm for a woman to take a routine oral dose of antibiotics for a week or two leading up to the due date. The reason ob/gyns don't use it here is because "a woman can't be trusted to take all her prescribed medication." Ya know, to cover their as*es in case anything goes wrong.... that's why iv.s are used, because it is done where it can be documented in the woman's chart and it can be "professionally administered".:
03-26-2002 03:19 PM
Serenity Hi Barbara, I'm also in NJ and my homebirth midwife has said that she could do antibiotics through an IV at my home if I needed it. She is a CNM. I think you could ask about this possibility for you.
03-26-2002 02:47 PM
cheryl Hey Barbara,
I was gbs+ with my last baby, though I had waived the test and didn't know...thus necessitating a transport to the hospital from my homebirth plans when I developed a fever and baby's heartrate was elevated.
So...first....I think it's great that you found out your status on this...and that's from a pretty hardcore "test waiver signer".
Now, as for what course of action they take depends on where you live and what the laws allow. In Florida, midwives are allowed to used IV antibiotics at a homebirth for gbs, as long as they obtain a prescription ahead of time. (This I misunderstood, which is why I waived the test last time...stupid me!)
My backup OB has required that I use antibiotics for this homebirth, even though I have tested negative for gbs twice this pregnancy. I will be given a heplock, so I'm only hooked up to the iv as long as it takes to drip in each dose (about 20 minutes per).
They like to see 2 doses go in before baby arrives, and the doses I believe, though I could be wrong...(happens) are about 4 hours apart. So, unless you have a precipitous labor, you should be able to satisfy them on that one.
But depends on what your midwife is legally allowed to do.
03-26-2002 02:17 AM
yaboobarb Hi all!
I was just wondering if anyone here has any experience with delivering at home with positive B strep results.

I am 37 weeks pregnant and I went to pick up my chart from my my doctor (who just dropped me as a back up doctor, but that is on another thread) and I was told that the test I just took this week came back positive for B strep.

Usually what they do is give IV antibiotics in the hospital during labor... but I am not going to the hospital.

I contacted my midwife (whom I trust ), and she told me that all was still well (in other words don't panic) she gave me some data about B strep, and she told me to contact the baby's Dr ( who will be there at the birth, or very soon after) and talk to him.

I will call my doctor, but I was wondering if anyone out there had experience with this, and I was hoping that you could share some stories about how it was delt with during or after your home birth.

Thank you all!
02-14-2002 08:55 PM
melissaworld For holistic preventative care see:
Excellent information! Don't know about GBS and water birth, but I've never heard of it being a big enough factor that stopped someone from having one. I would think that as long as you're using preventative care it wouldn't be a problem, but will look further into this matter. Hmm.. now I'm curious to know.
02-14-2002 05:04 AM
mama milkshake I want to have a home water birth next time. I tested + for strep b last time. Is it dangerous to have a waterbirth at home if you are strep b positive at the time of labor and delivery?
02-13-2002 04:22 PM
Allana From how it was explained to me is that she contracted it from me during delivery. I haven't heard about other ways to contract it. I had a very long pushing stage with her (four hours), so she was exposed for a while. I just assumed that could have played a part. I had no other symptoms they say to look for. The pediatrician that treated her said that for her to have gotten sick so late is very rare, but it does happen.

The midwife I had for my son's birth said that she wouldn't rupture my membranes and that she recomending the antibiotics. As it turns out my water broke, but I never started contractions and because of the GBS factor I had to go in after a few hours and start pit and antibiotics. I opted for the pitocin, so I wouldn't have to have so much of the antibiotics during labor. It actually wasn't as bad as I had feared. I couldn't tell the difference with pitocin induced contractions and the ones I had naturally with my daughter. I think that was due to the fact that my water had broken on its own, and I had started to dialate and my cervix was soft, so my body was ready, but needed a little help getting started. My labor nurse monitered the contractions very carefully so they didn't come on to fast and hard. She was really helpful. I was still able to achieve a natural birth with out pain medication. The biggest pain was that they had to monitor the baby closely, so I wasn't able to be as mobile as I wanted. Anyway, this turned out to be a labor story. I do think that if I am ever to have another baby (we're pretty sure we are done!), I am going to look into more information, so I don't have to deal with antibiotics and IV's.
02-13-2002 01:31 AM
Originally posted by Allana
I tested neg for GBS while preg with my first and she came down with GBS at 5 weeks. <snip> I opted to go for the anitbiotics during the labor of my 2nd...
Dear Allana and everyone,

I'm curious, how likely is it that your first daughter caught GBS from you? Are there other ways that an infant or child could contract this infection?

New and learning,
This thread has more than 30 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off