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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi- I am exploring homebirth options and was wondering what most people do if they are group B strep positive? I know some women would refuse abx but what if you didn't want to? Would that exclude you from having a home birth? Sorry, if this has already been addressed in previous posts.
 

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I think it depends on your MW. I was GBS positive with my first pregnancy but refused testing this time around. After my water breaking and being in labor for 24 hrs. my mw gave me IV antibiotics anyway. Then I was subjected to more in the hospital...just so you know.
 

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I was gbs + for both & I did IV antibiotics both times (one hospital/one homebirth)
 

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I was GBS + with #2. I decided (with my MW) that 24 hours after my water broke, we would discuss abx. (From what I - chose to - understand, If your amniotic sac is intact, there is no risk to the baby. And the protocol here is to give abx every 4 hours or 8 hours, so even if I was getting abx, I theorised that receiving abx would make no difference for at least that amount of time). Luckily I had a 2.5 hour labour.

FYI - in the UK, they do not routinely screen for GBS. You could also educate yourself about the symptoms of GBS infection in infants, so you would know what to look for if you decide to decline treatment.
 

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Same as pp - I've never been tested. Personally, I think GBS is a case of what you don't know won't hurt you, or the more you test for, the more you can find. It is definitely not something I would ever let interfere with a home birth!!
 

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With my first - a typical CNM hospital birth - I had the IV antibiotics. With my 2nd, I was more educated about the relative risks. I was in Texas, where homebirth midwives can give IV antibiotics. My midwife and I decided that if I had the "CDC-approved" risk factors, we would do antibiotics. Those factors include labor/birth before 37 weeks, fever during labor, or water broken for 18(?) hours. I went into labor at 41 weeks, had no fever, and my baby's water was broken as his body was born. So no antibiotics. We also did not do any vaginal exams, ever (at any time during the pregnancy or birth). I did feel my cervix during labor, so I guess I did an internal check, but my midwife didn't.

My current midwife (in Utah) has 26 years experience and has attended over 1000 births. She says she has never had to transfer a baby for GBS disease. One of the typical statistics for GBS disease is 1 in 3000, so since she hasn't had 3000 births, it makes sense that she hasn't had a GBS-sick baby, but 1000 not-sick babies is still comforting. On her website where she sells herbal preparations, she says that GBS+ mothers can douche with colloidal silver, but from what we talked about in person, I'm not sure if she pushes that during labor.

In case you aren't aware, there are risks to getting the antibiotics. For example, the antibiotics can kill off all the innocuous bacteria that compete with the GBS as well as all the 'wussy' GBS bacteria, leaving only the antibiotic-resistant ones. Then if your baby gets colonized with those ones, he/she gets no bacteria that would compete with the GBS, and is left with only the really bad ones. Or, approximately 1/10000 women is allergic to penicillin and will suffer anaphylaxis if they get the antibiotics. If you know you're not allergic, then you don't need to worry about that, but I've always wondered if anyone even thinks about whether the baby is allergic or not. . . Not to mention the "typical" effects of antibiotics - such as increased chance of getting thrush, etc.

If you refuse the GBS test and you end up in a hospital in the USA, they will (typically) assume that you ARE GBS positive. Some hospitals will give every suspected-to-be-GBS+ mother antibiotics, and others will watch for the risk factors I mentioned at the beginning of the post.
 

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Plus as mentioned in another recent post, if you are transferred to the hospital there is a good chance that you will be separated from your baby while they give IV antibiotics and routine testing in NICU. This happened to me as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by pixiewytch View Post
After my water breaking and being in labor for 24 hrs. my mw gave me IV antibiotics anyway. Then I was subjected to more in the hospital...just so you know.
Did your homebirth mw have the ability to give you IV antibiotics? To be honest, I tested negative with my first pregnancy but know others who tested negative with one pregnancy and positive with another. I would just hate to have this decision to make at 37 weeks.
 

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I have never been tested.

My old mw never mentioned it and my new mw said said I can get tested if I want. She seems to want me to test.

I read a bunch on it and I have nothing to consider me a risk.

Besides even if you test negative when your tested you can get colonized before you go into labor. A lot of good the tests does. IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
KLG47- Thanks for your post. I appreciate all of the information. I think what I need to do is discuss this with my homebirth mw and see what they suggest as a preventative. Since I was negative last time I'd like to get the test in case I transfer to a hospital. I wouldn't want them to "assume" I am positive and force antibiotics on us. If there is a recommended set of herbals that fights it I may do this several weeks before the test to give myself a better chance of coming out negative again.
 

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I do the hibiclens wash. I use hibiclens on a cotton pad every time I use the bathroom after I wipe front to back-- then another cotton pad with just water to rinse the area. The clorhexidine in the hibiclens is fast acting against the GBS and has been proven to reduce colonization with repetitive use.

PS- This was recommended by my MW.
 
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