Mothering Forum banner

I tested positive for GBS

1017 Views 18 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Kiki Runs
I admit that I am shocked. I was negative my last pregnancy, and just always assumed I'd be negative this time. I know this is lame, but my body always cooperates with me - nothing is ever wrong, tests are always normal, blood pressure always perfect - so this has just really thrown me a loop.

I am due in 4.5 weeks, planning a homebirth. My midwife wants me to start taking the following ASAP: acidophilus, garlic capsules, GSE, and Vit C. We will retest again in 2 weeks, and every week thereafter, looking both to see if it's positive at all, and if so, what the count is.

I have a friend who went through this who I am going to call.

Any other ideas, links, words of advice, BTDT? Thanks!
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

I am also GBS+, but I am doing a hospital birth. I wish I had some advice for you....

Hopefully you can avoid the antiboitics... I know I will not be able to...
Well, taking antibiotics is not the worst thing in the world. You can still have a homebirth, can't you?

I've heard that dosing yourself with acidophilus, etc. can reduce the chances of baby getting thrush.
Oceanbaby, it is a dangerous infection if the baby actually does get it, but despite the fact that you have it, chances of the baby becoming ill are slim. 1 in 100, actually.

Here's a quote on GBS stats:

If a pregnant woman carries the GBS bacterium in her vagina or rectum at the time of labor and delivery, there is a 1-in-100 chance that her baby will become sick from GBS infection. The risk rises to 4 percent if a pregnant woman carries the bacterium and develops certain risk factors. These risk factors include: preterm delivery (before 37 weeks gestation); prolonged rupture of the membranes (longer than 18 hours without delivering the baby); or fever (100.4º F or higher) during labor. Other risk factors include having a previous pregnancy resulting in a GBS-infected baby or having a urinary tract infection caused by GBS.
See less See more
I was GBS+ with my last pg. My water broke at 34 weeks. So, being preterm and GBS+, I had the antibiotics. I was so worried about the iv interfering with the birth. So, I insisted on a hep-lock and was only hooked up to the IV during the antibiotics which took about 20 min. to administer.

In the end, it was no big deal. We didn't get thrush either.

I know you're having a homebirth so, I'm not sure how much my experience will help you. Just wanted to let you know, it is not the end of the world at all. You will be fine and so will your baby.
Your midwife's advice is right on target. I'd definately start with the supplements. I, too, tested + with #2 & negative with #1 & was shocked. I am always perfectly healthy & was very upset about where the heck this came from! You are still healthy & normal btw.

I didn't know enough to do the supplements at the time, but I did not take antibiotics during labor & Tessa was fine - no infection. I probably would have taken the antibiotics if I had the risk factors mentioned above - fever, PROM, etc.
Aviva Jill Romm has some information about herbal treatments in her book The Natural Pregnancy Book . She recommends a sitz bath or peri rinse with and infusion of thyme, calendula, rosemary, and yarrow (6 tablespoons of the herbal mix per quart of water, and steep for 30 minutes). Strain into a clean jar and add 1/4 cup of sea salt and 10 drops lavendar essential oil.

I've been doing a vaginal rinse (with a Peri bottle) with several drops of Tea Tree Oil in the water.

At 37, she recommends inserting one capsule of goldenseal into your upper vaginal canal each night at bedtime. (Goldenseal can stimulate labor, so she does not recommend using it before 37 weeks.)

She also talks about all of the supplements that your midwife told you about. I've been trying to follow all of those recommendations throughout this entire pregnancy. I really don't want the same kind of yeast diaper rash that we struggled with last time!

Was your count high or low? I tested positive with my last pregnancy, and decided not to test with this one. I'm fairly certain that my count was low (although noone ever told me one way or the other). But I've only had one urinary tract infection in my life.
See less See more
Well, I've had some time to process this now.

We don't know what the count is yet. We will get the count (if is positive) the next time we test.

Piglet - the problem is not just having to take antibiotics (which I would still not want to do), but that they have to be IV antibiotics during labor. Which would mean that we would have to hire a nurse to be here to administer them, plus I'd have to be on an IV. There is apparently also the option of an intramuscular injection, which is used on positive moms who are delivering too quickly for the IV antibiotics. It is less effective, but better than nothing.

I am going to the health food store tonight to pick up the stuff my midwife wants me to start on now. When we meet on Tuesday for my 36week appointment, we will go over some more options. I want to talk with her about some of the things mentioned here, and some of the things I have been reading about today.

I think I will also start using the peribottle rinse.

I guess I'd just gotten really smug about my perfect no hassle pregnancy, so it is a real wake up call to have to address something like this.

Please keep sharing your ideas and experiences. It is sooo helpful.
See less See more
Does your MW have the option of administering the drugs herself if you choose to have them? When I first interviewed our CNM (who we decided on using for our homebirth) that was one of the questions I asked her.

She said if I was positive for GBS and wanted the IV antibiotics, she would bring them. She also brings and IV and pitocin for serious hemmorage if needed.

Is the only reason a nurse would need to be there is to put the IV in? Or would he/she have to stay during the entire delivery?
I haven't been tested yet, but will be in three weeks. We have opted not to do the antibiotics even if I am positive... not a problem at the hospital where I am delivering. My last labor was only 4.5 hours so there would likely not be time anyway.

I read all the info from the CDC and decided that FOR US the risk factor approach (prematurity, PROM, fever during labor) is still the best approach. I have asked to have my urine tested if I am positive. IF my urine is positive (indicating a high colonization level) then we may change our mind on the antibiotics. Also if I had other risks that put me in a category of higher GBS affected babies I may opt differently.

This has been one of the hardest issues I've ever dealt with in pregnancy. Check out the mothering article on GBS and the MMWR from the CDC. Those gave me a lot of info on both sides of the issue.

Hopefully the supplements will help and you won't have to deal with this at all!!
See less See more
I tested positive, and was determined NOT to have an IV during labor. I took oral abx (I'm sorry, I can't remember when I started) and tested again, receiving a negative.

I just refused IV abx based on that negative (well, that and having done my research and just not being too concerned about GBS).

Maybe if you HAVE to have abx, you could just do the oral (although I see that you are due soon - I don't remember when I took the oral abx, sorry)?

oceanbaby I guess I'd just gotten really smug about my perfect no hassle pregnancy said:[/IMG] You're growing a beautiful baby, and your body is still doing a great job! Just think of this as a minor setback. You are armed with the information that you need (or the resources to find it!) and you have a well-informed birth attendant.

Does your midwife go with the risk factor approach? That was one reason I switched from a CNM with a hospital practice to our homebirth CPM. When I told the CNM that I had tested positive with my first pregnancy, she immediately said "Oh well, you'll test positive again and need IV antibiotic at the hospital." End of discussion. That was one of the first big red flags for me. "This is NOT what I've read! This is NOT what I want!!"

My CPM does not test, and uses the risk factor approach to antibiotics.
See less See more
Does your midwife go with the risk factor approach?
We did discuss the risk factors, so we'll see how things go the next few weeks. We are going to continue to retest.

But regardless of how the tests turn out, she is ok with me refusing antibiotics (I have to sign a waiver if I do so). I haven't yet decided what I will do. Right now I am just trying to focus on taking all the supplements (I'm so bad at taking pills all day long) and not letting it cloud my excitement about having a homebirth.

I can't thank you all enough for your supportive words.
that sucks, oceanbaby. if it means the difference between having a homebirth or not, no wonder you are upset!!

I sure hope that something can be done so you can have your homebirth!!
I'm refusing the test this pregnancy because I was GBS last pregnancy and those frigging antibiotics almost killed me. There's nothing more terrifying than being in the middle of a labour contraction and watching the nurse hook up the antibiotics to your iv and you ask what's in it and you find out that it is the specific antibiotic you are allergic to! I even had on a red band that had it on!

So, by refusing the test, I'm also refusing the antibiotics _unless_ my water has broken for several hours at that point. I'm going to be doing the supplement method as well.

See... by giving all pregnant women who are GBS+ or who have fever in labour antibiotics, we're setting up for several superbugs to be developed. GBS is already penicillin resistant in some areas. Imagine the horror if it was also arythromycin or other stronger antibiotic resistant. Now, imagine a poor baby coming into contact with those resistant strains.

The "skin eating disease" is one of those bugs. There's also a strain of staph in "local" hospitals that newborns have caught that was resistant to several strains of antibiotics. Giving antibiotics during labour depresses both mom's and babe's immune system and leaves room for other nasties to take over and cause more havok - like thrush, bacterial vaginosis, hospital borne staph infections, colds, flus.

So I've refused. Instead, we'll watch both me and the babe after birth like a hawk watching its prey. It'll also help that I am planning a home birth and therefore don't have to worry about hospital crap either.
See less See more
Just curious....did you do a vaginal swab only, or was it swabbed all around your anus and perineum? My MW says that it is really pretty inaccurate unless it is JUST around your vagina, because then you don't know where the GBS was. It could just be around your anus, which doesn't present a problem.

Just some food for thought......
There's so many wonderful, smart mammas in here!

i refused the test this time. it is not uncommon at all to be positive, being positive doesnt mean you are less perfect or healthy... or that your preg is more complicated, unless you take it to mean that.

i felt less empowered last time and tested. i was positive. my labor was, like most non augmented labors, too 'fast' for them to administer the antibiotics they way they wanted to. even if your labor is rather long, they want to 'time' it so that you get the 2 doses at these specific times, and labor just doesnt work that way
i got one dose halfway in me before i gave birth to my son.

knowing what i know now, we are hugely blessed not to have had thrush.

my mw didnt have feelings about the test, she offered it at the appropriate time and i said no. i am taking an immune supplement mix right now for many reasons, but i am not worried about GBS. my body knows what it is doing. i am healthy and strong. the balance in my body of different bacteria is perfect. i really believe this.

i hope you are relaxed and preparing for the magic of birth!
See less See more
Posting now to say disregard my previous post - apparently oral abx DON'T work (from another thread here at MDC).

1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.