Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,630 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My midwife says it is up to me if I want to do the test.. what are the pros and cons of testing and/or treatment of GBS? TIA!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,396 Posts
Are you having a homebirth? I am and decided to test for it because I was + last time and I just wanted to know for peace of mind. A lot of ladies here choose to decline the test and just watch for warning signs. I personally feel better knowing the result (I'm +). I am taking extra herbs and supplements and using a hibiclens wash. If I was negative then it would be a few less things to think about. I'm just taking it in stride that I am positive.

I take it seriously enough that I don't want to bury my head in the sand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,662 Posts
I'm planning a homebirth but I want the GBS test. I'm very very allergic to penicillin, which is the standard treatment for GBS+ women. If I wind up having to transfer to the hospital, unless I say I'm GBS- they will treat me as +, thereby risking my life. Yes, there are other antibiotics they could use, but my husband is allergic to those (so who knows what my baby will be allergic to) and they're not nearly as effective. So, even if I'm GBS+ I'll be refusing any treatment, as I really don't think anaphylactic shock helps labor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
GBS is probably the only routine test that I think is necessary.
It's not like getting the test is particularly invasive - as long as you tell your CP "no cervix check."

My last doula (I've since moved) is a BIG hb advocate, and very non-interventionist when it comes to routine testing, was very concerned when her dd declined the GBS test and watched her new grandson like a hawk for those first couple of weeks. It worried her a lot as she'd seen the negative outcome of not getting the abx if they were needed.

I consider GBS very serious. I knew someone through a yahoo group a number of years ago whose dr mistreated her GBS. Despite the CDC recommendations at the time that oral abx before labor were specifically contraindicated that's all that was done. Her twins developed sepsis and did not survive.

If you're homebirthing I can see skipping it b/c if you're GBS+ it's a hassle to get the abx and leave the hosp. But if birthing in hospital, it really is good to know whether or not you should get the abx as they might want to give them to you as a precaution and you might not need them at all.

There is a wide variety of abx avail to use and a parent's allergy often has nothing to do with the kids' allergies at birth. I'm allergic to pcn (as well as other abx). my kids are not though like me, or anyone really, they can develop an allergy to it later in life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Mamatolevi thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I tested positive a week ago and my midwife insisted I started taking oral abx. I will take them for 10 days and then 2 doses during labor.

At first I was really depressed about it -especially since I've done everything I can to have a natural, toxin free and healthy pregnancy and I rarely take drugs - but she made it clear that it is a dangerous issue and I shouldn't take it lightly. So I gave in and I just hope that everything will go well for me and my little bean, and that we will have a nice homebirth with no drama.

I was curious though, are any mamas taking the abx? All the threads I've read in here talk about alternatives and most of the mamas don't take the drugs and try other methods...which makes me feel extremely guilty and sad.
But I just don't want to risk it...

A question I had though...It would be nice if anyone knows.
Should I keep taking my probiotics while on abx? Can I take them at the same time? Damn, I'm clueless..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,702 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by sunflwrmoonbeam View Post
I'm planning a homebirth but I want the GBS test. I'm very very allergic to penicillin, which is the standard treatment for GBS+ women. If I wind up having to transfer to the hospital, unless I say I'm GBS- they will treat me as +, thereby risking my life. Yes, there are other antibiotics they could use, but my husband is allergic to those (so who knows what my baby will be allergic to) and they're not nearly as effective. So, even if I'm GBS+ I'll be refusing any treatment, as I really don't think anaphylactic shock helps labor.
I'm confused. So even if you are positive, you will be refusing treatment (sounds like good reasons to do so!)...then why be tested? Why not simply refuse to consent to treatment if you transfer since it doesn't matter if you are positive or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,125 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by mamatolevi View Post
There is a wide variety of abx avail to use and a parent's allergy often has nothing to do with the kids' allergies at birth. I'm allergic to pcn (as well as other abx). my kids are not though like me, or anyone really, they can develop an allergy to it later in life.
My kid's pediatrician said there is generally not a genetic link for penicillin allergy. I had asked her because my son had hives while on amoxicillin, but he'd had hives outside of the amoxicillin as well, so it wasn't clear if it was the abx or not. My MIL is allergic to all the 'cillins, and her father is too. So when I brought that up, my ped said there was no genetic link, so the grandmother and great grandfather being allergic really didn't say anything about my child being allergic.

Turns out, my child is NOT allergic to amoxicillin. He's had it several times since that bout of hives and never had a reaction, so the hives were unrelated.

As far as GBS testing goes... I decline the test because:
a) My labors are too fast to GET abx in me in an appropriate amount of time.
b) I do not want to contribute to abx-resistant e-coli, which is a huge killer of preemies in the NICU... 1/4 of all women will test GBS+, and MOST of those will not have infected babies. So we're saving a couple GBS+ babies from getting infected (which they likely could be treated successfully) while killing even more babies with abx-resistant e-coli.
c) You can test GBS- and *still* have a GBS infected baby, so testing negative does not get you off the hook.

Yes, GBS should be taken seriously. It's a very dangerous infection for the baby. But that does not mean that IV abx during labor for 1/4 of all women is necessarily helping anything either.

I will watch my baby for signs of infection *regardless* of my GBS status. I figure not knowing my status will make me more vigilant, whereas women who test negative may not watch at all because they have a false sense of security that their baby will be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
Please see this website about GBS treatment:
http://www.cdc.gov/GroupBstrep/gener...public_faq.htm

specifically:
"Will group B strep go away with antibiotics?

Antibiotics that are given when labor starts help to greatly reduce the number of group B strep bacteria present during labor. This reduces the chances of the newborn becoming exposed and infected.

However, for women who are group B strep carriers, antibiotics before labor starts are not a good way to get rid of group B strep bacteria. Since they naturally live in the gastrointestinal tract (guts), the bacteria can come back after antibiotics."

and: http://www.marchofdimes.com/professi...14332_1205.asp

"Taking oral antibiotics before labor is not recommended because the bacteria can return quickly."

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5111a1.htm (this had lots of data and specifics about the huge decrease in GBS disease in newborns since the screening and treatment protocols enacted in the late 1990s.)

For those that transfer from a HB (hope you don't have to) and have declined the test, be aware that there is a test being developed, and might be available by now, that can get GBS results in approx 45 mins. it is discussed in the last link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,259 Posts
I decline because in the state of Colorado, a positive test means no homebirth and according to my midwife you can get a positive one day and a negative a few days later. We use probiotics and she knows the signs to look for in a newborn that would indicate trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
783 Posts
GBS is such a weird thing... you can be + one week and - the next.... seriously. I was + for my first pregnancy, and with my second, my doula recommended seriously increasing my vit. C, eating raw garlic, etc. before taking the test, and up until the birth. I did so, and it worked. I was -, and remained so.

I guess my only problem with the test is that the results aren't necessarily applicable to the birth, depending on when they test, and when you give birth, a month or more could pass, and things could change dramatically.

I don't know if there are necessarily any cons to taking the test... I expect I will do it this time. But if you want to come out negative, try upping your immune system with garlic and vit. C!

Just my
:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
177 Posts
The thing I don't get is that you can be GBS negative and baby can still get GBS. Or you can be GBS positive, do the antibiotics as recommended during labor, and baby can still get GBS. From what I've read on this (and maybe I've misunderstood it) the antibiotics during labor only stop a very small percentage of GBS. No matter what you still have to watch baby for infection.

This might be a stupid question but I'm wondering why no one talks about waiting and testing the baby after birth. I don't really want the stick of the needle in the baby but if you do that wouldn't you a) know whether baby is positive and b) be able to skip unnecessary antibiotics and their side effects? It's not like a negative result would enable me to turn off my brain and assume no infection. There are other infections besides GBS--I'm having a hospital birth and know that hospitals frequently infect their patients.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
to clarify for the previous poster, a child can inherit the *tendency* toward atopy/anaphylactic allergy, but specific medication allergies aren't inherited. I have several anaphylactic med allergies (including PCN), and my husband has a few- my son has a couple of anaphylactic allergies, but NOT to the same things DH and I are allergic to.

I would never, ever mess around with GBS. I got a different antibiotic last time and had no problems with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,976 Posts
just for the record... the test for a neonate that gets sick with a high fever is a lumbar puncture...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,614 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by veganfox View Post
I was curious though, are any mamas taking the abx? All the threads I've read in here talk about alternatives and most of the mamas don't take the drugs and try other methods...which makes me feel extremely guilty and sad.
But I just don't want to risk it...
Quit feeling guilty - we mamas feel guilty about so much, too much! You are doing what your midwife recommends to make sure that your baby has the least possible chance of getting a septic infection from GBS. It's rare, but when it happens, the consequences are really ugly. You're protecting your child in the way that has been shown to be the most effective.

Quote:

Originally Posted by veganfox View Post
A question I had though...It would be nice if anyone knows.
Should I keep taking my probiotics while on abx? Can I take them at the same time? Damn, I'm clueless..

Yes. Take the probiotics staggered between the antibiotics. The ones I have say take at least two hours AFTER the abx. dose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,697 Posts
I had standard OB/hospital care with my son. I was GBS+ and was given antibiotics when they induced me. But because my labor was so short (2 hrs) they still tested my son after he was born, by drawing blood. I wish I had known better then to ask more questions.

This time (I'm 31 weeks now, planning a hb) my midwives asked me if I want to be tested. If I don't do the test, or if it's positive, I will do the hibicleanse once labor starts. They said the only real benefit to testing now would be in case I'm negative, I will be able to avoid abx in case of transfer. I'm not really worried about that though, since if we do transfer, it will be because of something serious and abx will be the least of my concerns. That's just how I look at it though. From what I've read, the hibicleans is very effective. You should do whatever you & your cp are comfortable with though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
kcparker thank you so much for the words of support. I really appreciate it.
I'm doing better after 5 days of treatment. I'm trying to think of the abx as something that helps my baby and me to have a smooth homebirth instead of something that harms us. thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
I do think GBS can be *very* serious in a newborn. Because of that, I have always made the decision to test for it.

With my first, I tested +, and I had a pretty standard hospital birth so I had IV antibiotics.

My second, again I tested +, but this one was a homebirth. After a lot of reading and discussion with my midwife, we decided that when I went into labor she would bring along IV antibiotics, but that we would only use them if I developed any of the risk factors or GBS infection (prolonged water rupture, fever, hmmm, can't remember any more right now). Well, my labor was so fast that my midwife barely made it to my house in time for the birth, so needless to say, I didn't get the abx.

With my third, again a homebirth, I tested -.
 
1 - 20 of 22 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.
Top