Usually, amid your 36th and 38th week of pregnancy, your affliction provider will do accepted screening for vaginal strep B. They analysis whether you are absolute or abrogating for Accumulation B Streptococcus—found in about 10-30% of women. But what is Accumulation B Streptococcus (GBS)? How does it affect you, your labor, and your baby? Here’s what you charge to know.
*Disclaimer: This column is not accounting to be medical advice. As a birth professional myself, I get asked abounding of these questions. I capital to accommodate the answers that I accept begin through the years of acknowledging abundant women, accessory births, speaking to medical professionals and bearing workers, and accomplishing research. I consistently appetite to accommodate affection advice that helps women feel added able before, during, and afterwards abundance and birth. As always, argue with your affliction provider for added information.
What is GBS?
Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a bacterial infection that artlessly lives in the belly and migrates bottomward to the urinary tract, vagina, and/or rectum. (Group B strep is not a sexually transmitted disease.) Both men and women can be “carriers” or are “colonized” with GBS. For best people, there are no affection of accustomed the GBS bacteria.
How Do You Get Activated for GBS?
It is now the accepted in the US for all abundant women to be commonly activated for GBS at 36 to 38 weeks during anniversary pregnancy. (The levels of GBS can change during anniversary pregnancy, so your after-effects could alter from abundance to pregnancy. This is why they analysis every abundance behindhand if you were ahead absolute or negative.)
Testing involves a besom of both your vagina and rectum, which is again taken to a lab to see if GBS grows. Analysis after-effects are usually accessible aural 24 to 48 hours.
NOTE: Consistently acquaint your affliction provider if you booty any new antibiotics and/or use vaginal medications. These medications may account false-negative or false-positive results.
What Happens If I Am GBS Positive?
If you test absolute for GBS, it agency that you are a carrier. This is annihilation to be abashed of. Annihilation will change during prenatal visits (since antibiotics accustomed afore activity begins are ineffective at preventing GBS transmission). The aberration is that during labor, you will be accustomed antibiotics to assure your babyish from application GBS during delivery.
NOTE: If you are GBS positive, it does not guarantee that your babyish will additionally analysis absolute and become ill.
According to the Centers for Ache Ascendancy and Blockage (CDC), if you accept activated absolute and are not high risk, your affairs of carrying a babyish with GBS are 1 in 200 babies if antibiotics are not given, and 1 in 4,000 if antibiotics are given.
If you are GBS positive, there are some accident factors that you will charge to watch out for because they may announce you are at a college accident of carrying a babyish with GBS. According to ACOG, those accident factors are:
- Gestational age beneath than 37 weeks
- Babies that accept a actual low bearing weight
- Prolonged breach of membranes (>18 hours)
- Intraamniotic infection
- Young affectionate age
- Maternal atramentous race
- GBS begin in the urine
How Will GBS Affect My Baby?
GBS can be anesthetized from mother to adolescent afore or during delivery, and it can arise aural hours to canicule afterwards the commitment of your child. Early-onset symptoms in newborns include:
- Signs and affection occurring aural the aboriginal anniversary of life
- Breathing problems
- Difficult with agriculture & breathing
- Irritability or lethargy
- Heart and claret pressure instability
- Gastrointestinal and branch problems
- Blue cast to their skin
NOTE: Per the CDC, “[e]arly-onset ache acclimated to be the best accepted blazon of GBS ache in babies. Today, because of able early-onset ache prevention, early- and late-onset ache occurs at analogously low rates.”
Late-onset GBS symptoms in newborns include:
- Signs and affection action from one anniversary to three months afterwards delivery
- Meningitis, which is a accepted aggravation associated with GBS infection in a newborn
According to the CDC, GBS is a leading cause of life-threatening infections in newborns.
How Can I Assure My Babyish From Accumulation B Strep?
The CDC recommends giving antibiotics every 4 hours (through an IV) during labor. Best doctors appetite you to accept several circuit of antibiotics afore your babyish is born, but at the actual atomic one annular 4 hours afore your child’s birth. This is why best doctors do not appetite you to activity at home actual continued so that they can accomplish abiding that you accept abundant antibiotics.
The best accepted antibiotics accustomed for GBS during activity are penicillin and ampicillin. If you accept a penicillin allergy, you will apparently be accustomed cefazolin, clindamycin, or vancomycin back these are another antibiotics.
Do I Charge to Be Advised for GBS If I Am Accepting a C-Section?
If you are GBS absolute and labor has not yet begun, and/or your baptize has not broken, you do not charge to be treated for GBS during delivery. However, if you are GBS absolute and labor has begun and/or your baptize has broken, you will still be appropriate to be advised for GBS alike if you accept a cesarean delivery.
Williams Obstetrics Twenty-Second Ed. Cunningham, F. Gary, et al., Ch. 58
Centers for Ache Ascendancy and Prevention, www.cdc.gov
American Abundance Association, www.americanpregnancy.org
March of Dimes, www.marchofdimes.com
Ostroff RM, Steaffans JW. Effect of case storage, antibiotics, and feminine hygiene articles on the apprehension of accumulation B Streptococcus by ability and the STREP B OIA test. Diagn Microbiol Affect Dis. 1995 Jul;22(3):253-9.
E. M. Levine et al., “Intrapartum Antibacterial Prophylaxis Increases the Accident of Gram-Negative Neonatal Sepsis,” Communicable Ache Obstetric Gynecology 7, no. 4 (1999): 210-213.