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Can someone talk to me about group B strep and homebirths?

(21 Posts)
VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 04-Feb-14 13:24:44

I really don't know the genuine risks and the midwives are just saying it's dangerous...but if a third of women have it in their body can it really be that likely to hurt the baby? I won't do anything to risk the baby obviously.. just need some answers that aren't based on a "no risk" perspective from the hospital iyswim? If I go to hospital it's very likely that I will have to go alone and dh will have to stay home with children.. I really cant face it by myself sad

Idocrazythings Tue 04-Feb-14 13:43:16

Yes, it can be very dangerous to your baby. You just don't know which baby is susceptible though. Can't you have a home birth and intramuscular penicillin injections though?

Idocrazythings Tue 04-Feb-14 13:45:31

What about a doula if you have to go in to a hospital? If you can't afford one, maybe see if there is a student midwife or student doula who would be interested in being a birth support person for you?

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 04-Feb-14 13:46:11

I've been told I can't have antibiotics via IV. I asked if there were other ways of taking them and told that was it.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 04-Feb-14 13:47:13

I definitly couldn't afford one but a student might be a possibility, thank you Ido, it wouldn't be quite the same but might be helpful

pinkpiggy Tue 04-Feb-14 13:53:54

I was allowed two home births after being tested in my first pregnancy with Group B Strep. The consultant 'allowed' my home births the second and third time as they don't give IV ab's routinely now and the babies were closely observed. But my first baby was tested when he was born and he had no Group B Strep, I don't know if this made a difference. Speak to your midwife and ask to see a consultant if you need a further opinion

Snowsquonk Tue 04-Feb-14 13:57:26

Read up on it. Some units are no longer routinely offering all women who have been detected as carrying GBS the antibiotics but only if there are additional risk factors (eg PROM).

You can decline the offer of antibiotics and birth at home.
You could negotiate going into hospital at the start of labour for the antibiotics and return home to labour.
You could explore alternatives which may clear the GBS from your system and retest closer to EDD.

So you have options, you need to do your own research and decide what risks are acceptable to you.

noblegiraffe Tue 04-Feb-14 13:58:39

My little boy had group B strep even though the birth was very low risk for it (EMCS, waters broke earlier that day).

Do what you can to avoid it. Thankfully my baby was ok, but it is a killer.

poopooheadwillyfatface Tue 04-Feb-14 14:05:29

I found this really helpful.

Plus the site has some good info on the 'Can I have a homebirth if...' section.

My decision making for 2nd baby was (I had GBS at first birth but didn't know until long after the fact - long story, all ok) - If I had increased risk factors ie GBS in urine, fever, prolonged broken waters etc, I would not go for the HB.

In the absence of those, I felt HB without antibiotic cover was overall less risky than hospital birth.

But it's a very individual choice

Ubik1 Tue 04-Feb-14 14:10:03

DD1 had it - they queried some form of meningitis Although the fab medical staff got the ABX into her so quickly, it didn't develop into something horrendous. In SCBU two weeks, 12 hourly ABX through canula - v painful for her. Very stressful for us.

hedwig2001 Tue 04-Feb-14 14:46:15

Make sure you inform yourself, then make a decision. This is not a low risk situation. You can read up on it here.
At my hospital IV antibiotics are recommended. Some parents decline them or deliver before they can be given. Either way, after birth, babies are monitored for 12 hours. Signs of infection are subtle in newborns. We watch for breathing problems, fast breathing, high or more commonly low temperature, poor feeding, how alert the baby is. Any sign of a problem, will require the baby to start a course of IV antibiotics.
I have seen babies with full blown Group B strep infection. I would prefer to never see it again.

JenBehavingBadly Tue 04-Feb-14 14:47:37

My DS spent a couple of weeks in the SCBU due to a GBS infection. One of the worst times of my life bar none being terrified that he could die.

When no 2 was due, I gave up my thoughts of water birth and the rest and was on IV antibiotics the whole time.

It's up to you, but having been through what happened first time round, I wouldn't do it.

softlysoftly Tue 04-Feb-14 14:49:13

My nephew died at birth from group b strep septicaemia and meningitis.

I would never risk it without being able to have iv antibiotics.

girlwhowearsglasses Tue 04-Feb-14 14:54:04

What Snows said. I think that its a risk we all take - as you said, a third of us have it at any one time. They don't test routinely for this very reason - otherwise a third of women would be facing a decision to have antibiotics and their baby monitored at birth (I had a positive test during labour and they got excited - they'd never have known if I wasn't being induced).

Look at the risk factors - if any of them affect you its a decision to be serious about, if they don't affect you, you are in the same boat as a normal woman who hasn't been tested...

Giving a third of women antibiotics at birth would be disproportionate, circumstances are all...

Of course not to say that its not very serious if your baby gets it. Do you have a positive test?

IAmNotAMindReader Tue 04-Feb-14 15:12:30

It is a risk you need to educate yourself about. If your baby contracts it at birth it is not a low risk situation by any means. Things can go very wrong very quickly with not much of a window of opportunity for medical intervention to put them right.

That's the main point of trying to manage the chances of infection via various means and close newborn monitoring. The chances of passing it on are not excessively high.
However the chances of rapid enough diagnosis and effective treatment are much more dangerous territory.

MerryInthechelseahotel Tue 04-Feb-14 15:24:32

We lost a baby (born early and already had died) due to group b strep. I would say speak to group b strep support they will definitely advise you correctly.

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Tue 04-Feb-14 15:54:10

merryinthechelseahotel I am so sorry for your loss, I hope I haven't come across as flippant.

Thanks to everyone for their info and views.. I'll try and get my head around it as I haven't got long now. I have had a positive vaginal swab (not a urine analysis). But not had a fever or any other symptoms.

edwinbear Tue 04-Feb-14 16:17:08

I tested +ve for GBS with ds and had IV ab's in hospital. For dd I also tested +ve but I had an IM due to a difficult time with ds birth (not GBS related). She would have been happy for me to have a home birth after a +ve test for the reasons you outline above, however it wasn't a risk I was prepared to take personally. My birth plan was to go to hospital for my IV ab's in the early stages of labour and then return home for the birth. As it happened labour progressed too quickly for me to get there and back, so I had ab's in hospital during a water birth, supported by by IM, whilst dh stayed at home with ds. It all worked well for us, but obviously a very personal decision.

abayababe Tue 04-Feb-14 16:36:16

If you are GBS positive, I would under no circumstances have a home birth, why risk it?
I tested positive for gbs, and I had to have an elective c sections because ds was breach, no antibiotics given as apparently its very rare for a baby to contract gbs infection through a c section, well not in my case, ds had gbs sepsis and pneumonia, needed a blood transfusion, two lumbar punctures, sufferered heart failiure, he was ventilated twice, it was the worst time of my life, I don't think I will ever truly get over it, not a day goes by when I don't think of everything that happened, he is now a perfect boisterous almost three year old, have your baby in hospital, get your antibiotics and go home as soon as you get the all clear,

coldwater1 Tue 04-Feb-14 16:44:36

My first baby ended up totally brain damaged, blind and deaf due to GBS. He then developed a rare form of epilepsy due to his brain damaged which eventually killed him at 4 months sad

Bogeyface Tue 04-Feb-14 16:53:22

I tested GBS + but as my last 2 births were too short for the 4 hour protocol on the IV antibiotics, I decided that I would go for the home birth. The midwives visited daily instead of every 3 days as they would normally for someone with several children. It was fine.

It does happen yes, but it cant always be prevented and as I say, the AB's wouldnt have made a difference in my last 3 births anyway.

I weighed up the risks (having been heavily involved on GBSS with fundraising etc, I did know the facts), and decided to have the homebirth.

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