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Group B Strep + Homebirth

(29 Posts)
jumblequeen Tue 04-Dec-12 13:23:17

I should first point out that I haven't yet tested positive for GBS but I did with DS1 so really just want to know what my options are.

DS1 was born in hospital in a very medicalised way - I had everything on the menu, short of a CS, in addition to the antibiotics for GBS. I'm keen this time to attempt a homebirth, but would like others opinions on whether this is a feasible option, should I test positive again. Obviously the health of the baby is paramount and I would never do anything to risk it.

Any help / suggestions / shared experiences very welcome smile

maxbear Tue 04-Dec-12 14:19:37

I had a gbs positive swab in my first pregnancy but had a normal birth without antibiotics (I had no other risk factors and waters didn't break until five minutes before she was born) With the next two pregnancies as they too went well I did not get tested at all and gave birth normally at home. Would have chosen to have antibiotics if I had other risk factors such as pre labour ruptured membranes or was under 37 weeks but happily I was not.

gymboywalton Tue 04-Dec-12 14:27:42

my experience is s imilar to max bear-i didn't have a homebirth but i tested positive with ds1, didn't have anti biotics, his waters didn't break until just before he was born and he was fine.

with ds2 i also tested positive, again my waters didn't break until the last minute. this time i did have the anti-biotics but it tok about 20 minutes to go through and the the drip was detached. he was also fine.

noblegiraffe Tue 04-Dec-12 14:49:08

I had an EMCS at 41 weeks, my waters went 14 hours before birth (not considered a risk), they only found GBS from testing the placenta, and subsequently tested DS and found that he had it at 3 days old. Cue blood tests, chest X-rays and 2 lumbar punctures, and luckily it hadn't had a chance to develop into anything nasty. He was cannulaed-up and pumped full of strong antibiotics twice a day for 5 days.

We were packing up to go home when they burst in and whisked him away for his tests when they discovered the infection. My blood runs cold to think what might have happened had it been treated less promptly due to us being at home, or due to them not testing him (he didn't look ill at all so they nearly didn't due to the fact that his birth wasn't in any risky categories).

There is no bloody way that I would go into giving birth again knowing I was GBS positive and not do everything possible to avoid that happening again. I'm having an ELCS this time, and if there is a sniff of early labour, I would demand the best antibiotics known to man.

Obviously you might choose a different path and that's up to you, but you did ask for experiences!

jumblequeen Tue 04-Dec-12 15:33:34

Thanks all, this is really useful. noblegiraffe - so sorry to hear you and your DS had to go though all of that but very glad to hear that they found the infection in time... hardly bears thinking about.

Does anyone know if I can have the antibiotics at home, should it come to that?

gymboywalton Tue 04-Dec-12 15:55:32

ui don't know
i wanted a homebirth but was told i couldn't have it because of the gbs

i didn't want it enough to really push for it

i did have to put up a fight to go home quickly after the birth though. they wanted to keep me in for 48 hours to observe ds but i insisted on going home the next day. he was absolutely fine.

gymboywalton Tue 04-Dec-12 15:58:33

the gbs website is very helpful-may be worth a look.

TheSecondComing Tue 04-Dec-12 16:01:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crunchingautumnleaves Tue 04-Dec-12 19:28:15

Not any experience myself, but this is an interesting article on Group B strep.

Yorky Tue 04-Dec-12 19:40:48

I have had 4 homebirths, and tested +ve for GBS in pgs 2 and 3 but chose not to have ABx, and chose not to be tested for pg4 as it wouldn't have affected my decision.
In my 2nd pg GBS was found in a urine sample at about 11wks and 'my own' MW was very much in favour of hospital, constant monitoring, no pool etc....I left that appt in tears.
It wasn't till I rang the local MLW unit and asked if I could deliver there and said about GBS and the lovely MW said, 'Well, we can't give you the ABx here so you might as well stay at home if that's what you want.' I nearly cried down the phone as I said, 'Can I?!'
Apparently the reason they will only give the ABx in hospital is due to the risk of you and/or baby reacting badly to the drugs.
I also read a line on an NHS page that if you have already had one GBS+ delivery and baby was fine, then it is recommended that you don't have the ABx - I clung to my belief that I was GBS+ but didn't know it during my 1st pg, and everyone was fine.

Bunbaker Tue 04-Dec-12 19:44:53

My cousin's wife had undiagnosed GBS and her son was very ill shortly after he was born.

You really need to discuss this with your midwife.

jumblequeen Tue 04-Dec-12 20:12:00

yorky that's pretty much exactly what I wanted to hear. As it happens, I'm only about 5 minutes away from the hospital so should I have any doubts about the health of my baby then help is moments away. After a birth where pretty much everything was taken out of my control, I can't tell you how keen I am to experience childbirth on my own terms.

bunbaker - I absolutely will discuss this with my MW (I have an appointment on thursday in fact). There's no way I'd risk the health of my baby in lieu of some soft-focus version of giving birth - I just wanted to hear others' experiences so that I can get an idea of the care that's available to me.

crunching Thanks for this, I'll add it to my reading list.

TheSecondComing Tue 04-Dec-12 20:24:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocolateicecream Tue 04-Dec-12 20:27:37

Hi OP, this is quite an informative web address.

the article by Sara Wickham is quite an interesting read.

thatlldopigthatlldo Tue 04-Dec-12 20:34:23

I used to make a point of coming on GBS threads to tell my story.

I can't be bothered any more though.

But i will say, please don't convince yourself if's not a problem, visit the GBS website and yes, the odds are in your favour but you might be that 1 in however many it is who has a sick child with GBS. (somebody will be)

jumblequeen Tue 04-Dec-12 20:49:48

thatlldopigthatlldo thanks for joining the thread. I'm not under any illusions, and as TheSecondComing notes, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. As it stands, I haven't tested positive yet but I will be sure to make the most informed choice possible.

It's brilliant to hear others' experiences at other hospitals, and to read the articles that have been recommended. I can't tell you how valuable this is.

thatlldopigthatlldo Tue 04-Dec-12 20:55:22

my understanding is that if you test positive once then you are a carrier of GBS.

you're lucky to have a head's up that it could be a problem. the first time i heard of GBS was the paediatrician explaining what the odds of survival were for my baby in NICU.

TheSecondComing Tue 04-Dec-12 20:57:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jumblequeen Tue 04-Dec-12 21:55:12

Interesting that you should say that thatlldopigthatlldo - I've heard of people that tested positive at the beginning of a pregnancy and not at the end... could just be chinese whispers I suppose.
I do feel very lucky that I was tested for GBS at all with my 1st pregnancy - I wouldn't have been any the wiser. It's still a mystery to me why women aren't tested as a matter of course.

blackcurrants Thu 06-Dec-12 18:44:35

I tested positive with it first pg, and this time have just been told I have tested negative. (37 weeks)

Before I got the neg result My midwife led unit said I could still have a low intervention waterbirth as I wanted, they would have just given me ABs while.I.was in labour.. they were quite reassurring that it wouldnt changeuch of my birth plan. My lovely cousin has a son who was terribly ill and permanently disabled as a result of undiagnosed GBS. I am a rational, low intervention type, but I must admit I wouldnt homebirth with GBS unless I knew I could get the ABs at home too.

jumblequeen Thu 06-Dec-12 19:54:01

blackcurrants - that's sort of what I'm thinking. As much as many people seem to have been lucky, there are so many who haven't... I was hoping more than anything that someone would come on here and say yes, they'd had the ABs at home. My appointment with the midwife has been delayed until tomorrow but I'll ask her then.

blackcurrants Thu 06-Dec-12 20:01:26

Honestly, I've done both pregnancies in the USA so I don't know what midwives and MLUs will offer back home, but I hope you can get something close to what you want - I'm in the "leave me alone and let me give birth!'' camp, but there must be a way you can get the ABs and do that, right?

My midwives said that if I did end up positive this time around they'd do a hep lock (where they leave a line into your arm, but you're not attached to a bag all the time) so I could move, get into water, etc - something like that might be possible for you?

Fingers crossed you find out, as I did to my surprise and delight - that you're negative this time around smile

jumblequeen Thu 06-Dec-12 20:04:24

Yes indeed, blackcurrants! I'd love a homebirth but if it has to be another way, so be it. Thanks for your comments smile

BumgrapesofWrath Thu 06-Dec-12 20:07:05

Google garlic protocol. I did this when I wanted a home birth. Garlic kills group b strep, so I inserted a garlic clove up my vagina every night before bed. Tested negative for group b strep when my waters went.

BumgrapesofWrath Thu 06-Dec-12 20:11:06

garlic protocol

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