Advanced search

just found out am strep B positive.

(18 Posts)
muddywinter Tue 03-May-05 16:47:04

hi, im 19 weeks pregnant. just got back from holiday to find a letter in the post from the midwife with a presciption for antibiotics and leaflet on strep b.

Have never heard of GBS before, its not in any of the pregnancy books. the leaflet says 10-20% of babies who contract it die!

I phoned midwife, was told that it posed no risk to baby or me now, only a problem after birth. now reading previous posts on this site i fine out that lots of women have miscarried or given birth to still born children due to GBS.

How do you contract GBS?
Will all children i ever have get GBS?

I have looked at the GBS support website and still am worried. Also worried that so many people are reporting that their dr's/ hospitals did not take them or GBS seriously.

Has anyone had a healthly baby after finding out they are GBS positive?

Distel Tue 03-May-05 16:49:57

Sorry, no advice. To be honest I have never heard of it, but am thinking of you and hope somebody can answer your questions x x x x x

BethAndHerBrood Tue 03-May-05 18:58:58

My DS got strep b when he was born. Had never heard of it before. He spent 3 days in special care, but there were other complications as well, not just the strep b. He had a line in his arm giving him antibiotics for a week or so.

He was fine after a week or two, but whenever Dr's ask now if he's ever had any problems and i tell them this they always seem really surprised!! Wether this is because it's rare or he was lucky, i don't know.

When DD was born a year later she was an elective c-section, so there wasn't the risk that there would have been with a vaginal birth. I can't remember if we had any special treatment second time round, but we're all fine and that's the main thing!!

Take comfort from the fact you know about this already. Forewarned is forearmed!!!!

hunkermunker Tue 03-May-05 19:02:58

There was a baby in hospital when I had DS whose mother had tested positive for Group B strep during her pregnancy - he'd been in for two nights, was receiving antibiotics and was due to go home later the same day I went home with DS.

The thing is that you know you test positive, so you can have antibiotics now - it's more dangerous if you don't know until the baby's born.


Frizbe Tue 03-May-05 19:05:16

there's a really good article on it in this months Mother & Baby Magazine, you can also find it online m&bmag

giraffeski Tue 03-May-05 19:08:03

Message withdrawn

nicky111 Tue 03-May-05 19:14:03

Hi my dd got a GBS infection when she was born and was in special care for eight days. I didn't know I was a carrier until the consultant told me (very casually) at her six week check. They thought she had meningitis. Anyway I think the chances of your baby picking up an infection from you are very much reduced if you have antibiotics during labour. I know 3 people who have strep B who have had perfectly healthy babies, and it is more common than you think, so try not to worry. Just make sure you get the antibiotics - I will be writing it all over my birth plan

alexsmum Tue 03-May-05 19:24:50

I was strep b positive in both my pregnancies and I gave birth to two perfectly healthy, bouncing 8lb+ boys. I had a bleed in my first pregnancy and they took a swab then which came back positive.I had a course of oral anti-biotics and I was supposed to have more anti-biotics in labour.For one reason and another that didn't happen, and Alex was born fit and healthy at term.
In my second pregnancy I was tested for it, because they knew i had been positive before.Sure enough i was positive again.I had iv anti-biotics in labour which took about 20 to 30 mins to go through, and ds2 was , again, born fit and healthy and we had no problems with him.
Strep b is very common and you are fortunate that you know you have it, so you can have the anti-biotics.Please try not to let this ruin your pregnancy.Yes it can be serious, but lots of people have strep b and go on to have healthy babies.(((((big hugs)))))) because i know how scary it can all be.

Aragon Tue 03-May-05 19:33:52

Hi muddywinter,

Me again - as a previous midwife I can tell you that all the women I cared for who tested positive for GBS had healthy babies and no problems. I know of only two babies in 10 years who died and neither of those were detected prior to birth. In all the cases where I've seen women test positive it's been absolutely fine. Some women have even had homebirths. Most hospitals have a policy for dealing with GBS as it's a common finding in testing. They'll advise you to come in if your labour starts and especially if your waters break. They'll put a cannula in your arm and give you a dose of antibiotics through this - this will cross the placenta within three hours and your baby will get the benefit of them. It might be worth contacting your hospital to find out what their policy is - they will have one. Ask to see the consultant and see if he/she can put your mind at rest.


charleepeters Tue 03-May-05 19:57:47

i am strep b positive and ds was born fine i just has two sets of antibiotics while in labour, both me and ds are fine now 8 months dowm the line good luck x

marj Tue 03-May-05 21:08:22

I had a positive strep b result during my pregnancy, unfortunately no-one thought to tell me or do anything about it.

My ds was born at term and within hours was sick in special care. He was in there for 11 days for intravenous antibiotics. Thank god he was ok and is now a bouncing 2 year old. If I had known about it beforehand his illness would have been preventable.

Basically, you are in the fortunate position of being forewarned. I am a member of the group b strep support group. It is run by Jane Plumb who is very knowledgable and helpful. From what you say I think you have already visited their website. They have regular stories of babies born well to group b strep carriers who received appropriate treatment during labour. Just make sure you do get the necessary treatment. Good Luck!

Bubu Tue 03-May-05 21:11:54

Muddywinter, I also had GBS and was told that the minute I went into labour I was to get to hospital and as long as I was on antibiotics during labour my baby would be fine. I did this and when my son was born they gave him antibiotics just to be sure. He is now nearly two and absolutely fine!!! Good Luck

Demented Tue 03-May-05 21:31:05

Muddywinter, I carry Group Strep B too, I found out in my labour with DS1 (had been in a couple of nights previous thinking my waters had broken and they took a swab, results came back during labour) and was given antibiotics, IIRC DS1 was given antibiotics too. I thought nothing more of it until pg with DS2 when my midwife informed me that I would need antibiotics again in labour and I decided to do some research, just to back up marj, I found Jane Plumb at the GBS support group a great help and she even took the time to personally answers a couple of questions I had.

Easier said that done but try not to worry and you really are in a good situation as you know you have this and can make sure you get the antibiotics in labour to reduce the risks. All the best!

mrsdarcy Wed 04-May-05 03:15:53

Muddywinter - I carry GBS too. It was diagnosed when I was expecting DS2 and my GP gave me about 3 courses of oral antibiotics, which I later found out was a complete waste of time. Did they find GBS in your urine (in which case I think they do prescribe oral antibiotics) or following a swab? I think the GBS Support website goes into more detail on this (

You need to have intravenous antibiotics either from when your waters break or for the last 4 hours of labour. I wasn't given clear advice with DS2 and foolishly didn't research it myself, so I didn't get to hospital until very shortly before he was born and there was no time to give me antibiotics. DS2 wasn't ill but he had intravenous antibiotics for a few days after he was born to be on the safe side.

I'm pregnant again and being looked after at a different hospital. I have big fluorescent "GBS" stickers all over my notes and a note at the top saying to follow the hospital's GBS protocol. I know that if I go into labour naturally I should get in to hospital quite early on, and mention to them on the phone that I'll need antibiotics.

As I understand it, it's really all about risk prevention and once you know how to manage the GBS the risks dwindle to being very low indeed. I would definitely ask for details of the hospital's GBS protocol and make sure they are a bit more on the ball than my last hospital was!

good luck.

Flease Wed 04-May-05 09:26:44

I was diagnosed a month AFTER my dd was born. She was fit healthy full term and still is v healthy. Having read all these posts I feel very cross that something so preventable can happen to any of us and our babes.I remember watching Portland babies on TV and the mums are routinely tested for it in pregnancy. I expect it is deemed too expensive for NHS but if a lots of babes have to have a stay in special care surely thats costing too.1 baby dying from a preventable condition like this is one too much.
Best of luck at least you are aware and can warn every midwife in sight!

99redballoons Wed 04-May-05 09:27:04

Hi muddywinter, I found out I was carrying GBS two weeks after I delivered ds! They had taken a swab (unknown to me) after the birth and casually reported it to me through my gp two weeks later. I was on antibiotics for mastitis at the time and they said that prescription would tackle the GBS too. My son had no problems at birth despite my waters having been broken for 16 hours before he was delivered. I am hoping for a home birth this time round and found some very interesting info on GBS on this site which does state that I was almost in the 'high risk category for contracting GBS during delivery'. If I'd known about this (anything on GBS) beforehand I may well have taken the IV AB during delivery. Thankfully all was ok.

Having read up more on GBS I still feel I can have a home birth second time round, but will definitely transfer to hospital if any of those key factors become relevent (I am lucky in that my local hospital is five mins down the road). There are soooooo many women out there that don't know they're GBS +ve and deliver without antibiotics and all is well. So I do feel the risk is low, but obviously still there. As other's have mentioned, you do know you're carrying GBS and can be prepared. Why oh why don't they carry out routine testing or tell us about this in the books and general websites??????

Good luck with the pg

99redballoons Wed 04-May-05 09:28:03

Posts crossed with flease - exactly the same!

RJM Wed 04-May-05 16:02:56

I was found to be a GBS carrier from a swab taken after I had a very small bleed at 34 weeks pregnant. I was also given a prescription by my GP for antibiotics. I don't tolerate antibiotics well so I wasn't keen to take them. I found out taking them during pregnancy is pointless from the protocol on GBS on the Royal college of obstetricians website ( There are a lot of GPs out there who need to read this too!

After much deliberation I had one dose of antibiotics during labour and my baby boy was absolutely fine. The risk of your baby contracting a GBS infection is tiny but because the condition can be so serious you are normally advised to have antibiotics during active labour. It is because the risk is so small that the NHS doesn't screen for GBS as a matter of routine (though I understand that some areas inlc. Newcastle do).

Don't worry about GBS - antibiotics during labour reduce the risk practically to nil.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: