AIBU to expect the NHS to protect your baby from GBS

(40 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

kimpoulton Mon 05-Dec-16 22:45:39

Protect your baby from group b strep infection.

My 4th baby was stillborn at full term plus 9 days after a perfect, healthy, textbook pregnancy. I later found out I had group b strep. Had I known I had this I would have received antibiotics in labour to protect my baby.

I dont think it's unreasonable to expect the NHS at an antenatal appointment to inform me of the biggest infection in newborn babies. Over 400 babies per year are affected by GBS, one baby a week dies from GBS and many who survive are left with life long disabilities.

Please read and sign my petition.

Make sure you ask your midwife about GBS.

You can pay £34 for a home testing kit and the charity group b strep support website lists where you can order a test kit from.

OP’s posts: |
Catsarefluffy Mon 05-Dec-16 22:51:02


DillDongMerrilyOnHigh Mon 05-Dec-16 22:54:51

YANBU flowers

catyloopylou Mon 05-Dec-16 23:02:11

I am so sorry for your loss. I had gbs in my second pregnancy, only diagnosed after a swab for a possible uti. I was told the NHS doesn't routinely test pregnant women as it's not considered cost effective given the apparently relatively small numbers of women who are positive. Plus it can come and go during pregnancy with no symptoms.

I did a home test kit later in pregnancy and no longer tested positive, however my notes stated that I should be given IV antibiotics in labour as a precaution. In the event this didn't happen as my labour was very fast but baby and I were kept in hospital 48 hours for observation.

I would absolutely support any petition to make this more widely known. Although I did read something about it in a pregnancy book I didn't take much notice until I tested positive as it was never discussed by any HCP with me. Other countries test for it routinely. Women in the UK should be informed and offered a test in late pregnancy as a matter of course.

Annie592 Mon 05-Dec-16 23:04:52

So so sorry to read about your loss. Thank you for raising awareness about this- I had no idea. Petition signed xx

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 05-Dec-16 23:24:36

I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how much pain you must feel.

I picked up a leaflet about GBS just randomly. I was completely paranoid about everything when I was pregnant as I had had three miscarriages. I asked a midwife about it very late in my pregnancy and she said the hospital were phasing out the test because it wasn't cost effective. I asked her, if she were me, would she have the test and her reply was '100% yes'. I said 'ok, I'll go private. It's just a shame because I've had to pay for so many things privately because I've been let down by the NHS'. After a few seconds she looked at me and said 'So you have some unusual discharge you're worried about? Go and do this swab for me and we'll have the results in a couple of days'.

I was so grateful for that act of kindness. Unfortunately the hospital lost the results.

ClarissaDarling Mon 05-Dec-16 23:29:22

Signed- without derailing thread I get so so angry that again there's tests/treatments that aren't given due to cost/only so many people get it- strep b, smear in <25, yet other health care initiatives so much money is spent on.


Tootsiepops Mon 05-Dec-16 23:29:26

YANBU and flowers op. I'm so sorry for your loss.

I didn't even know about this until one of the mums at my NCT group brought it up only to be quickly shot down as a non-issue by the NCT leader

I was horrified and paid for a private test.

EstelleRoberts Mon 05-Dec-16 23:37:50

YANBU. Signed. flowers

I am so, so sorry for your loss. You must be devastated. And it must be awful to hear it's felt 'not cost effective' to spend a whole £11 per pregnant woman to save the lives of over 50 babies per year. FFS.

sananbaz Mon 05-Dec-16 23:50:54

I'm so sorry for your loss. flowers
I'm not sure if my story will help; I hope it doesn't make you feel worse.
I had a GBS positive urine sample at 19 weeks pg, treated with AB's, but returned a few weeks later. I then had oral AB's every day until birth (to prevent it coming back), and I also had iv AB's during labour. I ended up having an emergency c section. My son still contracted GBS and developed sepsis. He very nearly died, but finally recovered (with issues). I 100% believe that women should be told about GBS, be offered testing if they want it, and are taught the signs of GBS.
I imagine you are feeling guilt (not because you should, but because it's a stage in grief), and it may help very slightly to know that even with antibiotics in labour, babies can and do still get sepsis. You should have had that chance to protect your baby though, and I admire you for trying to help other mothers and babies to save lives. flowers

ColdFeetinWinter Tue 06-Dec-16 00:06:15

Kim I'm so so sorry. How utterly devastating.

GBS is not routinely tested in pregnancy NOT because of cost effectiveness but because the test is not specific enough. There would be thousands and thousands of positives as it is a naturally occurring bacteria in the vagina and urethra. Thousands and thousands (I am not exaggerating here) of women would then be given antibiotics. Only a very minute % of them would have developed a problem. It's a devastating event however the mass treatment of women with antibiotics would be very very harmful and is untested.

I'm really sorry I can't come on this thread and just empathise but I do feel it's important that the facts are out there. I cannot imagine the pain you feel. I really can't and for that I am so so sorry.

ColdFeetinWinter Tue 06-Dec-16 00:09:26

Some info on this website explains better than I do

TinselTwins Tue 06-Dec-16 00:37:58

genuine question (I do sympathise OP): Have they actually developed an effective screen or optimal time for screening for non symptomatic GBS?
Because my understanding of it is if you tested all women at x weeks of pregnancy, you'ld get heaps of false results as it comes and goes?

AntiHop Tue 06-Dec-16 00:53:48

Signed. flowers thanks for raising awareness. I had no idea about this.

Graphista Tue 06-Dec-16 01:14:33

Yanbu. A friend of mine had the same experience.

I'm so sorry for your loss flowers

ColdFeetinWinter Tue 06-Dec-16 07:59:44

The estimate is that you would have to treat 25000 women to prevent one baby dying from GBS. That's 25000 labours with a woman attached to a IV antibiotic drip. The consequence of mass antibiotic treatment is unresearched however with what we know about antibiotics losing their efficacy you'd be trading one tragedy with the inevitability that very sick children and babies cannot be treated with antibiotics in the future.

Medicine isn't clear cut and it's hard to accept scenarios as this

I still feel acutely aware for you OP that this was your baby, your loss and that matters.

Tootsiepops Tue 06-Dec-16 09:15:25

And here are the arguments for testing. In the interests of balance.

Graphista Tue 06-Dec-16 18:36:32

Coldfeet if it's such a bad idea/decision why do so many other countries do it?

Graphista Tue 06-Dec-16 18:48:21

Also if it's a monetary thing, how much does it cost to deal with the after effects of the infection?

I can't imagine it's low cost to

have mothers in long term counselling and treatment for the effects on them emotionally, possibly not working therefore needing financial support and paying less taxes.

Treat physical possibly long term effects on the mother

Or for providing the treatments and support for babies who've survived but are now disabled. And the families, again possibly resulting in loss of a parent from the workforce.

Maybe not as cost cutting as you might think.

PossumInAPearTree Tue 06-Dec-16 18:50:53

The argument I've always heard is that It's a transient infection. So when do you test? If you test at 37 weeks and get a negative how do you know it's still negative at 39/40 weeks? Or you get a positive then maybe the infection would have gone by the time labour starts but you needlessly then get iv abx in labour.

However I think most women would rather take the risk of possibly needless antibiotics. And even though you wouldn't pick up every infection you'd surely pick up a lot?

I think the actual reasons are cost related.

ScarletOverkill Tue 06-Dec-16 18:55:23

Why have you deleted the op and not the whole thread MNHQ? confused

Soubriquet Tue 06-Dec-16 18:59:48

What happened to the OP?

Why has it gone?

Crunchymum Tue 06-Dec-16 19:01:00

Why on Earth has this been deleted? Or semi deleted?

AyeAmarok Tue 06-Dec-16 19:16:28

Because of the petition? HQ could you not have just edited that bit?

I'm so sorry for your loss OP. flowers

Graphista Tue 06-Dec-16 20:16:21

How bizarre are petitions not allowed? Sure I've seen others on mn?

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