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Please come and talk to me about group B strep in pregnancy.

(29 Posts)
tigana Wed 15-Jun-11 13:01:16

Just found out I have group b strep. I'm almost 11 weeks pg. All i know is that I'll be given antibiotics during labour to protect the baby.

I googled.. only read an nhs page. Now need the sanity of MN wisdom, please. Little bit scared ( and god that is hard to admit for me!)

Liskey Wed 15-Jun-11 13:07:49

My notes were confused as to whether I had group B step or not (had it with a mc) before becoming pregnant so I was declared Strep B positive on my notes.

I had IV antibiotics during labour and DD had antibiotics as well after being born - considering the risks which I googled I far prefered for both of us to have the antibiotics.

Don't be scared - because you have been diagnosed its far better than not and then your baby being ill after being born.

PinkFondantFancy Wed 15-Jun-11 13:14:34

Hi Tigana - was found to have Strep B when I had a miscarriage last year. I was told that with this pregnancy I'll be tested for Strep B closer to my due date and whether or not I'll have antibiotics will depend on whether I have Strep B when they test again. Apparently something like 1 in 4 of the population have Strep B at any one time and it comes and goes, so just because you have it now, doesn't mean you'll have it at a later stage of your pregnancy. Don't be scared, it's very common.

PinkFondantFancy Wed 15-Jun-11 13:15:18

Oh also meant to say, they only give antibiotics during labour, not before. I think this is because it comes and goes of its own accord so there's no point in treating it before labour.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

aethelfleda Wed 15-Jun-11 13:19:44

It's Ok, knowing you have it is the important thing as
If they give you iv antibiotics when you're in labour baby shouldn't catch it.
Up to 20% of ladies carry group b strep in their bottom or girl parts- and it can come and go so by the time you deliver you may be negative again anyway!

It's one of those medical things where the doctors admit they're not 100% sure what the best approach is, from a stats point of view loads of ladies have babies withoutbever knowing they are group B strep positive- the huge majority of babies are fine (which is why they dont screen for it in the UK). But if its found they treat you around birth to be on the safe side.

Just make sure its written prominently in your notes and when you do go into labour ring the ward early and tell em you have group b strep so they can get you in for the treatment. Good luck!

thisisstupid Wed 15-Jun-11 13:19:47

hey hey ive got group b strep as well and must have had it during my first preg but wasn't detected. I'm currently 36 weeks with my second, the thing with b strep is it comes and goes but normally if they find it during a routine test they will just give you anitbiotics and ta da baby will be fine> when you get your green notes they will put a big sticker on saying warning group b strep but when you go into labour get your birth partner to make sure 100 % the midwives are aware of it. Don't worry about having your waters broken i had mine broken with my first and he was fine xxxx good luck

tigana Wed 15-Jun-11 13:22:22

This will be DC2. I wasn't diagnosed when pg with DS, so no anti-bs. He was fine, and it was a long labour btw waters breaking and actual birth.

I did wonder about anti-bs, because I have also been given a prescription for amoxycillin on basis of them finding group b strep in urine sample...does that make sense or have they been prescribed wrongly do you think?

tigana Wed 15-Jun-11 13:24:07

Oh, yes, I have a charming bright green "alert" sticker on my notes now grin.
So, I should take the amoxicillin now ( and cross fingers that it buggers off for good?!)

jennylindinha Wed 15-Jun-11 13:25:03

Hi tigana, I tested positive for Group B strep a while before I got pregnant with DD, but was not positive for it in my actual pregnancy. I asked the hospital to retest me, but they wouldn't do a test on me later on, so I just paid for the private one a few weeks before the due date and used that result for my file. I was having a homebirth and really didn't want the potential risk of Group B strep to mean I had to go to hospital. Luckily I was clear at the time of the birth so all was well. I would have gone to hospital if it had been positive.

This website has a lot of useful information and support and gives you links to order the test if you need it, although it sounds as if you won't.

it is certainly better to already know you have it so that plans can be made for you to have the anti-biotics etc, rather than find out during or after the birth. It manageable as long as they know about it, so try not worry.

Oh, and congratulations! smile

tigana Wed 15-Jun-11 13:28:52

<<relaxed sigh>> the MN it!
(...I know it can also lead to <<infuriated scream>> wink)

SilveryMoon Wed 15-Jun-11 13:34:56

Hi tigana
When I was pregnant with ds2 I had urine infections continously throughout.
They detected GBS about half way through the pregnancy.
Because I have no clue at all as to when ds1's water's broke, I asked to be induced with ds2 so it could be controlled from the start.
They agreed and we were induced at 39 weeks.
I had IV AB's from the minute I got to hospital until ds2 was born. It was 20 minute courses every 4 hours and I had 4 courses.
We had to stay in hospital for a few days after he was born as he was under observation.
He was absolutely fine.
Good luck smile

MotherPanda Wed 15-Jun-11 14:03:04

Hello everyone - how do you find out if you are carrying Group B strep? I'm 35 weeks pregnant and my midwife hasn't mentioned it to me. Is it something the NHS tests for everyone (sounds like it should be!).


tigana Wed 15-Jun-11 14:06:48

I expect it varies by region. MW (NHS) said they run tests on urine sample for infections, just in case, because sometimes it picks one up. But I guess if it comes and goes, it's just 'luck' that it got picked up.

MotherPanda Wed 15-Jun-11 14:10:47

well - at least they've picked it up nice and early for you - sounds like its very easily managed as long as you know about it.

Congratulations Tigana - and hope it all goes well for you

moregranny Wed 15-Jun-11 15:18:53 has all the info you need smile

edwinbear Wed 15-Jun-11 16:58:04

I tested +ve with DS and had IV antibiotics, it was no hassle and there were no problems at all.

FuzzyWuzzyWuz Wed 15-Jun-11 17:11:55

Janitor - there's no problem with having waters broken so long as staff are aware of the group b strep issue and have your IV ready. I had GBS and was induced due to lack of movements, then had my waters broken, forceps delivery - you name it! BUT as the staff were aware it was all fine.

OP - Don't panic, you know about it so you're in a better position than those who don't. One thing to note - if you are allergic to penicillin you need to make sure they know, so that alternative IV is used. Also, they won't do foetal monitoring with the probe on the baby's head due to risk of transmission of the bug (which is why my labour was rushed along medically) - but, DD ended up with a cut on her head and was still fine.

DD and I were kept in for 24hr obs to make sure she was ok. she's now 10 weeks and fitter than a butcher's dog.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bear1234 Sun 07-Aug-11 15:18:17

I feel so strongly about this subject.

My waters broke first time round 2 weeks early, but no labour. I tested positive for group b strep and was induced 1 week later. When I got to the hospital the mid-wife seemed annoyed that I had been allowed to be left that long. Now knowing the risks I am annoyed too. Fortunately he didn't get meningitis, but he had severe problems with eczema and later asthma and I have always wondered if there is a link!

Second child was normal labour with antibiotics - went perfectly! And much better on the health front later.

I also have two friends who were told they had group b strep as they were sitting in intensive care with tiny babies with meningitis. Horrible experiences, but fortunately their babies recovered with no lasting health problems (one has slight suspicions about her daughter's hearing) - on the other hand, she also thinks her daughter has a better immune system as a result, which is very lucky.

Knowing the meningitis risks, it is a personal hate of mine that women are not automatically tested during pregnancy! Anyone who has been should count themselves very lucky and take the appropriate medical treatment (ie antibiotics during labour).

Ps the same friend as before says the red spots are not the first sign of meningitis - she noticed her baby's stiff neck. The spots are apparently a sign of septicemia (excuse my spelling) and come later. It is best to get the baby treated before any signs of spots as septicemia is very dangerous!!

blueeyedmonster Sun 07-Aug-11 19:13:31

I have tested positive for gbs this pregnancy too.

Just saw my midwife last week and I will be treated as if I am gbs positive at birth. She said I would have two sets of anti-b's 6 hours apart during labour (if I have time for that). If not baby will be monitered after birth for symptoms and then given the anti-b's if needed.

PeterSpanswick Sun 07-Aug-11 19:19:11

I don't think I have ever been tested but I'm 36 weeks pg and ds1 had strep pneumonia last year (he wasn't seriously ill with it, luckily) - going to sound like a stupid question but does this mean I'm more likely to have it?

Also had a uti earlier on in pregnancy and after reading this thread I've been rather silly and consulted Dr Google. Going to have to ask the midwife about it now!

bear1234 Tue 09-Aug-11 00:10:13

There's probably something you could say to your midwife that would persuade them to test you. Ie some criteria that makes them do it. Does anyone know the buzz words?

bear1234 Tue 09-Aug-11 00:12:36

Ps don't know if you're more likely to have it. I think they assume you have it in later pregnancies if you had it previously as a precaution, but actually you might not.

vallinnapod Tue 09-Aug-11 12:26:51

Hey ladies, I am 36 weeks and mentioned this to my MW at the last check as I wanted to be checked for GBS, just in case (no reason to assume I have it). She said it isn't done as standard in the UK, however....she said if I were her sister/friend then she would suggest I went to the MFAU and mentioned I thought my waters were leaking. When they are swabbing to check for leaking waters you can ask them to swab for GBS while they are down there....worked for me this morning grin

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