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Anyone with experiences of Group B Strep?

(12 Posts)
paperclips Mon 24-Sep-12 17:43:08

I'm a 40+5 first time mum.

Saturday night I went to my maternity triage unit because I was worried about reduced movements. Everything was fine. However, my urine dip showed ++leukocytes, so sent it off for microbiology. I didn't think much about this until just now I got a phonecall from my GP saying they grew Group B Strep in my urine. Have read up a bit on it, sounds a bit scary.

He says there's no need to treat the UTI with oral penicillin unless I have symptoms- which I don't. But I need to have IV penicillin when I'm in labour. Apparantly it needs to be started 4 hours before birth. So I'm supposed to I tell the unit when I ring up to say I am in labour. But what if it is less than 4 hours from me getting to the unit to giving birth (unlikely first time I know but what if)?

I'm also guessing having the IV rules out my nice water birth that I was hoping for. Plus, being tethered to a drip would restrict my movements a bit- I had hoped to move around a lot. Obviously- I am more concerned about my baby's health than my personal experience, but I'm still really disappointed as I was hoping for everything as simple as possible.

Another question- Seeing community midwife tomorrow, supposed to be having a sweep- will she still be able to do this?

Moreover...Very pissed off that I have never been tested for Group B Strep. Only finding out now when I am overdue. I will raise this. I wouldn't have known at all if I hadn't got worried about the baby's movements and gone to get that checked.

I am an ICU nurse and so give IV antibiotics to patients all the time- it's our bread and butter -yet I am a really upset about needing to have a cannula and any IV drugs myself!

no1childminder Mon 24-Sep-12 17:55:28

Hi. I had a similar experience. I went to hosp as i was having contractions at 33wks. They did stop but they also done an examination. I thought this was to see if i had dialated. they hadnt told me anything. a week later i received a letter saying they had found strep B during my examination. i assume this means they must of taken a swab but they didnt tell me this! I got all worried and stupidly googled it. bad mistake!!

good news is you can stil have a water birth, well thats what they told me. you can either hang your arm with the iv out the pool, or get a new prick each time they top up. you can also walk around with it as its on wheels (although i found walking was the last thing i wanted to do!) they didnt seem in a big hurry to start me on the antibiotics, i waited around for ages even though i had told them on the phone before i came in. i didnt have the iv in for 4hrs, they just 'gave me 4 hours worth' they said. in the US its standard that all mums have strep B test at 37/38wks i think it is, so why dont we here!! did they also tell you that with any future pregnancies you'll be treated like you have it regardless of whether you have or not? for a precaution.

i would like to say please dont worry. both myself and baby are very well. we just had to stay in hosp for at least 24hrs for baby to have regular check ups. i hope this has eased your worries a bit :-)

juneau Mon 24-Sep-12 18:17:13

Yes, I had it with my first birth. The good news with first births is that they tend to take a while, so you should have plenty of time to get your IV antibiotics. I was kept in for 48 hours after the birth so they could keep an eye on the baby and see if he showed any symptoms (he didn't). Basically, it can be dangerous if it's undiagnosed, but they know you've got it now and will be on the lookout, so try not to worry.

Not sure about the water birth - you'll have to check. You'll need to be in a general hospital setting, rather than a midwife unit, I think. I was certainly told the second time around that if I was GBS+ again I'd have to deliver in fully medicalised setting. Luckily I was negative that time.

paperclips Mon 24-Sep-12 18:42:58

Thanks for your replies

They didn't tell me very much to be honest. My GP had been passed a message from the hospital that they'd isolated Group B Strep so was just ringing to tell me. Hoping to discuss it more with midwife tomorrow.

The midwife led unit is within the maternity wing of a large teaching hospital trust, with the consultant led unit just at the other end of the corridor. Very modern with everything on site, I can't see why they would move me to the consultant led unit, but I will ask.

Glad to hear I don't have to have an IV running for 4 hours! Where I work we almost never give any antibiotics over 4 hours, usually between 5 minutes and an hour depending on the drug.

I fully expect it to take a while to start the antibiotics on arrival as they have to wait awhile for a doctor, who then has to read your notes then be nagged reminded to write the drug card (correctly and legibly lol) to prescribe the drug etc. And I know how long that can take, especially if it's busy.

I guess I can cope with staying in hospital for 24-48 hours to make sure everything is alright. Dreading that- never been in hospital as a patient, but will do whatever I need to do.

This is all when I eventually go into labour....right now it feels like it will be forever!

mummy2benji Mon 24-Sep-12 20:42:18

Hello - I have no idea why they don't test all women for group B strep. I'm a GP myself and I've bought a home testing kit where you take a swab at 35 weeks and send it off to the lab. Treating women who are positive for it with oral antibiotics hasn't been shown to be of any benefit, whereas giving mum IV penicillin during labour has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of infection to the baby. I've seen a fair few babies on SCBU who became poorly with it, but not in a case where the mum had IV antibiotics in labour. Although you'd need a cannula, you shouldn't need to be tethered to a drip stand - the doses should be stat, via syringe.

With ds I was desperate to get home afterwards and didn't like being kept for 24 hours after as I'd had a temp during labour (the room was like a sauna, who wouldn't?!) but actually when I got home I felt quite overwhelmed and wished I'd been kept in hospital a little longer.

Hope chatting to your midwife is helpful anyway. x

tinyshinyanddon Tue 25-Sep-12 01:57:03

I was GBS+ with DC2 but the birth was pretty fast so no antibiotics for me - the nurse was trying to place the IV while I was pushing which I thought was a bit futile so I slapped her away. Baby was fine - we were kept in one day longer than necessary just for monitoring. Good luck!

LovelyChubbly Tue 25-Sep-12 08:31:43

It's great you know about it! As mum2benji says, if you have the IV antibiotics in labour, it's really incredibly unlikely that your baby will get GBS infection.

There's lots of information about this on the Group B Strep Support website, including saying that:

- a water birth is fine www.gbss.org.uk/content.php?sub_id=15§ion_id=3#29
- Group B Strep found in the urine should be treated at the time & is an indicator of the IV antibiotics in labour www.gbss.org.uk/content.php?sub_id=15§ion_id=3#14
- you don't have to attached to a drip the whole time www.gbss.org.uk/content.php?sub_id=15§ion_id=3#121

(and I went to their website and used the search engine to find these).

Good luck!

I had gbs discovered at 39+3 and was distraught after googling it! Was called on a Friday afternoon, told a sticker was being sent for my notes when I was due on the Tuesday, concerned me straight away as had been day early with ds. I ended up writi g a list of concerns/questions and going to see midwife at hospital to go through them all. Helped a bit but I still spent rest of pregnancy worried and fairly sure it was the stress, worry and sobbing that brought on labour in the end (on due date). With hindsight I totally over reacted but there was just no convincing me!

I was still midwife led and spent most of labour in the pool. Apparently there are two types of antibiotics (1 more expensive than the other) so if you want pool let them know so they can ask for correct one which lasts 8 hours instead of 4 so you don't have to jump in and out of pool. Actual Iv only in for about twenty minutes then just labour as normal. I would have been totally fine to give birth in pool but my second back to back baby and eventually could no longer take the pain on just gas and air do had to get out for a wee diamorphine shot.

I didn't get a sweep for usual midwife but did have one at maternity unit to help things along once labour started so din't think they'll refuse you because of gbs. Main thing, as pp said, they know you have it so in reality you and baby are actually much safer as they will give you antibiotics and monitor baby.

Good luck, HTH.

RegLlamaOfBrixton Tue 25-Sep-12 15:16:02

I had GBS in my urine in my first pregnancy and received the ABs during labour. I had a very long labour so no worries about having enough for me. At my hospital they said that 2 hours is effective although 4 is better, but if you labour too fast to have the right amount they will have procedures for keeping an eye on the baby so try not to worry too much. I was only hooked up to the drip for the initial dose which took 30 minutes. The rest were injected in through a cannula so I was able to be fully mobile the rest of the time.

Hospitals seem to vary on the waterbirth issue. I was initially not allowed as having the cannula in was classed as an open wound. They then changed their minds and put a surgical glove over the cannulated hand and allowed me in the pool on the condition I kept the hand out of the water. Would have been allowed to deliver in the pool that time too if all had continued to be straightforward but DS got well and truly stuck so had to transfer to theatre.

DC2 is due in 10 weeks and saw a consultant MW as I was very confused as to what happens this time (no GBS in urine found in this pregnancy). I basically have the choice as to whether I have the ABs or not. She advised that labouring in the pool would be ok, but giving birth in water not recommended as babies born with GBS may have problems with breathing at birth (didn't really understand this bit TBH and probably varies according to hospital).

It's pretty rubbish that there is no routine testing on NHS but it is a good thing to have it picked up because it means it will be dealt with. Good luck!

juneau Tue 25-Sep-12 18:37:39

I can't see why they would move me to the consultant led unit, but I will ask

Because midwife-lead units are drug-free (and that includes antibiotics). But ask anyway - your PCT may be more tolerant than mine!

sahmbles Tue 25-Sep-12 18:59:31

One thing I'd definitely advise is to make sure that you don't get sent home sooner than you are happy with.

I went in to be induced when my waters broke (2 weeks early). The labour then all happened a lot quicker than expected and I wasn't given any antibiotics.

I was told DD and I could go home after only about 15 hours, even though I'd had a temperature during/after labour and I was sent home with oral antibiotics.

In retrospect, I think it would have been much better to have stayed in longer, so DD could have been observed for at least 24hrs. I just thank our lucky stars that she was fine smile

NoTeaForMe Tue 25-Sep-12 19:14:04

From my experience of having GBS you need to have the antibiotics during labour like others have said. I was also told that my baby and I would stay in hospital for 48 hours for observations-at one point they thought it would be longer as her blood sugar dropped a little but after a feed she was fine! The other thing is that once waters have broken the baby is no longer in a sterile environment so you only have 24 hours to get the baby out before they will intervene. I think it's 48 hours in non GBS cases, though could easily be wrong. It was touch and go in my case and I pushed the baby out 23 hours after waters breaking! Phew!

I was told that I could not go to the midwife led unit, but I found out about the GBS very early on so hadn't given much thought to it anyway! The set up at the hospital near me sounds similar to you in that it's midwives one end of the corridor and consultants the other. However, I still had to be down at the consultant end. I rarely saw a doctor though, and felt totally in the care of the lovely midwives.

Hope that helps a bit. Good luck!

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