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Group b strep- anyone know the facts?

(17 Posts)
Tweet2tweet Sat 12-Jan-13 19:50:23

Hi there

I just received a letter in the post from nhs telling me I've tested positive for group b strep. I am feeling very down about this and wondered if there are any experts out there that know anything about the following :

Is it possible to do anything to make it go away before birth (I'm 26 wks preg at moment)

Do the antibiotics given to me and/or baby completely remove this risk of it being passed to baby?

I had a very short 1st labour so it is unlikely I'll get the antibiotics 4 hours before delivery. Does this mean both baby any I would need? When baby gets them do they need to be in isolation and won't I be able to breast feed?

Final question- do the antibiotics given affect breast feeding?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm really down about this and thought if anyone out there knew answers to the above it might help resssure me until MW appointment on 21st

Thank you

amazingmumof6 Sat 12-Jan-13 21:20:19

can't get rid of it, you are not ill as such.

as baby goes through birth canal the bacteria could cause him/her to have infections - they want to avoid this

antibiotics -when in labour you'll need to be on this drip for 4 hrs min before baby's born - if this is achieved then you have to stay in for min. 12hrs observation.

if not achieved baby will be given antibiotics and 24 hrs observation, minimum.
don't know about isolation, but I'm sure you'll be supported to breast feed either way, (or might have to express bmilk..)

if waters break, phone in to give details, mention strep B - you have to go to hospital straightaway to start you on drip.

if labour starts "dry" you have to still call and explain strep B situation

I was given the drip with DS5 and DD, both for over 4hrs, so baby didn't need it, did not effect breastfeeding.

should you end up with a C--section it's irrelevant as strep B is not present in the womb (and baby's not going through the birth canal)

anything else?

amazingmumof6 Sat 12-Jan-13 21:25:30

a lot of women have it but have know idea, so be happy you found out and can keep baby safer!

I only found out I had it with 4th pregnancy, but all the signs were there that I probably had it much earlier (since 15, actually!

DS3 was a fast and furious birth (3 pushes!!!!) and had green gunk in his nose at 6 days old and later had bad ear infections, so I'm convinced it was from contracting the bacteria at birth, all the squeezing transferred it into his nose & ears.

so don't be glum, this is good for you to know! smile

noblegiraffe Sat 12-Jan-13 22:09:54

C-section does not make group b strep irrelevant if your waters break. My DS was an EMCS and he still contracted GBS (found through blood test 3 days old). The only way they could explain it was because my waters broke 14 hours before delivery (normally the high risk period is if your waters break >18 hours before delivery).

This website has lots of useful information.

floatyjosmum Sat 12-Jan-13 23:27:50

I tested +ve with dc1, labour went too quick and u didn't get the antibiotics in time so he had to have a cannula fitted and antibiotics every 12 hours for 48 hours but this was in 2001.
Dc2 was -ve but have me antibiotics as a precaution - was induced so was fine time wise.

Neither of them showed any effects and are fine now. The risks are really low but its def good to read up on it. The fact that you've had the test is good because then at least it's treatable

TheInvisiblePoster Sat 12-Jan-13 23:34:23

I tested positive for GBS in my first pregnancy and was meant to have antibiotics throughout labour. However, labour was very quick so DS had to have antibiotics over a 48hr period, this was in 2006.

My second labour was even quicker than the first so again I didn't get the antibiotics. DD had an ear swab done and we spent the night in hospital waiting for results which came back negative, this was in 2008.

I think it varies a lot between hospitalssmile

toomuchribbon Sat 12-Jan-13 23:59:24

I'm GBS+, found in only one of 3 swabs taken for thrush but nevertheless they will treat of course. I am currently 36+4 with first DC and I found it reassuring to discover from a midwife the other day that the antibiotics drip is not given continually for 4 hours but rather started with a 15-30 minute infusion, then the line is withdrawn leaving the cannula in your hand, and then over the next 4 hours another dose (or maybe more - sorry, can't recall but sure others will know more) is given.

So you do have more freedom of movement than it first seems. The midwife I spoke to - v experienced and at top teaching hospital - said it doesn't interfere with b'feeding and if you want a water birth you can still have it, they simply put a waterproof dressing over the cannula.

I called the GBS Support Group, who were really helpful and reassuring: sorry am on phone so can't link but believe it is

Please don't worry - I did, at first, and was also really down (and kind of annoyed that it was discovered by chance, which is of course totally bonkers as thank goodness it was, despite the low risks). It really won't obstruct the birth you wish to have or be an obstacle. It's only a big deal if it's not picked up - if it is, the precautions put in place are really nothing to worry about. I'm sure others who have actually been through it before can advise more fully, but wanted to say this.

Best of luck with everything x

floatyjosmum Sun 13-Jan-13 00:57:45

Have to admit now theinvisibleposter has mentioned swabs that does sound familiar!

I know with dc2 I was meant to stay in 24 hours to he observed but stayed in 14. Tbh I was glad to he going home

amazingmumof6 Sun 13-Jan-13 02:00:22

noble I should have said if C section is planned and the waters don't break as that's what happened to me (and in that case the infection doesn't get to baby - or at least shouldn't). sorry...

Tweet2tweet Sun 13-Jan-13 19:18:43

Thanks everyone for getting back to me. You've really helped me put things into perspective.

Thanks for link to support group toomuchribbon, I had no idea one existed! You're description of how you felt when you found out sounds similar to me so thanks for reassurance.

Everyone have a lovely week.


tinyshinyanddon Mon 14-Jan-13 03:57:21

I was gbs- for dc1 but gbs+ for dc2. Dc2 was born 1h after getting to hospital - everything was pretty frantic so no abs for me. I think I actually ripped the iv out during contractions. We were kept in A little longer for observation but dc2 showed no signs of I'll health so was not treated either. It all depends on what you are comfortable with but my understanding is the ab treatment during labor is not too invasive.

PeggyL Mon 14-Jan-13 10:25:32

Morning, just had a quick read of posts but sorry if I'm repeating stuff. I had GBS in first pregnancy, gave birth 90 mins after arriving at hospital so no antibiotics for me, baby had to have them instead, every 12 hours for 2 days and this involved taking him up to special care to get them but he stayed with me the rest of the time so no probs with BFing, turns out he didn't catch GBS anyway. Am currently 40 weeks with number 2 and have been told that need to get to hospital quicker, ideally hospital want to give me at least one load of antibiotics then they monitor baby for a days to see if all ok.

It sounds like you're feeling a bit better but believe me it's better to know that you have it than not, I've seen 2 woman who had it, didn't know they had it and gave it to their babies, one baby was on antibiotics for about 10 days (with Mum) but the other was in intensive care for 3 weeks and very very ill (fine now though). More babies die a year from GBS than whooping cough but it's also the hundreds that suffer in other ways. Midwife told me they don't routinely test for GBS in this country (it's standard in the US) as it would mean more c-sections (although apparently GBS can still pass through) and the hospitals in this country aren't equipped to give that many c-sections (nice to know the NHS is all about health then!)!!

Hope this helps and good luck with your pregnancy! x

delilah88 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:29:46

Hello. I had this and only found out after birth. Baby was in hospital for a fortnight on heavy antibiotics (but fine now). Definitely make sure you take all the antibiotics etc. now you've found out and dash to hospital as soon as waters break. You'll be fine now you know. xx

LovelyChubbly Mon 14-Jan-13 12:40:00

Hi - as others have said:

GBS carriage is normal, it comes and goes but there's nothing you can do that will reliably eradicate it.

Nothing in life is 100%. Antibiotics in labour reduce the risk to your baby hugely (from the Group B Strep Support website from a one in 300 risk to a smaller than 1 in 6,000 risk) which is a big change, but not 100%

Getting the first dose of intravenous antibiotics more than 4 hours before your baby is born is ideal, though 2+ hours is still good. If baby arrives before this, then your hospital is likely either to give him/her precautionary antibiotics just in case and/or watch him/her closely for the first 12-24 hours and give him/her antibiotics if any symptoms of infection present.

No, the antibiotics do not affect breastfeeding.

I'm sure all will go well - knowing about GBS before your baby's birth is simply great, because it means you can have preventative medicine which wouldn't be an option if you didn't know ...

Good luck!

u32ng Mon 14-Jan-13 14:03:31

Does anyone know/have experience of what is done about strep b in Scotland?

I had a miscarriage last jan - got BV infection after & swab also showed up strep b. I mentioned this to my midwife last week & she said baby & me would be kept in for 24hrs for observation. This is good obviously but no mention was made of medicating beforehand.

My sis in law said when she had her 3rd 7yrs ago she was on a drip for it during labour so now I'm confused!

I'm sure my MW knows what she's talking about but bit worried about possible effects to baby of getting sick even if under observation.

Tweet2tweet Mon 14-Jan-13 14:24:57

Thanks again for all messages, and thank you for well wishes. That is such a nice thing to post that.

U32ng- I'm actually in Scotland. My MW said that they would need me in as soon as waters broke/contractions started for antibiotic drip for a minimum of 4 hours before labor. May labor may be shorter than this if previous birth is anything to go by so they would then need to put DC on antibiotics (as described by helpful MN posts above).

My MW also said it would be 48 hours observation....

TheSecondComing Mon 14-Jan-13 14:32:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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