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Giving birth with group B strep?

(17 Posts)
Livvylongpants Fri 13-Jun-14 22:49:22

I'm only 11 weeks but just had it confirmed that I have group B strep. Has any one had this? I've been informed I will have to have intravenous antibiotics in labour... Does this mean I won't be able to go to the midwife led unit (attached to labour ward)

Will I not be able to use the pool?

Any help appreciated as stupidly googled it and now panicking a little

Waggamamma Sat 14-Jun-14 08:09:32

I discovered I have group strep B this week too. I'm 28wks. It's rather scary to hear isn't it? I had a melt down shortly after finding out but have done a bit of research and it's far better for the baby that they know about it now.

Yes you'll need iv antibiotics as soon as you go into labour, so don't delay calling when you go into labour and make sure you mention gbs. If you deliver quickly and don't have enough time for antibs baby might have them when it's born by iv, maybe in special care or maybe baby will be with you on the ward and taken to special care for antibs depending on the circumstances.

You will have a cannula in your hand, some hospitals will and some won't allow you a water birth with this. I've heard it is possible to get a waterproof cover for the cannula and you'll just need to get out the pool every 4 hours for antibiotics.

I'm not sure about MLU as there isn't one where I live so I'd have a hospital birth anyway but mlu are generally drug free and you will be in a risk category so hospital birth will be recommended.

you'll both likely be kept in 48hrs after delivery for monitoring. I was really hoping for a water birth and quick discharge but I just need to do what it takes to keep me and baby safe.

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Sat 14-Jun-14 08:27:26

I gave birth very quickly, both times, and didn't have time for IV antibiotics. Both times we were simply kept in for observations for 24hrs, and all was fine.

SomeSunnySunday Sat 14-Jun-14 08:45:26

It is quite early to test for this. You might want to consider getting swabbed again at 35 weeks ish, as your GBS status can change. The private test (you do your own swab and send it way) is more accurate than the NHS one.

Otherwise it's as the others have said. Make sure that if you even think that your waters have gone at any point you call the hospital straight away, and tell them that you are GBS positive. Your biggest risk of transferring it to your baby is if you have prolonged rupture if membranes.

Try not it worry too much. My DC1 had a Group B Strep infection at birth and was a sick little baby for a while (but ultimately fine), but I didn't know I had it, and so hadn't had antibiotics in labour. I've since read into it a lot, and properly managed your chances of passing it on are greatly reduced. It's good news that you know now.

Livvylongpants Sat 14-Jun-14 10:51:20

Our trust has a policy of antibiotics for anyone that has tested positive at any point in the pregnancy so it's a predetermined outcome. My last labour was only 169 minutes so I worry about not having time to get in as they say you need them 2 hours before birth.

Our MLU is basically in the labour ward, just a door separating. I've read that it is possible if you get out the pool very 4 hours so I may just have to argue my case, if all is normal the chances are this labour will be fast like the other 2 so doubt I'll be in a pool for 4 hours. It's all just a bit scary

If I have it this time does it mean I've always had it? Thankfully my previous 2 babies were ok

Livvylongpants Sun 15-Jun-14 09:08:02


lighteningmcmama Sun 15-Jun-14 12:37:00

I seem to remember some good articles on the gbs society website on the questions you're asking. I actually chose the hospital I'm at specifically because they allow you yo use the mlu if you have gbs, many others, including the hospital I had dc1 at, don't.

lighteningmcmama Sun 15-Jun-14 12:41:49

Click here to go to gbss faqs then find the question on water births the article is linked to in the answer.


Fishstix Sun 15-Jun-14 12:46:07

Had GBS with one of my dc's. Antibi's in a cannula in the back of the hand throughout labour, no pool and no midwife led centre I'm afraid. The cannula does restrict your mobility somewhat as you are permanently tethered to a drip but I was perfectly able to walk around, use the birth ball and spent a great deal of my second stage on all fours. smile

sinningsaint Sun 15-Jun-14 12:56:12

Another who had GBS and didn't have antibiotics during labour (DS arrived 39 minutes after getting to the hospital), he was given them directly and we were given a room on the ward to stay in for 72hrs. I think it depends on where you are but round here you can still give birth in a mlu with GBS.

Livvylongpants Sun 15-Jun-14 13:07:43

Thanks for the link to that article, hopefully it should hold some weight if I need to argue the cause. I'm not planning to give birth on the pool ( I didn't last time) but use it for labouring. I'm expecting my labour to be short so am worried about not having time for antibiotics. If baby needs antibiotics will baby have to be in scbu?

Quodlibet Sun 15-Jun-14 13:15:18

I tested positive for GBS in pregnancy and had a small freak out but all was fine in the end.
Firstly, GBS comes and goes so there's every chance you won't be positive when you go into labour, although there's no way of telling. You might get a friendly GP to prescribe you a course of ABs in your final weeks to try to clear it (mine did, not protocol and I didn't request them but he did anyway). Might be worth asking, especially if you have fast labours.
I was able to use the MLU (like you, next to consultant unit) and the pool. They put a cannula in and just administer a shot of ABs every 4 hours.
If baby needs ABs but is otherwise well, no they don't need to be in scbu but you will have to stay in hospital while they are administered (through a cannula again I think).

Quodlibet Sun 15-Jun-14 13:17:01

Should have been clearer - in my unit they didn't hook me up to a drip, just left cannula in but I had no restrictions on movement.

perrinelli Sun 15-Jun-14 13:21:41

My labour was too quick for me to have antibiotics so dd had to have them. We were kept in for this - originally for 3 days then 5 in the end as she showed some slight signs of infection so they wanted to give ABs for longer. She had a canular in her hand (put in at scbu) but she was with me as normal on the postnatal ward and someone came to give her the dose. Again I was high risk anyway so not sure about the midwife led unit thing x

HillyandHally Sun 15-Jun-14 13:22:59

Hi I've just had dc2 and was tested gbs + at 33 weeks. I was really worried too as I had had a fast labour with dc1.

I was told it was fine to go on mwl unit but as it happened my waters broke and labour didn't start so I ended up being induced. If i had gone into
spontaneous labour the mwl unit would have been fine as would the water pool. But it was a completely different birth from first time round so I actually didn't need to worry about it being too quick.

Do make sure you ring them straight away. I had to stay in because of it when my waters went whereas if it wasn't for the gbs they would have sent me home so whilst that was a bit of a pain it did reassure me.

I also had to stay in with baby for two nights. Again if it wasn't for gbs we would have been sent home that night but his temp was low and they wanted to monitor him. He was absolutely fine. As pp says it's good that you know about it.

Gbs can come and go so although you have tested positive now doesn't mean you had it with last pregnancies also you may not even have it by the time you give birth but you are treated as if you have to be on safe side.

So all in all not the birth I would have chosen but they were really good and erred on the side of caution which was so reassuring because I was worried. Most importantly baby was fine.

Good luck! Ps step away from Google freaked me out too x

HillyandHally Sun 15-Jun-14 13:25:07

Oh yes my gp gave me abs as mine was a gbs infection found in my urine. I believe you can also be a gbs carrier which is slightly different so you won't get prescribed abs. How did they find out?

Livvylongpants Sun 15-Jun-14 13:29:37

It came back from my urine test at booking appointment, I have an infection of GBS in my urine I believe

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