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Group B Strep Awareness

(33 Posts)
dancinglorna1984 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:22:28

Hello, I am just over 37 weeks pregnant and expecting our first baby very soon.

This month is Group B Strep awareness month and to be honest we were not really aware of this at all until recently. Unfortunately, we only discovered the seriousness of this infection very recently as some of our closest friends sadly lost their much loved Daughter due to this at just a couple of weeks old. It is so sad to know that this could have been prevented if a simple test was offered.

We have just ordered a private test for this infection as I want to know that I have tried to get tested for this prior to our baby being born (as long as time allows that is).

As the NHS do not currently offer routine testing for this infection there is currently a petition on which was started by another couple who also lost their child due to Group B Strep to try and get the government to consider offering testing.

I am posting this thread in the hope that it may share a bit more awareness on this topic and also in case anyone would like to sign the petition to hopefully get this issue heard and change things for the better (link below)

Thank you for reading, dancinglorna.

Cornettoninja Sun 12-Jul-15 11:45:51

This is the one thing I knew I would go private for when I got my bfp. A colleagues relative has had no end of heartache after her little girl was born with it.

I don't really know why the nhs don't test, is it something to do with a low number of occurrences or the cost of the test itself?

dancinglorna1984 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:55:09

To be honest I can only assume it is down to money in regards to why they don't offer testing. I think it is unfortunate that the risks of this are not really highlighted as if we were aware of the private testing earlier we would have opted for this much sooner.

ammature Sun 12-Jul-15 15:13:18

Thanks for posting about this I'm going to ask my midwife at my next appointment. If you do the tests privately what is the treatment if you carry the infection? So sorry to hear about your friends baby.

lagirafe Sun 12-Jul-15 15:20:18

I am currently heavily pregnant and have been told I have GBS - how did they find it out then if they weren't testing for it?

dancinglorna1984 Sun 12-Jul-15 15:48:34

A private test is £35.00 (all of the ones we found were this price) and it takes approximately 3 days to get the results. If it turns out to be positive then as I understand it you would need to have IV antibiotics when confirmed and during labour to treat the infection and prevent it passing on to the baby.

As far as I am aware our friends only found out about this when their Daughter became unwell by which point it was too late for treatment to help (we haven't yet spoken to our friends about the details as this is all still very raw at the moment)

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sun 12-Jul-15 18:38:38

lagiraffe the NHS tested me too, it was picked up in my urine sample. I think it's a bit of a lottery though with not all NHS hospitals testing all the women.

PotteringAlong Sun 12-Jul-15 18:42:39

I've tested positive twice for GBS in both my pregnancies - both DS's needed antibiotics after birth (DS 1 had the infection, ds2 was a precaution because of that) and I thank my lucky stars every day that they are both ok.

PotteringAlong Sun 12-Jul-15 18:43:22

And yes, I had iv antibiotics in labour both times.

booface Sun 12-Jul-15 18:45:33

There was a thread on here the other day about a petition to sign if you would like Group B strep testing for all pregnant women. Here is a link to the petition

I certainly signed due to testing positive in my second pregnancy

booface Sun 12-Jul-15 18:46:03

oh, oops, just re-read and realised the first post had a link, sorry!

StonedGalah Sun 12-Jul-15 20:33:39

I tested positive early in my pregnancy because l was at home in Aus and it seems a very standard test there.

I've signed the petition OP.

Cupcakesandlove Sun 12-Jul-15 20:51:50

Hi I've signed the partition how do I get tested and when

WiIdfire Sun 12-Jul-15 21:00:20

If you are interested in getting tested, go to and there is a lot of information and links to companies that offer the test. It is really straightforward, and I agree money well spent.

WiIdfire Sun 12-Jul-15 21:02:07

You need to get tested as close to delivery as possible as the bug can come and go, so 35-37 weeks is recommended. However, its not too late if you are past that.

dancinglorna1984 Sun 12-Jul-15 22:56:53

Thank you for signing the petition, the more awareness this gets the better.

BreeVDKamp Sun 12-Jul-15 23:19:12

I'm going to sign.

I had GBS but first I heard about it was a doctor popping their head round my bay on the postnatal and asking when my waters went, to determine whether DS would need antibiotics.

GBS had shown up in a swab or urine sample (still don't know!) around 24 weeks pregnant but no-one had mentioned it to me. Didn't have antibiotics during labour. Luckily my waters didn't go until right before delivery so DS didn't need antibiotics, just had to stay in for 24 hour obs.

Not very happy about that though given the effect GBS can have on a tiny babe!

BreeVDKamp Sun 12-Jul-15 23:21:24

Ps I understand that GBS is common and can come and go, but if I'd tested positive earlier in pregnancy then surely I should have been swabbed in the run up to labour too? It's annoying because I was thinking about making a fuss and requesting to be tested in the last few weeks of pregnancy, but ended up telling myself I was being neurotic and letting it go hmm

Guyropes Mon 13-Jul-15 00:05:01

I think the reason they don't test for this routinely is because 1/4 of women are carriers, so it's very common to get a positive result, but comparatively uncommon for baby to go on and hAve a problem.
( I read that the figure was 1 in 300 of gobs positive women)
Obviously the consequences of infection can be very tragic. But there is clearly also a risk with administering IV antibiotics to 1/4 of all Labouring women to consider as well.

The fact that this is a difficult call to make does not excuse poor communication from hcps about gbs.

dancinglorna1984 Mon 13-Jul-15 08:00:49

I think the lack of communication is a key issue with this, personally I would have preferred to have been offered this test instead of the Glucose testing for example. If we had been informed about the risks associated with GBS by anyone during this pregnancy earlier we would have opted for the private test immediately, unfortunately as nothing was communicated we now have to hope that we can get the test and results completed before our baby decides to make an appearance.

geekymommy Mon 13-Jul-15 14:19:35

They do test for GBS routinely in the US, where I am.

dancinglorna1984 Mon 13-Jul-15 15:06:22

Sadly we are not as fortunate here in the UK.

Guyropes Mon 13-Jul-15 15:53:41

I have read that gbs infection rates are higher in the US also, due to more routine internal examinations during pregnancy. Does that sound right to you geeky mommy?

geekymommy Mon 13-Jul-15 17:58:22

I don't know. I have not had a lot of internal exams (fortunately for me, because I hate them). On the other hand, I have a low-lying placenta, so I might have had fewer than some women.

geekymommy Mon 13-Jul-15 18:00:14

They test at around 37 weeks for GBS here (or at least they did for me). A lot of the internal exams happen after that.

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