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Can we talk about Group B Strep

(24 Posts)
zombie999 Fri 10-Aug-18 15:01:34

I found out I had group b strep when I was pregnant with my little girl....when I say found out I mean I read it from the doctors screen when he went out his office. I was never told I had it until I asked them, I was never told anything about it until I did my own research, when I asked the doctor he gave me a leaflet and sent me on my way. I was sent home when I was in active labour without given the antibiotics that were so adamantly needed even after telling the midwife l was about to have a baby I need the antibiotics. I was sent home left to deliver my baby on my own at home. That baby could have been stillborn or have infection. I count my lucky stars she is ok and came to no harm but group b strep is becoming more common and I don't think people are made aware of the dangers it could potentially cause.

I want to hear your thoughts and stories please

LottieLou90 Fri 10-Aug-18 15:53:20

I’m sorry to hear you went through this OP. My friend had GBS and didn’t know she passed an infection on to her son. A little after a month her son wasn’t himself, she put it down to the stomach bug she had and thought he caught it. Luckily her instincts kicked in and took him to the hospital where they told her if she had left it another few hours the result would’ve been horrific.
I’m 39 weeks pregnant and went to the dr to ask about it a few weeks ago and was made to feel like it’s an inconvenience to test for it. She gave me swabs to do at home and send them back to drs to send off etc. She told me that if it comes back positive then labour would be very long and tedious due to having to go to hospital straight away for anti biotics etc which I replied that surely knowing and doing something about it is worth that?!
I don’t think it’s spoken about / made aware of enough.

Sushirolls Fri 10-Aug-18 15:58:00

I discussed paying for my DD to have the test with her consultant, who said it's a waste of time/money as the infection comes & goes, so she may not have it when in labour... Really torn as to what to do confused

leanne9312 Fri 10-Aug-18 16:20:00

I had this with my daughter and had anti biotics through a drip in labour and antibiotics to take at home before labour, this pregnancy I'm having the iv antibiotics anyway as a precaution

zombie999 Fri 10-Aug-18 16:24:04

I was really upset with the hospital when they sent me home after refusing to check if I was nearly ready to push. I was home for 14 mins before baby was born. They put my child's life at risk. When I raised my concerns to the hospital it was brushed off as if it wasn't such a big deal because it comes and goes. I can guarantee those parents who lost their babies due to strep b do not feel that it was no big deal I think it's shocking how over looked it is

rainbowstardrops Fri 10-Aug-18 16:46:35

A friend of mine lost his newborn at birth because of strep b sad

TurtleTree Fri 10-Aug-18 16:55:58

A friend of mine told me about this after seeing it on This Morning - I'd never heard about it. They recommended self testing a couple of weeks before your due date. Does anyone know if hospitals/doctors are accepting of self test results, if I go in with a positive test?

Liverbird77 Fri 10-Aug-18 17:12:29

I am planning on having this done privately between 35 and 37 weeks.
Apparently by then if it is there then there is a good chance it will be there at birth.
I was also dismissed by a midwife at 12 week appt, who said there was no point testing because it comes and goes. Sorry, but I am not taking any unnecessary risks when it comes to my baby!

gigi556 Fri 10-Aug-18 17:37:23

It's not tested for regularly in my area. You can have a test done privately if you like and if positive they will give you the antibiotic drip in labour. TBH, I'm with the doctors. Obviously, strep b can cause devastating results. However, giving all labouring women an antibiotic drip could have devastating effects in terms of antibiotic resistance.

kitty1013 Fri 10-Aug-18 17:54:16

@gigi556 I don't think any doctor disputes the need for antibiotics if you either have strep b at delivery or had a previous baby with strep b. No one is asking for everyone to have the antibiotics in labour, only those at higher risk.

Sadly there is a lack of information about it. I knew very little until DS2 had it at one day old and needed 2 weeks on IV antibiotics and oxygen. (Which I imagine is worse for antibiotic resistance than the ones given in labour!)

Emmafh3 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:39:32

It amazes me that it actually isn't routinely tested for in some parts of the country.
With my dd they tested for it routinely with the booking in urine, was given a leaflet and told what it would mean for labour. Ie, iv antibiotics for four hours and then a top up every four hours. It was found again when I had a cervix check(I had asked for, not routine for preg) and was given oral antibiotics. When I'm labour, the midwife was encouraging to stay home for as long as poss but because I loved at least an hour away I was insistent on coming in. Good job, I didn't even have 30minutes worth of iv, dd was kept in for monitoring (although not monitored well for signs of gbs)
Now in a different county and they have checked booking in urine for it as per routine, and have said nothing else about it (assuming because I was like ye, you'll find it, oral anti biotics didn't do anything for it) but said they only treat with oral antibiotics during pregnancy if symptoms are active.

I'd advice everybody to have it checked, or at least be aware of it to monitor baby. It's deadly and fast in newborns and nobody should go through the pain of that.

Grumpos Fri 10-Aug-18 23:54:34

I’ve ordered a private test kit and will be sending It off tomorrow.
The infection can indeed come and go but it tends to have a 5 week scope, meaning that if you test for it between 35-37 weeks you’re likely to have the correct result for the time of labour - when the antibiotics are needed.
Actually really scary reading about how common this can be and how devastating the possible outcomes are (although I appreciate worst case is still rare - still too much though when it’s a child life at risk)

zombie999 Sat 11-Aug-18 10:11:33

It's much more common than I ever thought and I think it's shocking it is not tested frequently throughout pregnancy. In my next pregnancy I will be demanding a test I will not be putting my baby's life at risk

ZirconMerkin Sat 11-Aug-18 10:21:42

My midwives found out I had it after I'd had my DD, gave me one of those lovely leaflets (which to me at the time might as well have been called "ways your baby may die") then left me alone, she was thankfully fine but I do think the stress of it contributed to my PPD. Two friends of mine had worse experiences though, their children ended up badly ill in hospital, both thankfully recovered but could have easily been a much sadder story. They have been campaigning to have testing as a mandatory thing everywhere but I don't think much has come of it so far sadly.

shittyshitybangbang Sat 11-Aug-18 10:50:09

I remember asking the midwife when I was pregnant with my first and she said they don't routinely test it like they do in America and that I shouldn't worry because the infection comes and goes.

2weeks late I go into labour and within an hour of being born my DD was grunting and was not feeding and her body temp was so low. She was in neonatal intensive care unit for 9 days and 3 days in normal ward.she had so many tubes attached to her it was horrible. She also had so many needle marks on top of her hand.

I really don't understand why it's not tested routinely it would save a lot of babies lives.

Millypad Sat 11-Aug-18 11:06:10

They happened to catch it with me during a swab after some bleeding - I was worried but feel incredibly lucky that it’s been spotted at only 27 weeks, I’d never have even thought about it otherwise. The test should be routine.

rudeycrudey Sat 11-Aug-18 11:31:13

The triage at our hospital had a poster about Group B strep and how ill babies can become after birth if they contract it.
It scared me and I ordered the swab test from TDL and paid £35. I did mine at 38 weeks and was negative fortunately. But I think it's really bad that doctors don't do anything to reassure pregnant women.

OooohYouAreMyCatNow Sat 11-Aug-18 11:36:23

I didnt even know that this was a worry. I am a Strep B carrier. My first baby got ill after birth and had to go to the SCU, thankfully she recovered. I had 2 more healthy children and this was never mentioned. I was never treated for it or tested again in pregnancy. This was many years ago.

upthewolves Sat 11-Aug-18 11:37:52

Where I live in Australia everyone is tested for it at about 20wks and if positive you deliver in hospital with antibiotic drip. I was positive and scheduled for elcs. My ds was born with some noisy breathing so was put on IV antibiotics for 48 hrs as precaution. I got the impression that there was quite a disagreement between doctors as to whether this was OTT or not.

Lavalamped Sat 11-Aug-18 11:45:16

My story is pretty much the same as yours OP, accidental home birth also. Even when I advised the community midwifes who turned up after the birth they didn't give me any information or signs to look out for, even though I'd been told I have strep B and didn't have antibiotics! In fact when I was in labour and called the maternity unit and explained about my Strep B they told me they don't give the antibiotics until waters break. To this day I don't even know when my waters broke, might have been when I was in the bath during early labour

LadyCassandra Sat 11-Aug-18 11:52:42

upthewolves I’m also in Aus. I was swan tested at 34 weeks and was positive. I think there is a lot of disagreement about when to treat. Different midwives gave me different instructions meaning I headed yo hospital as soon as I was in labour for the iv antibiotics, only to be told I wouldn’t be given them until my waters broke. Then the last part of labour was so quick that the drip had hardly got going before DD was out.
They monitored her every 3 hours for 48 hours and fortunately for us she was fine.

Skyejuly Sat 11-Aug-18 11:55:44

I had it all 4 times but no antibiotics or anything and had waterbirths x

zombie999 Sat 11-Aug-18 12:06:38

It's frightening. We are all very fortunate. I felt my feelings were just brushed under the carpet and yes defiantly added to my PND the fact they had tested me due to a bleed but never shared the results to the point I was just being nosey and looking at the doctors screen only to see it written it bold writing I was so frightened.

reddressblueshoes Sat 11-Aug-18 12:17:24

I've been diagnosed with it as it was picked up with a swab test for thrush, and I'm currently doing a lot of reading around it.

The thing is, 25-30% of women carry group b strep at any given time, but the infection does come and go. They're trialling a quick test in labour internationally which is the most sensible choice I think, because as it stands you're given the antibiotics if you test positive at any point in pregnancy and that both misses a lot of women who would be positive in labour and catches a lot who are negative.

Tests have shown babies still show negative overgrown of bacteria in their gut a year after their mother takes the antibiotics in labour. Obviously not a big thing compared to a serious infection, but of women with group b strep, only 3-4% will pass it on in labour with no antibiotics, and of the babies who contract it from within that 3-4%, 1-2% will have an infection so severe it may be fatal (usually when they haven't had antibiotics) but it most cases there are other issues- e.g. Baby premature, other risk factors.

There are also studies suggesting if mothers take probiotics in the last month of pregnancy there's a 40% chance they won't have the infection even if they tested positive at the start.

So choosing the certainty of giving a high percentage of babies antibiotics they may not need vs other ways to target it makes little sense. There's a really good website, evidence based birth, with lots of info on the studies into this. I think the NHS should switch to the rapid test in labour model, but I'm not convinced that the approach used in the states of testing everyone earlier in pregnancy is that much better given how many unnecessary antibiotics are given out. I'm going to ask for a retest closer to delivery and take probiotics, but since I won't be able to have a test in labour I will take the antibiotics regardless and just try really hard to breastfeed and maybe give infant probiotics to offset the damage to baby's gut. At a minimum, I want to make sure I do everything I can to avoid her having to be tested/have antibiotics herself, and even though the risk of GBS is v low it's also v serious so that's the priority.

I'm also a bit concerned about timings and making sure I get four hours antibiotics but I guess that depends a lot on the hospital, and I'm hopeful mine will be ok about admitting me to get it started even though I'd obviously rather labour at home for longer. There isn't enough clear info about this out there, but I think the call to test all women should really be amended to testing women in labour (apparently the test can come back in thirty minutes) as otherwise it just seems it will result in higher numbers getting unnecessary antibiotics without fully reducing the risk of missing other women.

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