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Would you get tested for strep b?

53 replies

Sweetpeabec · 22/01/2017 21:02

I have a friend who recently pushed to be tested for strep b while pregnant as she said it causes meningitis and can be fatal to the baby if passed on through child birth. I've spoken to my midwife and was told that everyone may unknowingly carry it and it won't harm the baby if you do. If the test comes back positive then antibiotic tablets and/or a drip while giving birth will be used to minimize transference. Has anyone requested the test? Or would you want to request the test? Opinions please x

OP posts:
talkingtoclarry · 22/01/2017 21:06

I went in to the maternity unit with reduced movement and whilst I was there they did a few swabs, etc. I came back as positive for Strep B and I'm so glad it was discovered. Annoyingly it meant I was hooked up to a drip throughout labour but it turned out to be the least of my problems!

I cant believe all women arent tested as a matter of routine during pregnancy, but then I don't know the stats. I for one am glad it was diagnosed and subsequently treated.

MyBreadIsEggy · 22/01/2017 21:10

Women should be routinely tested during pregnancy, the same way that urine and bp are tested at every appointment!
A test can be negative one week and positive the next - but because we aren't routinely tested, most people don't even know they have it. A friend of mine was one of those unfortunate people who had Strep B, wasn't tested and only found out because her son was very poorly after he was born.
I'm pretty sure women are routinely tested in pregnancy in the US!

MauiChristmas · 22/01/2017 21:25

I asked for it...

70ontheinside · 22/01/2017 21:32

Gave birth in a country where pregnant women are all screened. Tested positive and everybody took it very seriously. Huge red writing on my notes and midwife drumming the need for iv antibiotics into me. In fact, the first thing I said when I arrived at hospital in labour was "I need antibiotics NOW"!

Mamanutcruncher · 22/01/2017 21:38

I was tested at 37 weeks and it came back positive. I ended up on an IV antibiotic drip for 4 hours prior to the birth (which wasn't ideal but not the end of the world). I think everyone should be tested for it, so yes I think you should request a test. 2 out of 8 of our NCT group were positive for strep b.

Mediumred · 22/01/2017 21:45

Hi I was tested, a colleague had urged me to do so after reading an article about it when his wife was pregnant.

I tested positive and had antibiotics through labour, despite that, and dd being born via caesaren section, she had still been infected. Of course we didn't realise straight away but the note on her files made the midwives more alert to the possibility of infection. The strep b had caused pneumonia and dd would have died but it was picked up in the hospital within 24 hours of her birth. We had to stay in for two weeks but she's 8 years old now, fine and dandy.

Not every child makes it, strep b can kill children or leave them with serious long term effects.

Daytona79 · 22/01/2017 21:48

I paid privately to get the test done in both my pregnancies

Best £35 I spent

Iizzyb · 22/01/2017 21:51

I paid privately too. Definitely worth it. Look up Fiona Paddon's campaign to get this included in routine nhs testing if you are in any doubt. And from the stuff I've read, if you are tested +ve you need to push for the antibiotics (or give the job to birthing partner) as sometimes they get busy & forget.

NewtScamandersNaughtyNiffler · 22/01/2017 21:52

My niece was seriously ill as her mum had undetected group b strep.

If I ever have another baby I'll have the test

Comedyusername · 22/01/2017 22:03

I demanded a test in my first pregnancy. The GP was very dismissive, even when I said I know 2 people lost their babies as a result of the infection, but my midwife was fantastic. Negative for me thankfully.

Second pregnancy whizzed by and I didn't get round to have it (feel a bit Blush actually), but again thankfully fine.

If you want it, demand it. Or pay for it. Peace of mind is priceless

user1484226561 · 22/01/2017 22:06

I had undiagnosed group b strep. My son nearly died at 24 hours old, ended up on an antibiotic drip in special care for a week.

UnOeufIsEnough · 22/01/2017 22:14

I tested privately and it came back negative. It cost £35 and I'd definitely do it for any future pregnancies.

HopeJacob · 22/01/2017 22:21

Have the test. My first baby died due to group B strep. It can be absolutely deadly.

McBaby · 23/01/2017 04:05

The nhs test is not very reliable lots of false negatives I believe. There is a private test which is much more reliable so if you want it they usually advise to have it done privately.

PetalMettle · 23/01/2017 04:15

I was tested when I had routine swabs before my section. As I was having a cs o don't think they gave me antibiotics but they did do enhanced obs on little one and paid attention.
Having seen about the private test I'd get that if there's a next time.
Check the timing of it though as it's my understanding it can come and go so you could have it at 22weeks but it might clear by 36 naturally

Wingingit88 · 23/01/2017 04:50

How many week do you have it done at?

876TaylorMade · 23/01/2017 05:22

It's mandatory here in Australia.

I'm public... and basically you do the swab yourself. Last pregnancy it was positive, got put on an iv with antibiotics.

It's better to get it done... it can be fatal to the baby.

It's usually done here at about 32-36 weeks.

sycamore54321 · 23/01/2017 05:32

I'm on a country that tests as standard at 36 weeks and I'm glad they do.

KP86 · 23/01/2017 06:02

I was in Aus for DC1, but chose to not have the test after discussing it with my midwife and doing my own research. I didn't want to HAVE to have the ABs during labour, should I have tested positive.

As it happened the birth was highly medicalised so one extra drip or needle wouldn't have mattered anyway.

electrasy · 23/01/2017 06:28

Many European countries test this as standard at 36 weeks. It's such a simple test, a quick swab and so easily treated. Push for it if you can, or pay to have it privately. it's not worth the risk.

wundringnow · 23/01/2017 06:34

Hopejacob, I'm so sorry for your awful loss.

Like other posters, I had my babies in a place with routine strep B testing. I didn't know it wasn't routine in the UK.

teainbed · 23/01/2017 06:35

No I wouldn't unless I was in a risk group. If we routinely tested then loads more women would get unnecessary antibiotics when we're already developing resistance. There are good reasons for not doing routine screening.

KP86 · 23/01/2017 06:46

BTW, forgot to say the midwife also said not to worry about it in her opinion.

Just because you're positive doesn't mean the baby will definitely get it, and they (are supposed to) monitor babies for these things post-birth as a matter of course.

Allaboutthecake13 · 23/01/2017 06:48

Watching with interest - I asked my midwife about paying privately for a test and she was very against it, started saying about how they monitor babies closely after birth for GBS and that if you're found to have it it completely changes the care pathway for you (no pool etc) and even then by the time you give birth it may not be present. Left me feeling v confused as my instinct is to get it done (and I can live without having the birthing pool etc if needs be) but then I wonder if I should put more stock in the advice of a HCP...

teainbed · 23/01/2017 06:49

As pp said you can test positive one week and negative the next. For those who got tested or private tests done how often did you get it done? How long were you reassured by a negative result for?

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