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  1. #1
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    Default Group strep B infection

    37 weeks tomorrow and got my results from last week's swab and I've tested positive for group B strep.

    I'm feeling pretty down about this because I wanted to have an uncomplicated labour with little intervention and now this feels like the first of many interventions I'm going to have during the labour.

    For starters, I wasn't planning on going to hospital until I felt really close to baby arriving, but now I'm going to have to rush over at the first sign of labour...

    I wanted to have some feedback from women who tested positive and whether this affected your labour experience in any way?

    My ob assures me I can still have everything as normal except I'll have a cannula in my hand for IV abx. But can still have a water birth.

    Also, is there any risk to baby? Like medically proven risk of any side effects from abx? I know the risk of baby getting sick from strep b is obviously the main concern, but I'm wondering what side effects if any the abx can have?

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by witherwings; 19-10-2016 at 02:06.

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    There may be some disruption to bubs gut flora from the antibiotics, but we generally don't see any major issues with bubs whose mums have received antibiotics in labour. Most babies seem to do things as normal. In saying that, it's not something I've looked at closely. It is far better for Bub if you receive the antibiotics during labour than if they require them after birth. We see a lot more upset babies on IV antibiotics themselves as the drugs are going direct to their blood ****** rather than it crossing to the baby via the placenta like they do in labour.

    It is hard for sure to know what to do, especially if you want to stay home as long as you can. Maybe find out from your obstetrician what the hospitals policy actually is. For example, we give a loading dose of penicillin and then subsequent doses 4 hourly. As long as you get 2 doses of antibiotics in, baby is covered. I think the paeds like the second dose to be given at least half an hour before birth before they worry too much. This may give you a bit of leeway before coming in. ie you won't have to rush in at the first contraction, you may be able to hang out at home for a little while before you come in to hospital. Obviously if your waters break either before labour or in the early stages, then you'll have to go in asap as once the waters go, baby is at higher risk of infection.

    If you receive insufficient antibiotics in labour you can ask them to take a full blood count to check for the septic score from bubs cord blood. If it shows signs infection (2-3 or higher) then you can treat Bub with antibiotics, but if the score is 0 (no infection) or 1 (low risk) then you can elect for just close monitoring and save Bub from unnecessary antibiotics.

    Hope this helps!

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    witherwings  (19-10-2016)

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    My first pregnancy I tested positive but I was ignorant. My waters broke and I got to hospital about midnight. They told me to go straight in because of strep b and I got hooked up to antibiotics and monitoring. Despite labor progressing (it was slow but baby wasn't in distress) they induced me at 6:50am and my daughter was born at 7:40am. I was flat on my back because of the monitoring and had a second degree tear. My daughter came so quickly. Nobody expected it and my daughter was groggy because I'd had pethidine as my only pain relief not long before birth. I spewed in the shower after she was born and I told the midwife and she said, "well you only had pethidine 40mins ago." LOL

    After that, I learnt a bit more about strep b and discovered that you could test positive one day and negative the next so imo it's pointless. In UK they don't screen for strep b. For my subsequent pregnancies, I took the swab in and pretended I swabbed but didn't

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    As an addit to what @BigRedV has said, we don't rountinely screen for Group B Strep because it is so transient. We'll swab if there's a reason (i.e. We're doing a speculum examination), but it's not part of our routine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRedV View Post
    My first pregnancy I tested positive but I was ignorant. My waters broke and I got to hospital about midnight. They told me to go straight in because of strep b and I got hooked up to antibiotics and monitoring. Despite labor progressing (it was slow but baby wasn't in distress) they induced me at 6:50am and my daughter was born at 7:40am. I was flat on my back because of the monitoring and had a second degree tear. My daughter came so quickly. Nobody expected it and my daughter was groggy because I'd had pethidine as my only pain relief not long before birth. I spewed in the shower after she was born and I told the midwife and she said, "well you only had pethidine 40mins ago." LOL

    After that, I learnt a bit more about strep b and discovered that you could test positive one day and negative the next so imo it's pointless. In UK they don't screen for strep b. For my subsequent pregnancies, I took the swab in and pretended I swabbed but didn't
    You are right, the NHS doesn't routinely screen for GBS and people are trying to change that. One baby a week dies from GBS in the U.K. And one every two weeks that survives the infection is left with long term disabilities. It's not really a reassuring argument to say the U.K. Doesn't do it so it's no big deal, the NHS doesn't screen for a few things that other countries routinely do, doesn't mean they are right, just means they are trying to save money.

  9. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to HollyGolightly81 For This Useful Post:

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    Quote Originally Posted by M'LadyEm View Post
    As an addit to what @BigRedV has said, we don't rountinely screen for Group B Strep because it is so transient. We'll swab if there's a reason (i.e. We're doing a speculum examination), but it's not part of our routine.
    Does this vary by state or hospital? When I was a doula my clients were screened.

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    I tested positive to group B strep and had antibiotics. I was certainly never told to rush into hospital if waters broke or if contractions started - but perhaps this is a hospital policy of the one you are going to? I gave birth in a large public teaching hospital.

    My waters broke at home and I stayed home for around 5 hours as I was told not to rush in. I headed in about 6am and they popped in the cannula and gave me the first dose of antibiotics. The cannula stayed in which was actually a good thing as I couldn't stomach fluids from vomiting (just from labour, not side effects of the antibiotics) so they hooked up a drip to me and I felt much better, I was actually glad that cannula was in tbh. I spent about 4 hours in the bath and hopped out to give birth. They gave me other doses throughout but I don't really remember them doing it, it was a non issue as they just did it through the cannula.The cannula and the antibiotics had no impact on my birth whatsoever, I had a natural birth with almost no intervention (besides the cannula, that was it). DS was perfect, I was healthy, there were no side effects for either of us, and I'd do it again if I tested positive again.

    HTH.
    Last edited by Pearlygirl; 18-10-2016 at 21:11.

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    I refused the screening.
    But my midwife told me had I have had it & tested positive I wouldn't be able to have a water birth due to the additional monitoring

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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyGolightly81 View Post
    Does this vary by state or hospital? When I was a doula my clients were screened.
    Not sure if it's a state thing or hospital thing, but ours is hospital policy. More than happy to screen women if they request it though. We also do 4hrly temp checks on all babies for the first 24hrs, and if there are risk factors then we also check their heart rate and respiratory rate. TBH I don't recall the last time we had a baby properly sick from group b strep. In the 6 years I've worked at my current hospital I can only think of 1-2 instances. Of course there may be more in the nurseries that I don't know about, but obviously there hasn't been many or else our policy would have changed long ago.

    Actually, our policy did change about 18 months ago in regards to the dosage of antibiotics we give women in labour. The loading dose is now almost 3x what it used to be and I think this has come about from lots of women having insufficient antibiotics in labour and loads of babies ending up on IV antibiotics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M'LadyEm View Post
    Not sure if it's a state thing or hospital thing, but ours is hospital policy. More than happy to screen women if they request it though. We also do 4hrly temp checks on all babies for the first 24hrs, and if there are risk factors then we also check their heart rate and respiratory rate. TBH I don't recall the last time we had a baby properly sick from group b strep. In the 6 years I've worked at my current hospital I can only think of 1-2 instances. Of course there may be more in the nurseries that I don't know about, but obviously there hasn't been many or else our policy would have changed long ago.

    Actually, our policy did change about 18 months ago in regards to the dosage of antibiotics we give women in labour. The loading dose is now almost 3x what it used to be and I think this has come about from lots of women having insufficient antibiotics in labour and loads of babies ending up on IV antibiotics.
    I just googled and it looks like it varies by hospital, some only routinely screen 'at risk' women and some routinely screen every woman. But Australia's low newborn infection rate is credited with routine screening.

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