in

Group Beta Strep (GBS)

Group Beta Strep (Gbs) - Pregnancy - 2021
Image Credit @Mommy.labor.nurse On Instagram

Group Beta Strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria that’s naturally present in about 25% of women.⁣⁠

The infection is usually harmless in adults, but can be dangerous in newborns and adults with chronic conditions, such as diabetes or liver disease. Symptoms in newborns include fever, trouble feeding and lethargy. Adults who are immunocompromised may get a urinary tract or blood infection or pneumonia.
⁣⁣⁠
We all have good bacteria in our bodies, and GBS is just another one of those strands for some people! It’s NOT a sexually transmitted disease.⁣⁣⁠

What does GBS have to do with pregnancy? ⁣⁠

GBS bacteria is not harmful to you at all, but it CAN be harmful if it’s passed to the baby through the birth canal during labour and delivery.⁣⁠
⁣⁣⁠
GBS in newborns can lead to life-threatening infections including sepsis (blood infection), pneumonia (lung infection), or meningitis (infection of the fluid lining the brain).⁣⁣⁠

What causes Strep B in pregnancy?

How do people get group B strep? Well, the bacteria is normally found in the vagina and/or rectum of about 25% of all healthy, adult women. Women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized.

In newborns, group B Streptococcus infection is acquired through direct contact with the bacteria while in the uterus or during birth; thus, the gestational bacterial infection is transmitted from the colonized mother to her newborn.

Group Beta Strep (GBS) Screening

Screening and prevention are key! ⁣⁣⁠GBS screening is a routine recommendation for pregnant women between 35-37 weeks. If a test finds GBS, the woman is said to be “GBS positive.” This means only that she has the bacteria in her body — not that she or her baby will become sick from it. GBS infection in babies is diagnosed by testing a sample of blood or spinal fluid. But not all babies born to GBS-positive mothers need testing.

If you’re positive you’ll need IV antibiotics during labour to help rid the bacteria from your body & protect the baby.⁣⁣⁠
⁣⁣⁠
The best practice is antibiotics 4 hours before you deliver – this gives the IV medication enough time to kill the bacteria before the baby is born.⁣⁣⁠
⁣⁣⁠
According to the CDC, if you receive these antibiotics within 4 hours of delivery, a baby’s chances of contracting GBS sepsis is about 1 in 4000 (as opposed to 1 in 200 if you don’t make it!)⁣⁣⁠.⁠
⁣⁣⁠
Okay, but what if I don’t make it? Don’t stress – it happens! Yes, your baby is technically at an elevated risk for infection.
⁣⁣⁠
BUT modern medicine is highly effective – with treatment, babies have a 95% survival rate & you will be in the best hands for observation should symptoms arise!⁣⁣⁠
⁣⁣⁠
In most hospitals, what will happen is they will want to watch the baby in the hospital for any symptoms for at least 48 hours⁣⁣⁠.⁠

Do I really have to be connected to an IV the whole time? ⁣⁣⁠

This is a myth! IV infusions only last for 30-60 mins and most are administered every four hours. So you can get the antibiotics and then can be disconnected from the tubing (as long as you don’t need IV fluids or medication for anything else)!⁣⁣⁠
⁣⁣⁠
Were you GBS positive? Let us know in our comments below

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 Comments

  1. Mine was negative and I still got sepsis.. we almost didn’t make it.. I spent a month in the hospital and my son for 3 weeks.. were thankful to still be here and healthy. He’s now 9

  2. There’s research that shows that GBS is present in almost all humans and that it only shows in what are considered “dangerous” amounts when other good bacteria aren’t around to help keep it in check. These levels can also fluctuate from week to week in one person, which is why there are so many women on here saying they tested negative and and still had a baby who ended up with an infection. The best bet to defend against GBS overgrowth is to NOT use antibacterial soap on your genitals (front and back!) Your body needs the good bacteria to keep GBS numbers down before birth and hopefully avoid the IV and the risk of passing the bad bacteria.

  3. I was positive at 15 weeks and it was picked up randomly but my labour went from 3cm to fully dilated in 2 hours so they didn’t have time to administer antibiotics. We were kept in and baby was monitored for 12 hours (2 hourly) and luckily everything was okay 💙

  4. I lost my first born to this. She caught an infection because they didn’t treat her. They hadn’t tested me yet at 28 weeks. Thank you for bringing light to this situation. It’s something not talked about often.

  5. The test isn’t standard here, another mumhad lost her baby so I had asked to be tested myself, however I was talked out of it as the tests can show false negatives and, as it wasn’t standard procedure they would have to say they were checking for something else for it to be accepted, …. my son arrived 2 weeks late, and I only got to see him for a few minutes, he was then taken away for over an hour, we both spent 7 days in hospital on IV Antibiotics, then home with more tablet antibiotics due to us having GBS

  6. THANK YOU for this! I was negative with my first pregnancy and positive for my second. No one I knew ever mentioned it to me so I felt SO strange/ashamed to get a positive result. As luck would have it, my labour came on so fast that I wasn’t able to get antibiotics for the 4 hour window. But he was perfectly healthy😊

  7. I was positive with both pregnancies. And though I tried to get to the hospital as soon as I could both times, my labors were just too quick. My daughter ended up getting pneumonia and spent 3 weeks in the Nicu. My son didn’t get anything 👍🏻

  8. I came back GBS- after the first test, but my water broke over 12 hours before my baby was born…during that time I got an infection and the drs told (months after my daughters birth) I was GBS+ at birth. My little girl got septic arthritis, a muscle infection, and a bone infection because she caught the bacteria on her way down the canal. She was hospitalized (in peak covid) for 3 weeks, had 2 surgeries, and was on antibiotics for 6 weeks. We found out when she stopped moving her right leg and went to the dr for her 2 week check up. It was a very difficult first few months, but she’s healthy and happy now with no long-term effects.

  9. I was positive with my first born. I was never tested because he was born at 32 weeks… Presumably because of GBS. Fortunately he was fine, no infections or other issues. We only found out I had GBS after his birth when they ran tests on my placenta to try to determine cause of premature birth. I also had to receive antibiotics with both of my following pregnancies as a precautions.

Posted By Claire

Claire is our Community Manager here at New Moms Forum. A mom of two (almost grown-up babies), Claire has been building and operating community-based websites for almost 20 years. In her downtime, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and drinking copious amounts of red wine!

Remember This Pic? ⁣⁠
⁣⁠
Do You Ever Wonder If Your Baby Is Getting Enough During Feedings? Is She Still Hungry...or Is She Full? ⁣⁣⁠
⁣⁠
I Used To Go ...

Is your baby is getting enough during feedings? Is she still hungry…or is she full?

What Is It Like When Your Water Breaks_

What Is It Like When Your Water Breaks?