Author Topic: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy  (Read 65846 times)

Offline Maria/NHM

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Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« on: April 24, 2006, 02:45:18 AM »
Does anyone know how to prevent strep B or how to treat it. I'm living in an area that does not have any home birth midwives so we are planning on delivering Unassisted this time. I'm hoping to avoid developing it  by eating lots of yogurt and not eating sugar. I had read that might help. I would like to have a plan for how to treat it just in case I end up testing positive.  colloidal silver might help but I haven't found any info on how soon it works. Would I take it when labor starts or start taking it before. Can you take it for long periods of time?
« Last Edit: April 24, 2006, 04:19:00 AM by healthybratt »
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Offline Kristin_19_78

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2006, 04:24:45 AM »
This is a treatment plan if you know you are already GBS+.  It was developed by a pregnant woman in San Francisco, and it worked! Her midwife has also used it successfully with other women. She says it takes about three weeks to obtain negative cultures, but she could see that it was working weekly, bc each culture showed less growth.
Twice a day with breakfast and dinner:
acidophilus- 4 billion cells per dose http://www.vitacost.com/JarrowFormulasJarroDophilusFOS here is a link for the one I have used. It has been VERY effective, and VERY affordable! Less than $17 including shipping!
echinacea- 350 mg capsules- two capsules ( I got these @ Walmart for about $4, I think)
garlic- 580 mg capsules- two capsules, and ALL YOU CAN EAT! (I bought these @ Walmart too.)
Vitamin C- 500 mg with 200 mg bioflavonoids ( I just took 1500 mg of C spaced out during meals...Walmart yet again)
Grapefruit seed extract- 15 drops (I didn't use this, but another midwife added it who has used it successfully) I couldn't find a reasonable price for it at my local health food stores. It would have cost me more than everything else combined! But I used everyting else and it worked!

Another midwife told me many women have used oregano oil. She said it has always worked. (Another item a little too pricey for me.) 

Now if all else fails and you are positive at birth, don't worry...the main reason for infection in the hospitals is repeated vaginal checks and premature breaking of the amniotic sac. Leave you bag of waters alone (I'm sure your midwife knows this already) and if it does break early and you are concerned, go to your local drug store and pick up Chlorhexidine. I can't remember the exact mixture, go to http://gentlebirth.org/Midwife/gbs.html#Lavage to see if they give the info. I believe it is about 1 part Chlohexidine to 9 part water in a peri bottle and you just rinse with it during labor about once every ten hours or so. (Hopefully your water will not be broken that long) Not only does it kill the GBS, but it also kills E. coli. I don't know why hospitals don't use it. (It's only a few dollars at the drug store and it doesn't carry the problems and side effects of antibiotics!)
gentlebirth.org/Midwife is a great site for any questions you may have on ANY topic.
God Bless! I wish you the best at your homebirth! You are going to love it!

Offline petrimama

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2006, 05:21:59 AM »
My last two labors, I felt so restrained by the IV's and I was not allowed in the water, or even out of the bed because of them.  The worst part is that my labors are so fast (That's not the bad part) that even on full drip I barely got one dose of antibiotics, so I was told it was almost pointless.  My third developed a mild fever at 8 days old and he was tortured in the hospital for a week with catheters, IV's, blood draws, 2 spinal taps (which caused fluid leaks), etc.  This effected his system for weeks afterward.
  Had it not been for the Strep B factor, none of this would have been necessary.  As it was, if I had declined any of the above (which I did at first) the state would have taken temporary custody of my baby so I would have had a record of neglecting my children and would not have been allowed to stay in the hospital to nurse and comfort him.   I was dreading a positive Beta strep culture this time too, because I just never thought there was another way.  The Lord is so good to show me the way whenever I turn my fears over to Him.  Thank you so much for this thread and all of the information included.
                                                                                        ~Layla

Offline Bethany

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2006, 05:58:03 AM »
garlic- 580 mg capsules- two capsules, and ALL YOU CAN EAT!
I would add a caution about using too much garlic during the last few weeks of pregnancy. Garlic can alter the blood-clotting ability of the blood, which could result in severe hemorrhage if you use large quantities shortly before birth. (I know of at least one mom who was affected in this way.)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2006, 06:01:10 AM by Bethany »

Offline MotherOfBlessings

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2006, 05:27:05 AM »
I am the mother of 5 girls.  :)  My husband requires that I birth in a hospital.  How I would like to try a water birth at home.  ;)  During my last pg I came up positive for GBS.  I found this treatment on a midwife website (I am sorry, lost the link).  I douched with Grapefruit seed extract (about 10 drops per bag of warm water, mixed well)  daily for 2 weeks in the a.m. and placed an peeled (but not cut in ANY way) clove of garlic in my vagina at night.  My OB/GYN refused to test me again after this.  But my baby had absolutely no complications.  Please do not do this simply by my experience.  Please research it for yourself!

However, I must also say that while in the hospital I refuse IV's, meds, and anything we deem inappropriate.  I take orange juice with me to drink during and after labor.  The nurses pretty much respect our choices even if some don't like it.  I guess they figure, afther this many births, I know what I am doing!  ::)
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Offline mishy

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2006, 08:44:45 AM »
My doc never tested for the GBS for my first three.  I think because the GBS comes and goes.  So you can test neg at 30 weeks (or whenever the test is) and be pos at birth or vice versa.  For my 4th it was required by law to have the test, but I declined it.  The person who would give me a hard time with that is the pediatrician, so I called up the doc who I use if I ever we need a doc and asked him about the GBS and explained it all to him and he was fine with me not getting the test. 
I wish I could remember her whole reasoning behind NOT getting tested for GBS.  What I wrote might be all, but I just can't remember.  She did think the now mandatory testing is just a big ol' waste of $$$ and she is one of the best OB's on island.  She is (obviously) also very laid back and open to natural methods instead of all-for the medical intervention at any cost. 

Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 07:10:03 AM »
I just tested and it came back negative :) Thanks for all the helpful ideas!

« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 11:37:45 AM by Ella »
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Offline Bev

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2006, 06:42:27 AM »
Hello, for the last three pregnancies I have always turned up positive for group B. They always give me an antibiotic then while I am labor they give me an I.V. full of antibiotics. I have read recently that your baby can catch things like ecoli if you have too many of those antibiotics while pregnant. I guess it like weakens thier ability to fight things. Well this time I am 6 months pregnant I havent seen a doctor. We are having the baby at home my husband and I. I know i need to do something to get read of the group B. What can happen and it is a small risk if I do not have antibiotics is the baby can become very sick even with menengitis. Menengitis always scares me since my brother at age seven almost died from it and then when I was a young adult I had a good friend suddenly without warning die from it as well. I am not sure what yeast assasin is. Is it a medicine? And could it help with group B? Any other sure way soulutions?   
Also here is my other delima. I am Rh A negative. I usually have to get this shot so the baby and my blood does not mix. This time I am not getting the shot since I found out that they put mercury in the shots. Some have claimed thier babies have died from it. I never read the label before but also it says on it that they cant guarentee that they have screened it througly for diseases. There are some cases of mother and child catching aids from it and hepititis. I never knew that the rhogam shot they gave me was actually a blood product.  I have read that as long as you let the placenta come out naturally and DO NOT CUT THE CORD than your babies blood and yours should not mix. Unless you were to hemmorage. Any other info someone may have would be helpful! I want to have the baby at home but I have these few risks I need help with.

Thankyou,

Bev

Offline visionarymom

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2006, 09:49:47 AM »
I've never even tested for this, because I'm allergic to several antibiotics! But maybe you could try taking Echinacea starting a week or so before the due date. That stuff is amazing, and other than taking it for too long a period, (the effectiveness lessens), you really can't go wrong with it. (IMO).

Also, about the RH factor. I don't have personal experience dealing with that, because I'm RH pos. But if hemhorraging is the issue behind the worries, definintely take red rasberry leaf for at least a month before the due date. It is WONDERFUL! My first 2 were born without using it, and I bled a lot, and passed huge clots. For the 3rd, there was hardly any bleeding compared to the first 2. Even the midwives commented on how little bleeding their was.  :)

Hope that helps. -vm

Offline Mrs. Dugger

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2006, 10:14:37 AM »
I don't know much about the group B stuff, other than I've heard it comes and goes.  Personally I don't think it's too much to worry about.  I think it comes from your colon, so if you are very clean, I don't understand how the risk could be so huge that you would need antibiotics.  That's my personal non-medical opinion :)

I'm also RH negative.  The shot won't prevent the blood from mixing, but it makes it so your body doesn't produce antiobodies to the babies' blood if they do happen to mix.  It's only a concern if the baby is RH POSITIVE.  Which is usually the case, if your hubby is positive.  The problem won't occur with the first pregnancy (necessarily) that the blood "mixes," but it's subsequent pregnancies you have to worry about.  I personally know of someone that has brain damage from having the blood transfusions as a newborn because their mother was RH negative.  Without the shot, the baby can have anemia, and sometimes so severely that it needs a complete transfusion.  The problem is that your bodies' reaction is worse each subsequent pregnancy.  (From what I understand).  Personally, I think the RH antibody shot is one of the best medical breakthroughs of our time.  I've never heard of any problems from it.  Could you point me to some sites where you got the info about mercury and blood contamination?  Thanks :)

Offline happywife

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2006, 10:39:49 AM »
Group Beta Strep always concerns me, too...  Our first birth was unassisted at home, and the baby was stillborn.  For the following pregnancies we used a midwife and had prenatal care, and I tested positive for GBS.  I've wondered if that could possibly have been the cause of the stillbirth (?).  So, we always use precaution and do the antibiotics.  However, with this pregnancy I tested neg for the GBS and decided not to do the antibiotics.  I did though buy a product called Silverbiotic and thought I might take it just as a precaution.

Offline ~esposita~

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2006, 10:40:44 AM »
O!  How to keep a long story short???

#1 Preg:  Had midwife...  Refused group B test...  Labor for ~ 60 hrs... (Water broke around 36-40 hr.)  Took group B culture since baby hadn't come...  Positive... Went to hospital... IV with antibiotics, pitocin... 9 hrs later, no baby... C-section  :'(
They gave her antibiotics, too.  She got thrush >:(

# 2 Preg:  We had moved from NY to PA, new midwife, trying for a homebirth again.  Because of my past history, my midwife wanted to test me for Group B.  I DID NOT WANT ANTIBIOTICS!!!  Called my Aunt who is a naturally minded midwife - she recommended inserting a clove of garlic vaginally for 1-2 days prior to the time they take the culture.  Then, the evening before, and the morning of the culture, I took a bath and put apple cider vin. in the water. Negitive Test!!! :D

Again, I ended up in the hospital, but because of a neg. test, I didn't need an IV.  Unfortunately, after 36 hrs. I had another c-section :'(  BUT, they didn't give our boy anything this time...we were better educated ;)

Hope this helps

PS - I didn't use the garlic ::) just prayer and ACV ;D
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Offline Kristin_19_78

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2006, 01:09:53 PM »
http://welltellme.com/discuss/index.php/topic,308.msg1924.html#msg1924
please check out this post that was previously on welltellme. i had left a treatment plan on there. i don't know if it was the one followed, but she tested negative!! great info. check it out!

Offline nursegirl

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2006, 10:17:33 AM »
Here's what my midwife told me about group B strep:  Apparently, it can come and go.  You can test negative at 38 weeks, but still have it when you deliver.  So, for awhile, practitioners just quit testing for it.  However, she believes that probably what happened was that a few babies either got sick or died from catching group B during the birth.  So, doctors decided that the risk was too great, and started testing everybody for it.  I was positive with my first, and had IV antibiotics.  If you don't take antibiotics all the time, and are very careful to repopulate your gut with probiotics, I think it's a small price to pay.

I am also Rh negative, and had the Rhogam shot.  If you're really worried about getting the shot, have your husband's blood typed.  If he's negative also, then you don't need the shot, because your baby will be Rh negative also.  However, I also agree with a pp that it's a great breakthrough.  It seems to me that the risk of the things you mentioned would be far smaller than that of creating antibodies to your baby's blood. 

Sarah

Offline shawnaincov

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2006, 10:30:33 AM »
Hello.  Iam an RN and when I still worked worked ing the OB dept.  In reguards to the Group B,  It can change with each Preg.  I would def. try the ACV.  I would even try the garlic too because it is a wonderful herb! My Fave!! ;)  If you are Pos though the risks to your baby are severe respriratory distress.  It doesn't always happen but I wouldn't want to take the chance if it were me.

Now about the RH.  It doen't usually affect the first preg. THis is when the antigen-antibody reaction occurs.  It will get worse with each preg. because with each preg. you have more antibodies building.  If you have had the RhoGAM shot with all other Preg. that has helped you to not be so sensitive.  It can cause severe hemolysis.(bursting of red blood cells).  This causes anemia.  If it were me I would rather take the shot than to risk my baby having to have a blood transfusion, but to each his own.
I hope that I have been of some assistance.
As far as the RhoGAM shot and what it contains I can only find in one of my books that it is made from the plasma portion of blood.  That is the water portion of your blood.  WHen you spin blood very fast it will seperate and the water part is the plasma.

Shawna 

Offline Mrs. JDT

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2006, 06:32:36 AM »
I hope there are some ladies out there who have had experience with this. At my first prenatal visit (I was 5 wks) they did a urinalysis to check for infection. The culture came back positive for Group B Strep. I was told that because of this I am considered "colonized" and will need to have IV antibiotics during labor. The urine sample that was done was not a clean catch. Does any one think that maybe the group b showed up because of bacteria from the outside of the vagina, and not really in my urine? should I insist on having another urine test, (this time clean catch) in order to see if the GBS realy is in my urinary tract? I have horrible problems with yeast, and have already taken two courses of Macobid during this pregnancy so I want to avoid anymore antibiotics if I can. I don't think my midwife will even grant my request if I ask...she has already told me that the levels of GBS in the urine were pretty high...like 10,000 colonies per ml or cc of urine or something like that..so maybe that indicates that it really is in the urinary tract... thanks for any responses.

Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2006, 06:42:47 AM »
If the levels are that high IMO it is no question,but I don't know if there are other options than antibiotics at labor or not,I didn't know to avoid antibiotics and had the intravenous drip without  complications when the strep b showed up in one of my pregnancys.
Sherri
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Offline Mrs. JDT

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2006, 06:45:20 AM »
sorry..I'm not up on all the computer lingo, what does IMO mean?

Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2006, 06:56:43 AM »
in my oppinion
Just learn'n but pioneer at heart.
Sherri

Offline Gabriel Anast

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2006, 07:07:09 AM »
Try drinking raw cranberry juice... or, even better, try getting whole cranberries with the skin still on, and eating them. This is really great for all things UTI.

http://froogle.google.com/froogle?q=cranberries

Eat or drink a bunch of cranberries before your next test.

--gabe

Offline InEverything

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2006, 07:26:32 AM »
Before your next test you may want to apply some Lavender oil down there in case it is in the vaginal area
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Offline SC

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2006, 07:39:34 AM »
I had the same test when I was pregnant with my middle child. We were planning a home birth, so an IV was a complication we did not want or need. I started to take large doses of probiotics and cut out ALL SUGAR and REFINED CARBOHYDRATES. This meant that I didn't even eat fruit (because of the sugar), no honey, nothing with "natural sugars" or corn syrup on the label, etc. By refined carbohydrates, I mean that I ate no bread, crackers, cereal, white rice, etc. I did eat LOTS of leafy greens and protein (eggs, chicken, beef, etc.).

About 3 weeks before I delivered (my babies always come at 38 weeks), I came down with an AWFUL sinus infection requiring a round of antibiotics. My midwife did another test that came back negative for strep B. I believe that the combination of the probiotics with the treatment of the antibiotics were the key. We were in agreement with our midwife that the sinus infection was a blessing in disguise.

This condition is not treated as a serious threat by many Ob's because they know that they can prevent complications by using an IV during delivery. But for moms and dads that don't want to go that route, it is a serious complication.

For my next pregnancy, I made sure to use probiotics all through the pregnancy and stay away from sugar. Although, I did allow myself fresh fruit as I wasn't battling strep B, just preventing it. I agree with Gabe's recommendation about the cranberry juice as long as it is unsweetened.

The following information on Group B Strep is found on Medicinenet web site:

Group B Strep (GBS) are bacteria that live commonly in the intestinal and genital tracts of all persons. The bacteria has been found in as many as 10 to 25% of all pregnant women's vaginal area when cultures are obtained; those women with a positive vaginal culture can transmit the germ to the infant usually while the infant is still in utero, after the membranes are ruptured, or during the delivery. These babies have a 1/2% to 1% chance of contracting the early-onset type of infection. This risk of infection goes up in preterm infants (born less than 37 weeks gestational age), in infants born after the amniotic membranes have been ruptured for more than 18 hours, and in infants whose mothers had fever or evidence of infection of the uterus lining and/or urinary tract during the labor and delivery.

Bacterial infection in the newborn is a serious and potentially life- threatening event, as fever and obvious warning symptoms are often subtle or absent and because the newborn's infection-fighting immune system is far from fully mature. The early signs of newborn infection can be as subtle as poor feeding, lethargy, or poor temperature control. And in the present era of infants being discharged home in less than 24 hours, there is growing pressure to culture all women during pregnancy to determine who may be carrying GBS (without having symptoms themselves). Antibiotic treatment can be considered for the culture-positive women PRIOR TO DELIVERY. Also the knowledge of a culture-positive mother can allow the infant's doctor to be especially alert to early signs of problems and/or to watch the infant for an extra day or two. This bacterial infection of the newborn, once diagnosed, can be treated with aggressive antibiotics and supportive care of the infant in a Neonatal ICU, but the disease stills carries a rather significant mortality rate; prevention and early detection are critically important.


Finally, I would look back over any blood tests that you have had and check for any deficiencies. Then, I would look for whole food options that would supply my body with whatever it needed to be healthy. The baby will get what he or she needs, but if you aren't getting what you need, your system will become depleted and be less able to adjust to the demands being placed on it.

Because your test was done at 5 weeks, that gives you lots of time to try and attack this condition by natural means. I would go for it and pray for healing. A follow-up test can tell you how things are going. I'll be praying, too. Let us know how things turn out.
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Offline Mrs. JDT

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2006, 08:10:42 AM »
Does anyone have any advice on how to approach my midwife about getting another urine test and a vaginal swab culture at 35-37 weeks? When she saw the results of the initial urinalysis she told me that I was considered colonized and that they won't even do the swab/culture test on me at 35-37 weeks because they already know I have it. She is pretty adamant about the IV during labor because she said the levels in my urine were high. I'm afraid to ask her about it because I don't want to get into an argument or seem like I'm being fanatical. 
« Last Edit: July 28, 2006, 08:17:32 AM by Tokh5301 »

Offline nursegirl

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2006, 12:32:07 PM »
How far along are you now?  If it's going to be awhile until you're 35-37 weeks, I think I'd drop the issue for now.  Then, at about 32 or 33 weeks, at a routine checkup, you could say something that will come across non-threatening/non-questioning like, "I know I'm probably just being a little paranoid, but I really don't want IV antibiotics if I can help it.  Would you mind doing another test at my next visit to make sure I'm Group B positive?"  Unless your midwife is totally close-minded (and I don't think most of them are), she'd probably do it. 

I also wanted to mention that the problem is not having the bacteria in your urinary tract.  The problem is having it in the birth canal.  That's how a baby contracts it at birth.  Doing a clean-catch would probably negate the value of the test.  Also, in my experience, contamination in a specimen usually won't cause colony levels that high. 

Hope this helps!

Sarah

Offline Mrs. JDT

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2006, 08:59:28 AM »
Thanks, nursegirl, for the suggestion. That helps a lot. I am 32 weeks today, but my next appt with my midwife is not until I am 35 weeks. should I call her and ask her about the retest over the phone before my next appt? my other question is, should I also ask to have the vaginal swab test done as well as the urine test?
Since you said that contamination from the outside usually wouldn't cause colony levels that high, does that mean that I probably should have the IV? Sorry for this long list of questions..I'm just trying to sort all this stuff out.. :-\thanks so much

Offline a_new_creation

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #25 on: July 29, 2006, 12:03:04 PM »
I am 21 weeks pg w/ #3.  My previous dc were born at home w/ midwives who gave me a choice about being tested for GBS.  I declined the test.  This time my midwife really seems to think I should get tested.  I am OK w/ this but I have a question that I can't find the answer to online.

W/ my previous deliveries, my sac did not rupture until the pushing stage (and then it was done by the midwife).  IF I am GBS+, could the baby even get it if my water doesn't break until the very last minute?  I don't know if this labor will be the like the first 2, of course, but I seem to have tough sacs.  Anybody have any thoughts?  From what I've read your chances of passing on GBS are increased w/ prolonged ROM so I would think the opposite would be true as well.

Carla
Carla
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Offline boysmama

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #26 on: July 29, 2006, 12:25:40 PM »
Good question! I also need the answer to this one. My first pregnancy I opted not to test (this was with a midwife). The second pregnancy with a doctor we just couldn't get around the test  for GBS. The test returned positive so began a terrible round of antibiotics, including IV antibiotics at birth (a pain in the arm). Anyway I am now fighting candida overgrowth I believe is a direct consequence of getting into the antibiotic treadmill. I would tend to think your hypothesis is correct. It should be less of a problem....but
Has anyone heard of a antiseptic rinse they are using in Europe to counter GBS infections?
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Offline MissusLeata

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #27 on: July 29, 2006, 12:31:29 PM »
To my understanding, babies can pick up GBS in the birth canal, whether or not there was prolonged rupture of membranes. They say that it may even be possible that it can cross intact membranes. 

The test is not very invasive, just a vaginal swab (maybe a rectal culture also). If I were to only pick one or two of the normal tests to be done during pregnancy, this is one I would pick.

I've read that GBS is the leading cause of neonatal infection and death, and it is so preventable. My cousin lost one of her babies to it because her Dr. failed to ever mention the test to her.

If you test positive, standard treatment is simply antibiotics during labor.

Offline a_new_creation

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2006, 12:39:16 PM »
If you test positive, standard treatment is simply antibiotics during labor.

My midwife said she has a natural remedy including echinacea (I think) instead of the antibiotics.    Right now I am making sure I get extra doses of probiotics hoping I will just test negative and not have to deal w/ any of it! :)
Carla
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Offline MissusLeata

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Re: Group B Strep (GBS) in Pregnancy
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2006, 12:56:55 PM »

I'm also RH negative.  The shot won't prevent the blood from mixing, but it makes it so your body doesn't produce antiobodies to the babies' blood if they do happen to mix.  It's only a concern if the baby is RH POSITIVE.  Which is usually the case, if your hubby is positive.  The problem won't occur with the first pregnancy (necessarily) that the blood "mixes," but it's subsequent pregnancies you have to worry about.  I personally know of someone that has brain damage from having the blood transfusions as a newborn because their mother was RH negative.  Without the shot, the baby can have anemia, and sometimes so severely that it needs a complete transfusion.  The problem is that your bodies' reaction is worse each subsequent pregnancy.  (From what I understand).  Personally, I think the RH antibody shot is one of the best medical breakthroughs of our time.  I've never heard of any problems from it.  Could you point me to some sites where you got the info about mercury and blood contamination?  Thanks :)

I had a miscarriage last month and opted for the Rhogam shot. When I studied midwifery, they sort of did the scare tactic on us that it's a blood product and maybe not safe and all. But after losing a baby, the thought of losing others because of refusing a shot was just too much.

The statistics I read say that 10,000 babies died a year from hemolytic disease of the newborn (or whatever it's called when babies are born 'blue' because of blood incapatability) before the Rhogam shot was invented.

And if someone is woried about mercury in the shot, there is a brand called Rhogam ultra-filtered. I think it's made by Johnson and Johnson. It's advertised as mercury-free.