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Also known as Group B-Strep Infection (GBS), it is a type of bacterial infection found in the vagina or rectum of a pregnant woman. As per reports, these are normally found in about 25% of all healthy adult women and can be passed from the mother during delivery.
As per sources, GBS infection can affect 1 in every 2,000 babies in the United States, however, not every baby born to a mother tested positive for GBS gets ill. Given the fact that GBS infection is rare in pregnant women, it does not give us the freedom to completely ignore it as if affected, the outcome could be severe. Physicians have regular prenatal care routines to follow including testing as a routine part of prenatal care.
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To help you further, we at Parenthood bliss have curated this article that includes everything and more about group b streptococcus. So, let’s get
How Did I Get Group B Strep Infection?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend routine screening for vaginal strep B for all pregnant women. The screening is generally performed anywhere between the 35th week of pregnancy and the 37th week of pregnancy.
The test involves a test swab for both the vagina and the rectum which is taken to a lab to analyze the culture for any presence of GBS. To know about the Group B Strep infection test results, you’ll need to wait for about 24 to 48 hours.
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that all those who have risk factors before getting screened for GBS (for instance, pregnant women who have preterm labor beginning before completing 37 gestational weeks) be treated with IV antibiotics or until the GBS is established.
How Do You Get Group B Strep?
Group B strep isn’t a sexually transmitted disease (STD) but is caused by a bacteria that lives in the intestines, vagina, or rectum of a woman. Approximately 25% of all healthy women are known to carry Group B strep bacteria.
In most cases, it has been reported that women do not get any symptoms indicating the presence of GBS bacteria. Then how to prevent Group B Strep GBS? Let’s find that out in the following session!
Group B Strep Symptoms
If you test group b strep positive Streptococcus GBS it signifies and/or simply means you are a carrier. Haven said that you must know that not every carrier is prone to transmit the B Streptococcus Group to their baby or make them ill.
As per studies, there are only approximately 1 out of every 200 babies who are born from mothers carrying GBS and not treated with antibiotics during labor to prevent the development of signs and symptoms of GBS.
Listed below are the group b strep symptoms that may indicate a risk of delivering a baby with GBS disease:
- If you face labor or rupture of membranes anytime before 37 weeks
- Rupture of membranes 18 hours or before delivery
- Fever during labor
- A urinary tract infection due to GBS during your pregnancy
- Pregnancy before GBS
Given the situation, your healthcare provider will want to use antibiotics to protect the baby from contracting GBS during delivery.
As per CDC, if you test GBS infection positive with no high risk, the chances of delivering a baby with GBS are:
- 1 in 200 if the antibiotics aren’t given
- 1 in 4000 if antibiotics given
Protecting Your Baby From Group B Strep Infection?
In case a to-be mother tests Group B Strep positive and meets the high-risk criteria, your doctor would then recommend antibiotics through an IV at the time of delivery to prevent your baby from getting ill. These antibiotics decrease the chances of the baby developing any early-onset of Group B Strep infection.
For carriers of the Group B Strep infection, the antibiotics given before labor begins aren’t effective in order to prevent the transmission of Group B Strep bacteria. This is because they naturally exist in the gastrointestinal tract, the GBS disease bacteria could return even after taking antibiotics.
This means, there are chances that a woman could test positive in a few incidents and negative in others. This is the reason why all pregnant women must be tested for GBS disease between 35 to 37 weeks of every pregnancy.
Group B Strep treatment: How Does It Affect A Newborn Baby?
There are a few chances for a carrier to transmit GBS infection to their babies early-onset or late-onset. GBS, in either case, involves a few signs and symptoms as follows:
Early On-Set GBS:
- The signs and symptoms occur within hours of delivery
- Common complications include – sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis
- Breathing discomfort
- Instability of the heart and blood pressure
- Gastrointestinal and kidney problems
Note – Early-onset GBS generally occurs more frequently as compared to the late-onset. Intravenous antibiotics are used to help treat mothers and newborns who experience early-onset GBS.
- The signs and symptoms occur within a week or a few months of delivery
- Common symptoms include meningitis
Note – The late-onset GBS as compared to the early onset GBS can be passed during delivery, or can be contracted with the baby coming in contact with someone who has GBS.