Group B-Strep Infection and How To Get Rid of It

Group B-Strep Infection

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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.

Don’t forget to check out our best picks for prenatal vitamins!

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:

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?

Protecting Your Baby From Group B Strep Infection Parenthoodbliss

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.

Late-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.

Group B-Strep Infection FAQs:

1) How serious is Group B Strep GBS ?

GBS infection can cause bladder and uterine infections in a mother. On the other hand, is a serious case, Group B Strep could cause meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, or even stillbirth.

2) If I test positive for GBS, does it mean the baby will get it too ?

No, it doesn't. There are only 1 out of every 200 babies who are born to carrier mothers with GBS, who become ill. Nonetheless, there are certain symptoms that could put a mother at a higher risk, to know them, refer to the article above.

3) What can I do to prevent my baby from getting GBS disease ?

The best recommendation is to give your baby- Intravenous antibiotics through IV during delivery in order to reduce the chances of getting the baby sick. Additionally, it is recommended that antibiotics that are given as soon as the labor begins and every four hours during active labor until the baby is delivered can also prevent the transmission of the GBS.

4) Do I need to get treated for GBS if I'm having a cesarean delivery ?

If you are GBS positive and labor has begun with the water broken, your doctor will still require you to be treated for GBS. This is true if you're having a cesarean delivery too.

5) If I had a positive Group B strep culture done early in pregnancy, is there a chance to be tested positive again ?

According to the CDC, they state that if a woman has a positive culture during the current pregnancy, there is no need to be re-screened. It will automatically need to be treated using antibiotics during labor.

6) Is GBS infection related to strep throat ?

No, GBS infection and strep throat are not related.

7) Can a woman who tests positive take oral antibiotics before delivery ?

Taking oral antibiotics during the pregnancy may decrease the amount of GBS for a short time, but does not eliminate the bacteria completely. Adding on, oral antibiotics also do not leave the baby unprotected at birth. However, it is often too late to treat the baby with antibiotics to prevent illness if they are at high risk of contracting GBS.

8) Are antibiotics safe for the baby ?

Penicillin is a common antibiotic that is used during pregnancy in non-allergic patients. For those who are allergic, there are substitute drugs to penicillin, but they may cause an allergic reaction for a few women. This is why it is best to discuss the pros and cons of taking antibiotics with your health care provider as they will help you make the right decision with respect to your health.

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