What Is Gbs In Pregnancy Symptoms
Group B strep infections can affect newborn babies and adults. Most pregnant women who are colonized by the bacteria have no symptoms. The infection can be spread to infants before or during birth. Signs and symptoms of GBS neonatal infection may include fever, breathing problems, seizures, lethargy, and poor feeding.
There Are Many Probiotics On The Market Which Ones Would I Want To Take If I Am Trying To Reduce Or Prevent Gbs Colonization During Pregnancy
Jarrow Formulas is one brand that has been clinically tested, and contains the strains that are believed to be most effective against GBS and other urogenital infections such as BV and UTI. It can be found in many pharmacies and is also available on Amazon There are a few different formulas, some with more strains and capsules that are vegetarian and non. Here are a couple different product examples.
How Is Group B Strep Found
Most women carrying GBS have no symptoms, so GBS is often found by chance through a vaginal or rectal swab test or a urine test.
The NHS does not routinely test all pregnant women for group B Strep.
Tests designed specifically to find GBS carriage, known as the Enriched Culture Medium test, are increasingly becoming available within the NHS and are widely available privately.
Since September 2017, the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists has recommended in their guideline on group B Strep that selected pregnant women should be offered the ECM test. Many maternity units still use a standard test that misses up to half of the women carrying group B Strep, so ask your health professionals what is available locally.
There are private home ECM testing kits for GBS carriage you can order.
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Is My Baby At Risk Of Gbs Infection
Early-onset GBS infection is more likely if:
- your baby is born prematurely the earlier your baby is born, the greater the risk
- you have had a baby before that had a GBS infection
- you had a high temperature or other signs of infection during labour
- your waters broke more than 24 hours before your baby is born
- you have had any positive urine or swab test for GBS in this pregnancy.
What Are The Symptoms
Many people carry GBS in their bodies but do not become ill. These people are considered to be “carriers.” People who carry GBS typically do so temporarily, they do not become lifelong carriers of the bacteria. Most pregnant women have no symptoms when they are carriers for group B strep bacteria. Group B strep can cause infections among the elderly, or bladder infections during pregnancy, or infections in the womb during labor or after delivery.
The symptoms for early-onset group B strep can seem like other problems in newborns. Some symptoms are fever, difficulty feeding, irritability, or lethargy . If you think your newborn is sick, get medical help right away. Three-fourths of the cases of GBS disease among newborns occur in the first week of life , and most of these cases are apparent a few hours after birth. Sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis are the most common problems.
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What To Do If You’re Worried
If you’re worried about group B strep, speak to your midwife or GP for advice.
Talk to them about the risks to your baby and ask their advice about whether to get tested.
Routine testing is not currently recommended and tests are rarely done on the NHS, but you can pay for one privately.
If I Am Having A Cesarean Delivery Do I Need To Be Treated For Gbs
If you tested positive for GBS and labor has not begun and/or your water has not broken, then you do not need to be treated for GBS during delivery. If you are GBS positive, labor has begun and/or your water has broken, most health care providers will still require you to be treated for GBS even if you are having a cesarean delivery.
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This Information Is For You If You Are Pregnant Or Trying To Conceive And Would Like To Try To Try To Prevent Or Reduce The Colonization Of Gbs And A Subsequent Positive Test The Possible Prevention Of Gbs And The Recommendation For Antibiotics Starts With Optimizing Your Vaginal Bacteria From The Get
Urogenital and gastrointestinal infections are often caused by an imbalance in good and bad bacteria. Certain infections such as UTI, BV , and GBS have been said to be caused by the decrease in, or depletion of the indigenous flora Lactobacilli. Studies have found that probiotic therapies containing Lactobacilli strongly inhibit the growth of GBS by increasing the acidity of the environment and that they may be effective in returning the vaginal flora microbiome to a healthy normal state. Another Study has shown Lactobacillus Salivarus greatly reduces the chance of GBS colonization. So adding that probiotic to your normal regimen of Lactobacillus Reuteri and Rhamnosus strains should be even more effective.
For more information on the benefits of avoiding IV antibiotics, Birthful has a podcast all about the microbiome. I highly recommend that everyone listen to this!!
What If I Test Positive For Gbs
If you test positive for GBS or have any of the above conditions, you will be treated with intravenous antibiotics when you go into labour, or if your water breaks early. Although it is rare, your baby will still be monitored closely for symptoms of an infection. An infection may show up in the first 7 days, or after that. The early-onset type of infection can be very serious, and this is why GBS-positive women are treated during labour. If your baby shows signs of GBS infection, he or she will be treated with antibiotics.
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In The United States:
In 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended universal screening for GBS at 35-37 weeks and in-labor antibiotics for all women who test positive.
These recommendations are supported by the:
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American Academy of Pediatrics
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Here’s How It Can Affect A Baby At Birth
GBS during pregnancy can be passed from a GBS positive mama to her baby during rare. According to the stats, it happend to 1-2 babies out of 100 when the mama doesn’t get antibiotics during labor. Treatment lowers the chances of your baby getting a GBS infection during birth.
Babies who get infected by GBS fall into one or two groups.
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Coping With A Positive Result For Group B Strep During Pregnancy
Mamas contact me often on LNM and ask what now?
I want to encourage you that your birth plan is not out the window when you find out you have group b strep during pregnancy. You can still have a beautiful and relatively intervention free birth. Just with a little accommodation.
Here are my tips:
What if I didn’t want an IV during labor?
If you plan to refuse the antibiotics then yes you can still have no IV. However, I recommend you ask for a saline lock. This means they start the IV but no IV fluids. However, every 4 hours they will hang the antibiotics and then disconnect.
What if I wanted to labor at home?
You can still labor at home even with group b strep during pregnancy. I recommend doubling the “go to hospital rule”. I teach my students in both my birth courses the following: FTM go to hospital when contractions are less than 4 minutes apart, each one lasting for 1 minute, and this occurs for 2 hours straight. Second or more baby, then I want you to wait until less than 5 minutes apart, lasting for 1 minute for one hour. If you are GBS + then double the less than rule.
What if my water breaks?
If you water breaks and you are GBS, let’s consider a few things.
Are you contracting? If not then you can stay at home for a while. If you are contracting then you may want to start timing and if they are getting regular and less that 10-15 min apart, head to the hospital.
How Do You Get Group B Strep
GBS bacteria naturally occur in areas of your body like your intestines and genital and urinary tracts. Adults cant get it from person-to-person contact or from sharing food or drinks with an infected person. Experts arent entirely sure why the bacteria spreads, but they know that its potentially harmful in babies and people with weakened immune systems.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Transmission Of Gbs To My Baby
Certain factors make it more likely that your baby will become infected with GBS, if you test positive for GBS. These include:
- Starting labour or rupture of membranes before 37 weeks gestation
- Your membranes rupture during labour at full term, and the labour it is likely to last more than 18 hours
- You have an unexplained, mild fever during labour
- You have previously had a baby with a GBS infection
- You have had GBS detected in your urine or have had a bladder infection caused by GBS
What Could Group B Strep Mean For My Baby
Many babies come into contact with group B Strep during labour, or around or after birth and the vast majority will not become ill.
However, there is a small chance that your newborn baby will develop group B Strep infection and become seriously ill, or even die, and this chance is increased if you are carrying GBS.
The infections that group B Strep most commonly causes in newborn babies are sepsis , pneumonia , and meningitis .
Around 1 in every 1750 babies in the UK and Ireland is diagnosed with early-onset group B Strep infection .
Around 1 in every 2700 babies in the UK and Ireland is diagnosed with late-onset group B Strep infection .
Although group B Strep infection can make your baby very unwell, with prompt treatment most babies will recover fully.
Of the babies who develop GBS infection, 1 in 19 will die from early-onset GBS infection and 1 in 13 from late-onset GBS infection. Of those who survive their GBS infection, 1 in 14 will have a long-term disability following early-onset GBS infection and 1 in 8 following late-onset GBS infection.
On average in the UK and Republic of Ireland, every month
- 66 babies are diagnosed with group B Strep infection
- 40 early-onset + 26 late-onset GBS infection
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Will I Be Tested For Group B Strep In Pregnancy
Testing for group B strep is not routinely offered to all pregnant women in the UK. Testing is usually only offered to women who had GBS in a previous pregnancy. It is sometimes found by chance when you have vaginal or rectal swabs or a urine test for other reasons.
Routine testing is a controversial issue in the UK, though it is widely available in most other high-income countries. The UK National Screening Committee does not recommend testing all pregnant women. This is because:
- Many women carry the bacteria and, in the majority of cases, their babies are born safely and without developing an infection.
- Screening women late in pregnancy cannot accurately predict which babies will develop GBS infection.
- No screening test is entirely accurate. For example, between 17% and 25% of women who have a positive swab at 3537 weeks of gestation will be GBS negative at delivery. And between 5% and 7% of women who are GBS negative at 3537 weeks of gestation will be GBS positive at delivery.
- Many of the babies who are severely affected from GBS infection are born prematurely, before the suggested time for screening.
- Giving antibiotics to all carriers of GBS would mean that a very large number of women would receive treatment they do not need. This could harmful mum and baby.
However, most high-income countries offer universal testing to pregnant women. A major research trial has recently been funded to establish what is the best approach for the UK.
Onset Of Group B Streptococcal Infection In Babies
The two types of GBS disease that affect babies include:
- early-onset the newborn shows signs of illness shortly after birth or within one to two days of birth. Early-onset GBS disease is the most common type
- late-onset infants show signs of illness one week to several months after birth. This form of GBS disease is comparatively rare. Only around half of all babies with late-onset GBS disease contract the illness from their infected mothers. For the remainder of cases, the source of infection is unknown.
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How Is Group B Strep Treated In Newborns
Despite the diagnosis and antibiotic therapy during labour, some newborns continue to get GBS infections. To check for GBS infection, medical professionals may take a sample of the infants blood or spinal fluid. If your infant has GBS, they will receive antibiotics intravenously.
During vaginal birth, mums can transmit the common bacteria GBS to their kids. While it doesnt happen often, the baby may face serious risks when it does.
Your doctor will test you for GBS in order to help shield your baby from any potential infections. You will be given antibiotics during childbirth if you test positive.
Dont hesitate to consult your gynaecologist about any tests you need to undergo or steps you need to take to prevent infections during pregnancy.
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How Does Group B Strep Affect A Newborn Baby
Babies may experience early or late-onset of GBS.The signs and symptoms of early-onset GBS include:
- Signs and symptoms occurring within hours of delivery
- Sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis, which are the most common complications
- Breathing problems
- Heart and blood pressure instability
- Gastrointestinal and kidney problems
Early-onset GBS occurs more frequently than late-onset. Intravenous antibiotics are used to treat mothers and newborns with early-onset GBS.The signs and symptoms of late-onset GBS include:
- Signs and symptoms occurring within a week or a few months of delivery
- Meningitis, which is the most common symptom
Late-onset GBS could have been passed during delivery, or the baby may have contracted it by coming in contact with someone who has GBS.
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How Can I Reduce My Risk Of Group B Strep
Anyone can get GBS. Some people are at higher risk due to certain medical conditions or age. The following factors increase your risk for having a baby born with group B strep:
- You tested positive for GBS.
- You develop a fever during labor.
- More than 18 hours pass between your water breaking and your baby being born.
- You have medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease or cancer.
Getting screened for GBS and taking antibiotics is the best way to protect your baby from infection.
What Does A Positive Gbs Results Mean
A positive GBS result means that you are carrying GBS – but carrying GBS isnt an problem for most people. If you test positive for GBS when you are pregnant, it does not necessarily mean that your baby will get a GBS infection, the vast majority of babies born to GBS positive parents do not develop infection. However, it is important to share this information with your pregnancy-care provider so they can offer treatment if needed.
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Misconceptions About Group B Strep
There are numerous misunderstandings about this infection. Below, we set the record straight:
- Don’t feel guilty about a positive test. You did not get it from anything you did.
- GBS is found in the human body, most commonly the intestinal and genital tracts. In healthy individuals, it typically does not cause illness.
- GBS is not a sexually transmitted infection, is not transmitted through sharing food or drinks, and you don’t get it through surface transmission.
- GBS is not passed through breastfeeding, so carriers can safely breastfeed their babies.
- GBS is a different bacteria than the one that causes strep throat .
- In adults with advanced age and/or chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, GBS can infect other parts of the body and make a person very sick. This is called GBS disease.
- It is unknown how GBS spreads from person to person.
- The bacteria is not always present and detectable in the body and may come and go. You may test positive in one pregnancy and negative in another.
- You cannot give GBS to your partner or your other children.