Group B Strep - Republic, MO

Updated on January 02, 2009
A.W. asks from Republic, MO
32 answers

I am 36 weeks pregnant and just found out that I tested positive for Group B Strep. I have tried to educate myself through various literature about risks to my newborn, but I thought I'd go straight to the experts....you. Anyone else tested positive? What was the outcome? It's my understanding you are given antibiotics through IV as soon as you go into labor, however, what if baby still comes out with the infection? I hate to be a pessimist, but I just want to be fully prepared. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks!

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A.B.

answers from Fayetteville on

I personally didn't have this but my sister did, as well as 2 friends and it was no big deal at all-they got the antibiotic and they're kids were perfectly fine. As I understand, the Group B Strep was treated as a routine thing that, as long as it was handles with the antibiotics, was not really a big deal at all. I'm Rh Negative and that can have devastating consequences if not handled with the proper tests and shots but its quite simple to "fix" also. Congrats and good luck!

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S.S.

answers from Columbia on

I tested positive with my son who is 5 now! I got to the hospital 40 min. before he was born and they did NOT have time to get the meds in me before he came out - He was fine no infection - NOTHING wrong - so don't worry to much about it!

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K.G.

answers from St. Louis on

I had it with both my deliveries, the last being only three months ago! Both my boys are healthy and active.
When I received my IV with my first, they put a bag of antibiotics on right away. My labor the second time around was much quicker, and they injected a syringe of antibiotics into the IV valve close to my body so it would all get in my bloodstream sooner. When the baby arrives, they will take its Apgar score (how the baby looks, the baby's responses, etc) at about one minute of age and again at five or ten minutes of age, and when they do that test, if something is wrong, they will be able to catch it right away. But with the antibiotics, the chances of something being wrong because of group B strep are slim.
I understand about being nervous about it. With my first one, I was nervous about everything! But trust me, this is one thing that you should not be nervous about.

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R.L.

answers from St. Louis on

Dear A.,
I know this is easy for me to say, but try not to worry. I too had a Group B Strep baby 15 years ago. Back then, there was no testing. I went into labor having no clue what was about to happen. It was a scary time, and my daughter did have to spend a week in the hospital, but she is fine. Now they know exactly what they're dealing with before the babies are even born. They will be completely on top of it. The chances of your baby having any problems are very slim. Try to relax and not worry about it. Consider yourself fortunate that the doctor knows about this and knows exactly what to do.

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K.E.

answers from Kansas City on

A., I tested positive with both of my kids. I was planned induced both time. They wanted me there the night before to start the antibiotics. My second baby decided she was coming 3 weeks early. They still gave me the antibiotics when I got to the hospital and the gave birth live normal..13 hours later...and both babies were fine. You will be fine! Congrats!

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S.C.

answers from St. Louis on

hi my names sammantha i had the same thing its just an iv and it doesnt affect the baby at all its comman for pregnant woman to have it.if u have anymore questions please ask

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C.M.

answers from St. Louis on

I was the same way, and so was one of my friends. As long as you have the antibootics you'll be fine.

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S.D.

answers from Topeka on

I haven't tested positive with either one of my kids and I have yet to get tested with my 3rd due in March to my understanding the Antibotiocs they give you are safe and won't infect the baby.If you think you are in labor without your water breaking head to the [email protected]____.com and they'll check you to make sure your not and start on the medicine right away

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K.W.

answers from Kansas City on

I had it with my third child and I would just make sure that they don't use a penicillin form of antibiotic. I had taken other forms of penicillin before without issue, so I didn't think I was allergic, but I reacted to the IV. I couldn't swallow, and they weren't sure what was causing it, so they removed my epidural, which slowed down my labor big-time, as well as making it more painful, all without alleviating the swallowing-thing. Finally they figured it out, but they said, "from now on, tell doctors you're allergic to penicillin." What a time to find out!!! Good luck.

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R.H.

answers from Kansas City on

If you test positive and don't know and deliver, it's not 100% you will harm the baby. Just a chance. If you do the antibiotics, you are moving that percentage waaaaay down. Nothing is 100% but I have yet to see anyone who had Group B with the antibiotics deliver anything but a healthy baby. Including me. I had it with both my babies and had the antibiotics and both babies were not harmed.

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R.H.

answers from St. Louis on

I tested positive with it and the literature that I found said that less than 1% of babies actually get the infection from the mother if the mother is given antibiotics during labor and birth. And, to set your mind a little more at ease, the same article said that even if you go into labor and are not able to get to antibiotics before delivery, your baby has less than a 5% chance of getting the infection. The infection can be pretty bad for the infant if they were to get the infection, but I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your doctor knows what to look for and can act quickly if your baby were to get the infection during labor. From what I remember from my doctor was that your baby is protected from getting the infection until they are coming down the birthing canal. So, if you end up having to have a C-section, you won't have to worry at all. I was fortunate enough to have 2 successful vaginal deliveries and neither of my babies got the infection, and I accidentally cut it close with my second child. I was induced with my first baby and didn't feel any contractions or anything because my water broke early and I was able to get the epidural before feeling any labor pains. With my second, I thought that I was just feeling tired and icky due to how big I was getting and being stuck in the hot July sun. After 3 days of feeling that way and having my 2nd being very active, my husband convinced me to call the doctor and he met me at the hospital. When I got there, I was 7 cm dilated, fully effaced, and had my son 6 hours later, still didn't experience the really bad, doubling over contractions that I see on the movies. With all of that being said, I hope that you have a wonderful, relatively painless, labor and delivery. Don't worry about the B Strep, it will all be just fine.

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A.D.

answers from Kansas City on

A.,
You got a lot of responses, but I thought I'd still respond to try to help you put your fears to rest. GBS (Group B Strep) is a bacteria that many women carry in their vagina all their lives. It usually doesn't cause any problems or symptoms and most would never know about it unless it was specifically checked for during pregnancy (which is now routine). It is not the same as the Strep that causes strep throat, by the way.
Ok, so onto pregnancy. They check for it in order to prevent passing the bacteria to the baby as it passes thru the birth canal. It can cause complications such as pneumonia in the baby, which can be mild or quite serious.
That being said, even without antibiotics during delivery, the chance of passing on the infection is low...but is possible...so why take the chance if the antibiotics are available? (What I'm basically saying is, if you were to decide on a homebirth or delivered early on the interstate on your way to the hospital, chances are the baby would be ok). BUT even many midwives will use the antibiotics prior to deliver in a GBS + woman as it has been shown to be VERY effective in preventing the infection of the baby. The idea is not to "cure" or "irradicate" the bacteria during the doses of predelivery antibiotics, but to decrease the bacterial load therefore minimizing the exposure of the baby to the bacteria. The antibiotics are especially important if your water breaks and you have not delivered within 24 hours, so if your water breaks, be sure to call your doc right away.
Your next question of, "What if the baby still gets infected?"...well then, they'll keep a close eye on the baby after it's born (as they should do anyway) checking temps and whatnot, and if there is any concern about infection they'll give the baby antibiotics after the birth.
Many many women will be GBS +, very few have any complications due to it now that the antibiotics are available.
Enjoy this pregnancy and try your best to relax about it...it is common as you can see from all the posts. You have enough to keep your mind busy with a toddler and a baby on the way!
Hope this helps!

M.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Hello. My friend had it and everything turned out fine. She had two babies with it. I dont think its anything you should be worried about. Your doctor will be prepared for it. Good luck and congrats on baby!

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S.H.

answers from Wichita on

I had strep strain B when I was preggo. I wasnt as far along as you are but they did put me on antibiotics and I was fine and so was my daughter. I get strep all the time, so when I got it after she was born, I was concerned that she would get it too. The doctor told me not to worry, that kids under 2 rarely ever get strep! That was a relief and no she didnt get it. She did get cold like symptoms but that was it and it was mild. If youre still worried call the doctor. They are more than willing to answer any questions or concerns that the expectant mom has! Hope this helps!

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M.S.

answers from Lawrence on

Be thankful you tested positive! At least this way you will get the antibiotic. With my first son I tested negative and ended up positive during labor and our little guy was exposed and infected. The ped. caught it immediately and began him with antibiotic and blood count checks 3 times a day or so. While everything turned out okay it was definitely scary and caused a longer hospital stay. When I was pregnant the second time they didn't even test me they just knew to treat me regardless. I was induced as they wanted to get a couple rounds of antibiotics in me before I started to labor. The second time was much better and I was able to hold my little guy instead of him being wisked away. So while it may seem scary to test positive it is much better than developing it later undetected.

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L.K.

answers from Kansas City on

yeah, I had it with my son. they give you an IV antibiotic
at the start of your labor and that is pretty much it. my
son was born with no complications and no illness and to be
honest that was probably the most un-memorable part of his
birth. after treatment of the mother it is very unlikely
that the baby would be born with the infection, but I do
know that untreated it can be very dangerous for your little
one. don't worry about this-your doctors are on top of it
and you and your baby will be fine.

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N.R.

answers from Kansas City on

I have tested Positive on 4 out of my 5 deliveries, and he gave me the antibiotic with the 5th one, anyway.
If you are prone to Yeast infections, you will probably test positive at some point.

It is not a big thing. When you get your IV, they put in one round of Antibiotics,(a tiny little liquid sack along with your other fluids) before they start active Labor and Delivery. It is a safe thing to have, no matter if you test positive or not. With the antibiotic present, it makes the birth healthier/cleaner/safer for your little one. An elementary example would be- Having everything covered with GERM-X just in case, before you enter a new world-room.
Don't worry about silly things like this, stress can cause so many other things to happen, just RELAX, and eat another great big juicy cheeseburger, it will be your last one in a long time, with normal-non-fat cheese on it!

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L.B.

answers from Knoxville on

Good morning, A.! Like many of the others have said, it is not an uncommon thing. I tested positive with both pregnancies. I was able to receive the two rounds of IV antibiotics each time and thankfully, both kids were fine. They kept us in the hosp. an extra day just to observe the baby, but everything was fine.

Best wishes to you!

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J.A.

answers from Wichita on

A., my daughter tested positive during both of her pregnancies and they did start IV antibiotics during each of her labors when she arrived at the hospital. They made her stay in the hospital an extra day with both just to make sure the babies were fine. And, they both were just fine. I think you will be just fine, as well! Good luck and congrats!

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J.N.

answers from Wichita on

Good morning A.,

I tested positive for both of my pregnancies. They gave me 2 rounds of antibiotics with my first and she was fine. My second they tried to get 2 rounds in, but I only received 1 1/2 rounds since my labor was much faster. They did do a blood culture on my son for precautionary measures, but he was fine. The main thing is the antibiotics, and your doctor will take care of that. My doctor said a lot of women carry GBS and do not know it until they have a baby, so it is not uncommon.

Best wishes, and Congrats!!!

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F.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Through all the research I have done, and through having 6 additional children after my first, that Group B strep test is more of opening a can of worms than it is of any danger. Group B strep is only a problem if a premature baby is born vaginally (which usually isn't the case anymore, and if the baby is that premature, you haven't been tested yet). Also, the test can be negative if you have it redone. Group B strep is a larger danger when your waters have been broken for DAYS or over a week(not just 24 hours). It is a danger if you have multiple vaginal checks (especially when the waters are broke), or internal monitoring where the germ can go back inside. If you homebirth or have very little if any interventions, Group B strep is not a problem at all. If it is going to be a problem, there is no preventing it, and babies that are born by csection (that are babies at risk or sick) can even contract it. Now how is that? I have a friend that had a baby that died of it, but he was born by csection 2 weeks early, and had a heart that was too small, aka a sick baby. It is so rare that not having the test probably puts you at less risk (as you are less likely to allow other unnecassary interventions) of it being a problem.

So, I would say that you can go one of two ways. Do everything the drs suggest, including IV ABx, and all the other bells and whistles, if that makes you feel safer. IMO that isn't the safest idea. Or, talk to a midwife (or get one to deliver you at home or hospital), and see what she would do for it. A good one would shrug it off if you remain low risk. If you choose to ignore the positive test (or get retested so it comes out negative before birth), then I would highly suggest that you wait until the last minute to go in. Do NOT let them rupture your membranes and let nature take its course as naturally as you possibly can. And relax.

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J.

answers from Kansas City on

I tested positive. With my first they said they wanted to get two rounds of antibiotics in however I have an incerdibly fast labor so we got one. They were not concerned, they seemed confident that it was enough. He was totally fine and did not get it. They will watch your baby through their normal assessments, I think they do the antibiotics to avoid testing of the baby. I think the percentage is low for how many babies get infected. (the info I have may be outdated as my oldest is 5)

With my second I was induced as I went so fast with the first they didn't want to risk it.

I would encourage you to talk to your DR about your concerns as they can probably give facts so your fears as lessened.

Have a great day.

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G.M.

answers from Kansas City on

My son had Group B strep when he was born they keep him in the hospital for about 5-7 day for antibiotics and he was fine after that. I had two other children after him and was treated before they were born and they did not have Group B strep. Good luck on your baby!

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S.T.

answers from Kansas City on

I was positive for it with my first baby and they just gave me antibiotics during labor so it wouldn't pass onto the baby. I didn't have it with my second pregnancy so I really don't know how it plays out with each pregnancy buy I do know some who had it and didn't get the antibiotic and thier baby got it and was very sick just talkt to your doctor about it.

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T.R.

answers from St. Louis on

This is very normal. With my first, they tested me and I was positive. With the second, they didn't even test me, just went ahead and treated it.

There is really nothing to it. You may experience some burning around where the IV goes in...but they can adjust the flow of the medication and that should go away. So, if you do...just let them know right away.

Both kids turned out perfect.

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P.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Dear A.,
I had a high-risk pregnancy (daughter had to have immediate surgery and we knew in advance) and they had already tried to induce and failed. I went in again -- false labor -- 2 days before the real thing and was diagnosed with Strep B. From what I remember, they started me on meds then (this was 15 yrs ago, but I am 99% sure they started me then). I gave birth vaginally 3-1/2 days later and I was never told daughter got it, so I assume she did not. However, she was on massive antibiotics due to her surgery....so.... I just realized maybe this isn't much help at all!
But it is great that they know now, so they can treat early. If I were you, I'd ask if there is a reason they are not starting now. Again, I'm not sure but I thought they gave me oral meds right away. Maybe things are different now.
God bless!

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S.M.

answers from Kansas City on

That's the reason why they give you a antibiotic when you go into labor as it will prevent the baby from getting the strep virus. I watch alot of Birth Day on cable tv. I find it pretty neat even though I won't ever be having anymore of my own but in the future I am hoping to be a grandma.

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B.S.

answers from Kansas City on

I was GBS+ with both girls and had no problems whatsoever. I just got IV drugs with both of them and that was that. As long as you're able to hold off delivering until you've had the drugs for about 5 (?) hours, the chance of them being infected are very, very low. GBS is actually very common and honestly, nothing I was ever too concerned about. For me, it helped ease my mind knowing I was going to be induced so I could ensure I'd get the antibiotics in enough time.

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T.P.

answers from Springfield on

A.,

I tested positive with our youngest son. I was a little freaked out just like you. My first piece of advice would be...don't read the scary stories on the internet, listen to your doctor or caregiver. My doctor decided to induce me, but not because of the GBS. My BP was creeping up, so I had the advantage of having antibiotics prior to my water breaking and labor becoming active. I know one person responded that they refused the antibiotics, but for me, that wasn't an option in my mind. Why take the chance? My precious baby was perfect without any problems, so don't stress out, try to enjoy it.

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D.R.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi...
I had it with my first and was given the antibiotics when starting labor. My daughter is fine. It's my understanding tat without the antibiotics the baby WILL get the infection and with the antibiotics they will not. It's basically a preventative measure.

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K.D.

answers from St. Louis on

I just had my first a year ago and I tested poitive for B Strep. They gave me antibiotics during labor and they said they would keep us 48 hours just to be safe. He was doing so well they sent us home in alittle over 24 hrs. There has been no problems at all.

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L.G.

answers from Kansas City on

I tested GBS positive with my last 2 pregnancies. I had the antibiotics during labor, both babies(3 yrs old, 1 yr. old ) were fine and still are. I was and am still nervous when one of them gets sick, thinking it may be a late onset of the infection. But I think people make you worry more than what is probably necessary. I know I found in my research that it is rare for anything bad to happen.
I hope you have a wonderful last 4 weeks of being pregnant and enjoy your new little one soon.
L.

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