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Know All About Group B Strep During Pregnancy

by | January 6, 2019

Toward the end of the third trimester of my first pregnancy, I got a big fright. I had tested positive for the bacteria, Group B Strep (GBS). I had no idea what this was or how it would affect my baby. I was worried that maybe it was some kind of sexually transmitted disease, but my healthcare provider soon put my mind at ease. She told me that it’s a very common bacteria that’s found in the rectum or cervix of women. Although it can cause meningitis in newborns, it is very easily prevented with a dose of antibiotics administered intravenously during labor. I was given intravenous antibiotics during labor, and went on to have a healthy baby boy. I was also treated for group B strep during my next two deliveries.

Know All About Group B Strep During Pregnancy
By Leandro Felipe Santiago/shutterstock

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Know All About Group B Strep During Pregnancy

A lot of healthy people carry Group B Strep bacteria in their bodies. Strep bacteria is not a sexually transmitted disease. You may carry this bacteria for just a short time, it could go away and come back, or you may always have it.

Group B Strep can be spread to a baby during a vaginal delivery.

People with chronic health conditions can develop a more serious infection from Group B bacteria, although the reason for this happening in some people and not others, is not yet known.

According to the CDC, these are the facts on Group B Strep. It happens to be the leading cause of meningitis in newborns. Around one quarter of pregnant women test positive for it. But such diseases can be prevented by administering intravenous antibiotics during labor.

If a pregnant woman who tested positive for group B strep gets antibiotics during labor, the chances of her baby developing group B strep disease will be 1 out of 4,000, whereas a woman with group B strep who does not get treatment, the chances are 1 out of 200.

As always, please speak with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about the health of you and your baby.

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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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Comments

2 Responses to “Know All About Group B Strep During Pregnancy”

  1. Clara Sais
    January 7th, 2019 @ 6:39 am

    Thank you for posting this. I and my daughter had Strep B when she was born and we were in hospital for 6 days. I did not know anything about it until this happened and I wish I had. It was a scary time. I’ve vlogged about it here too

  2. KATHY OBRIEN
    January 11th, 2019 @ 4:32 pm

    women with gbs refusing ALL vag checks and have no epidural, rate decreased dramatically.

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