So last week my Doctor ran a screening test for Group B Streptococcus (GBS). This is done around week 35 and is done by taking a cotton swab and getting a culture, down there. Last week at my Doctor appointment they told me I was positive for this.
So let’s talk about Group B Streptococcus because as of a few days ago I had no idea what this was and why I was getting tested.
What is Group B Streptococcus (GBS)?
It is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum. This bacteria is normally found in about 25 % of all healthy, adult women. Group B strep colonization is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Most women have no idea they have this and it is not harmful to them at all.
If it is not harmful why do the test for it?
If you test positive for GBS this simply means that you are a carrier. A mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery and if the baby catches it can become very very ill. Early onset GBS is usually known within the first 24 hours and is the most severe. Late onset is usually found between 2 weeks and 3 months of the child’s birth and though will cause the child to be sick, is not as severe. Either way, the child will need to be treated immediately if sick.
So since you are positive for it will your baby catch it?
No, not necessarily. If properly treated it will greatly reduce the chances of your baby becoming ill. Some statistics say 1 in 2000 others say 1 in 4000. My Doctor just says it is very common and I shouldn’t worry :)
So how do they treat it?
During labor they will put the medicine directly into the IV to treat the mother and help protect the baby.
So how do you feel about this news?
Well obviously if I had my preference I would prefer to not be positive for this. However, I also know that this is fairly common and that the hospital knows what to do and will take all steps necessary to make sure that Henry is safe. Yes, there is always a possibility that the medicine doesn’t work and he gets really sick. But that is just like there is always a possibility that something else could happen during delivery or even after. It is the scary reality that is associated with having a child. For the most part, it is all out of my control and I cannot worry about it. I know when he is born, we will both worry a bit until we know he is healthy….I am sure that is common among all new parents! But at this point at least I know I am positive for it and there is something that can be done and that is all I can do right now.
So has anyone else been tested for this and diagnosed as positive for GBS? Thoughts on it?
I just wanted to talk about it because I was so unfamiliar with it. My mom had never heard of it and even women in the office didn’t know about it. Not sure if it is something new they started testing for in the last 5-10 years or what. It just got me curious!