A Answers (3)
The best way to protect your baby from group B strep is to be tested near the end of your pregnancy to see if you are a carrier of the bacteria. If you do carry the bacteria, then being treated with antibiotics during labor significantly reduces the chance of your baby being infected during birth.
Ask your doctor for a group B strep (GBS) test when you are 35 to 37 weeks pregnant. The test is an easy swab of the vagina and rectum that should not hurt.
Each time you are pregnant, you need to be tested for GBS. It doesn't matter if you did or did not have this type of bacteria before -- each pregnancy is different. The only time you don't need the test and will automatically be recommended antibiotics during labor is if you've delivered a previous baby with early-onset GBS disease, or if the bacteria were found in your urine at any time during this pregnancy.
Finding the GBS bacteria does not mean that you are not clean, and it does not mean that you have a sexually transmitted disease. The bacteria are not spread from food, sex, water, or anything that you might have come into contact with. They can come and go naturally in the body.
The medicine to stop GBS from spreading to your baby is an antibiotic given during labor. The antibiotic (usually penicillin) is given to you through an IV (in the vein) during childbirth. If you are allergic to penicillin, there are still other choices to help treat you during labor.
It does not work to take antibiotics for GBS before labor. The bacteria can grow back so fast that taking the medicine before you begin labor does not prevent the bacteria from spreading to your baby during childbirth.
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Intermountain Healthcare answeredTo protect against group B streptococcus (GBS) risk, your baby will need special treatment and care in any of these circumstances:
- Your GBS swab test shows that you have GBS
- You've previously had a baby who developed GBS infection after birth
- During this pregnancy, you've had a UTI (urinary tract infection) caused by GBS
- The labor is preterm (at less than 37 weeks gestation) and there are no results from a GBS swab test