Group B Streptococcus

10 Replies
Michelle - October 27

Hello, I am 20 wks pregnant and had been tested positive for Group B Streptococcus. I have since the begining of my pregnancy been taking anti-biotics (5 diff types now), and at last the doctor is happy with the levels now. Initially I tested very high (100,000.00) and now it is still there, but lower (10,00.00). My doc says that I don' t need any more treatment at the moment, but just before I give birth they will test again, and might decide I need more anti-biotics. My question is, is there anyone else out there in the same position as me? or does anyone have any experience of this who can advise / help me? The doc is happy now, but to be honest I do worry about taking all of the anti-biotics in the first place, although I know it had to be done as the risk to the baby was so high if I never took the pills to treat it. thank you for reading my post, look forward to any comments. (my last visit to the doc was last Monday, and the baby was doing fine)


Erin - October 28

There are many antibiotics that are fine to take in pregnancy, and I'm sure your doctor has given you one of those. Don't worry, lots of women are positive for strep B, and the only treament most recieve (which is vital), is antibiotics durind labor. I had premature rupture of the membranes at 35 weeks while living in London 10 years ago. They did not test for strep B there then (don't know about now). I had it but had no treatment. My little girl was fine, she did not have strep B, but we didn't know that for two days.... Strep B can cause premature repture of the antibiotics will prevent that. Really, this is a common condition. If you get antibiotics treatment during labor, you and baby will be just fine.


Carla - October 29

I have a happy, healthy 7 year old girl. When I was pregnant with her I tested positive for group B, the gave her inj antibiotics for 2 days after birth as a precaution. She has never had any problems, so rest a__sured that if you follow your doctors advice everything will be fine! Best of luck!


Elisha - October 29

I'm dealing with the same thing, only I am not feeling confident with my doctor. I'm 19 weeks pregnant. When I went for my first OB appointment in Sept., I gave a clean urine sample to be cultured. When I went for my next appointment, the doctor did not have results for it, so she ordered another, which I gave on 10/4. The results were read when I returned on 10/19 for my visit. At that time, the doctor said my urine was positive for strep B. Not knowing what that meant, I just said ok, had the prescription filled, and began the medicine. I just finished my last dose yesterday. In the meantime, I have been reading about Strep B on the internet and I am concerned about the delay in treatment. I am not scheduled to return to my doctor until 11/15. Is it ok to wait until then to see if the infection has vacated? I am also wondering if my doctor is competent, having lost the initial results and having waited 15 days to read the results of the second culture. Should I be looking for a new Ob? I have tried all week to reach my doctor to discuss these questions and to find out if I could get a flu shot while taking penicillin. The only response I received was a message on my cell phone saying that as long as I was taking penicillin for strep THROAT I shouldn't worry about getting a flu shot. Is she kidding? It had only been 9 days since she prescribed the penicillin for STREP B.


Amanda - October 29

I too tested positive for strep b at my first doctors appointment. It was found in my urine as well. I found out at 12 weeks that I had it and I was never prescribed an anitbiotic to take for it at all. I have read if it is found in your urine you should be given a prescription and then have an IV while in labor. But my doctor did not feel it was necessary to prescribe the anitbiotic now. I am not 32 weeks pregnant and the baby is perfect and is a healthy little boy. The doctor actually said he is measuring big which is good to hear. Trust your doctors they know more about this stuff than we do and they do see a lot of patients and things happen. I would not worry you and your baby will be perfect.


Michelle - October 29

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences, your comments and your thoughts. It is very rea__suring to know that it happens more than I thought, thank you again for making me feel not so worred about all of this. But, I don't know if it is that I live in a different place and each doctor tests things differently, but they didn't test it in my urine like some of you mentioned, they actually tested me inside by taking a sample, but either-way, they found it, treated it and now my levels are better than they were at the start so that must be a good thing. It is so reasuring to hear that many people have this, and take the medication, and then the little ones are ok at the end. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. x


trinity - November 6

I had a girl born with the infection- educate yourself...Here is the centers for disease contrls recomendations..from this website.. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a type of bacteria that causes illness in newborn babies, pregnant women, the elderly, and adults with other illnesses, such as diabetes or liver disease. Group B strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns. I. Newborns and Group B Strep II. Pregnancy And Group B Strep Prevention III. More About Group B Strep Newborns and Group B Strep How common is group B strep disease in newborns? Group B strep is the most common cause of sepsis (blood infection) and meningitis (infection of the fluid and lining around the brain) in newborns. Group B strep is a frequent cause of newborn pneumonia and is more common than other, more well-known, newborn problems such as rubella, congenital syphilis, and spina bifida. In the year 2001, there were about 1,700 babies in the U.S. less than one week old who got early-onset group B strep disease. More detailed information about group B strep disease rates can be found at How does group B strep disease affect newborns? About half of the cases of group B strep disease among newborns happen in the first week of life ("early-onset disease"), and most of these cases start a few hours after birth. Sepsis, pneumonia (infection in the lungs), and meningitis (infection of the fluid and lining around the brain) are the most common problems. Premature babies are more at risk of getting a group B strep infection, but most babies who become sick from group B strep are full-term. Group B strep disease may also develop in infants one week to several months after birth ("late-onset disease"). Meningitis is more common with late-onset group B strep disease. Only about half of late-onset group B strep disease among newborns comes from a mother who is a group B strep carrier; the source of infection for others with late-onset group B strep disease can be hard to figure out. Late-onset disease is slightly less common than early-onset disease. Can group B strep disease among newborns be prevented? Yes! Most early-onset group B strep disease in newborns can be prevented by giving pregnant women antibiotics (medicine) through the vein (IV) during labor. Antibiotics help to kill some of the strep bacteria that are dangerous to the baby during birth. The antibiotics help during labor only —they can’t be taken before labor, because the bacteria can grow back quickly. Any pregnant woman who had a baby with group B strep disease in the past, or who now has a bladder (urinary tract) infection caused by group B strep should receive antibiotics during labor. Pregnant women who carry group B strep (test positive during this pregnancy) should be given antibiotics at the time of labor or when their water breaks. What are the symptoms of group B strep in a newborn? The symptoms for early-onset group B strep can seem like other problems in newborns. Some symptoms are fever, difficulty feeding, irritability, or lethargy (limpness or hard to wake up the baby). If you think your newborn is sick, get medical help right away. How is group B strep disease diagnosed and treated in babies? If a mother received antibiotics for group B strep during labor, the baby will be observed to see if he or she should get extra testing or treatment. See the newborn management section of the CDC’s revised prevention guidelines to learn more. If the doctors suspect that a baby has group B strep infection, they will take a sample of the baby’s sterile body fluids, such as blood or spinal fluid. Group B strep disease is diagnosed when the bacteria are grown from cultures of those fluids. Cultures take a few days to grow. Group B strep infections in both newborns and adults are usually treated with antibiotics (e.g., penicillin or ampicillin) given through a vein (IV). Pregnancy And Group B Strep Prevention How will I know if I need antibiotics to prevent pa__sing group B strep to my baby? You should get a screening test late in pregnancy to see if you carry group B strep. If your test comes back positive, you should get antibiotics through the vein (IV) during labor. If you had a previous baby who got sick with group B strep disease, or if you had a urinary tract infection (bladder infection) during this pregnancy caused by group B strep, you also need to get antibiotics through the vein (IV) when your labor starts. How do you find out if you carry group B strep during pregnancy? CDC’s revised guidelines recommend that a pregnant woman be tested for group B strep in her v____a and rectum when she is 35 to 37 weeks pregnant. The test is simple and does not hurt. A sterile swab (“Q-tip”) is used to collect a sample from the v____a and the rectum. This is sent to a laboratory for testing. What happens if my pregnancy screening test is positive for group B strep? To prevent group B strep bacteria from being pa__sed to the newborn, pregnant women who carry group B strep should be given antibiotics through the vein (IV) at the time of labor or when their water breaks. Are there any symptoms if you are a group B strep carrier? Most pregnant women have no symptoms when they are carriers for group B strep bacteria. Sometimes, group B strep can cause bladder infections during pregnancy, or infections in the womb during labor or after delivery. Being a carrier (testing positive for group B strep, but having no symptoms) is quite common. Around 25% of women may carry the bacteria at any time. This doesn’t mean that they have group B strep disease, but it does mean that they are at higher risk for giving their baby a group B strep infection during birth. What if I don’t know whether or not I am group B strep positive when my labor starts? Talk to your doctor about your group B strep status. Pregnant women who do not know whether or not they are group B strep positive when labor starts should be given antibiotics if they have: · labor starting at less than 37 weeks (preterm labor); · prolonged membrane rupture (water breaking more than 18 hours before labor starts); · fever during labor. What are the risks of taking antibiotics to prevent group B strep disease in my newborn? Penicillin is the most common antibiotic that is given. If you are allergic to penicillin, there are other antibiotics that can be given. Penicillin is very safe and effective at preventing group B strep disease in newborns. There can be side effects from penicillin for the woman, including a mild reaction to penicillin (about a 10% chance). There is a rare chance (about 1 in 10,000) of the mother having a severe allergic reaction that requires emergency treatment. However, a pregnant woman who is a group B strep carrier (tested positive) at full-term delivery who gets antibiotics can feel confident knowing that she has only a 1 in 4000 chance of delivering a baby with group B strep disease. If a pregnant woman who is a group B strep carrier does not get antibiotics at the time of delivery, her baby has a 1 in 200 chance of developing group B strep disease. This means that those infants whose mothers are group B strep carriers and do not get antibiotics have over 20 times the risk of developing disease than those who do receive treatment. Can group B strep cause stillbirth, pre-term delivery, or miscarriage? There are many different factors that lead to stillbirth, pre-term delivery, or miscarriage. Most of the time, the cause is not known. Group B strep can cause some stillbirths, and pre-term babies are at greater risk of group B strep infections. However, the relationship between group B strep and premature babies is not always clear. Will a C-section prevent group B strep in a newborn? A C-section should not be used to prevent early-onset group B strep infection in infants. To learn more about C-sections and group B strep prevention, please review this section of the revised group B strep guidelines. If you need to have a C-section for other reasons, and you are group B strep positive, you will not need antibiotics for group B strep only, unless you begin labor or your water breaks before the surgery begins.


Michelle - November 9

wow, many thanks, that is really helpful !


mom42 - November 14

I have never heard of being tested so early in pregnancy. I was tested with both pregnancies in the last few weeks (5-6 maybe?) with an external swab and was positive. I received antibiotics when I was in labor. However, I had fairly short labors and only received one of the doses each time (they must be given 4 hours apart, apparently). So, both times, the babies had to stay in the hospital for 48 hours after birth. We had a scare with my second baby, as she had elevated white blood cell count, like she was fighting off an infection. After about 8 hours in the NICU, she got to join me in my room and was able to go home after the total 48 hours.


Niki xx - October 15

Hi there, I have known for 7 yrs that im poitive for group B strep. I have recently suffered the loss of my baby at 22 weeks, i was not given any meds for GBS thru my pregnancy so you are lucky, my waters broke at 20 weeks and i got put on Erythromycin, I dont know yet until i get postmortem results whether or not it was down to the group B strep that caused the miscarriage or not, but have the feeling that it is, I sincerley hope your pregnancy goes well but if your waters break early please prepare for the worst as i was not prepared and that is what has devastated me. Good Luck xx


carlican - November 20

Hi everyone. My sister is currently 25 weeks pregnant - a week behind me - and she has been diagnosed with group B strep. Her GBS was discovered by swab when she has an examination after a internal scan, at about 15 weeks or so. They provided her with one course of antibiotics and that's it. She is booked in for a c-section at 38 weeks, which is her choice and not because of GBS - although I do believe somebody mentioned to her that this is better for baby... not sure how true that is. Obviously, she has been for routine scans and check ups since and no one has really mentioned it. Seems hopsitals really differ in opinion.



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