32 Weeks; Group B Streptococcus

Now as I mentioned at last week’s bump update that although my blood work had come back normal my urine culture had shown that I was Group B Streptococcus positive (from here on in I shall refer to this as GBS+)

Now I didn’t fully update last week as I hadn’t spoken to my doctor in full I had only spoken with the nurses over the phone and picked up my prescription for 10 days worth of antibiotics (1g of Augmentin twice a day if anyone is interested).

Now, normally, you only have antibiotics DURING labour if you are GBS+ the reason why I was given a 10 day course is because the bacteria appeared in my urine which is a warning sign for an imminent UTI/bladder infection which in turn can lead to pre-term labour.  Something I am definitely keen to avoid!  So I took the Augmentin for 10 days and I actually do feel a lot better in myself, I must have been close to succumbing without realising as after taking the horse pills antibiotics I have had more energy.

What is GBS?

I have done a fair amount of research on what it means to be GBS+ since I found out.  Now I have no idea if I was GBS+ last pregnancy as I wasn’t tested for it, I may have been, I may not of been.  I think the likelihood is that I was.  Which kind of makes me slightly grateful for the emergency c-section as going vaginally could have exposed the terror to GBS which can be life threatening to newborns.

One of my sources of information has been the baby centre uk site, mainly because I am a UK national and all my pregnancy information has been gained from going through a pregnancy in the UK rather than here in Dubai.  And in general trusting the UK healthcare system because it is what I am used to, so of course the other useful site for me is the NHS GBS site.

So what have I learned?

  • GBS is carried by a third of us in our gut, and up to 25% of women carry this in their vagina/rectum
  • GBS is NOT harmful to you as an adult (male or female) but it CAN be harmful to newborn babies
  • If GBS has been found in your urine (as it has in my case) then you are a high risk candidate for your baby contracting a GBS infection.  In this case antibiotics during labour are recommended.  Other high risk situations include;
    • you have a fever during labour,
    • your waters break more than 18 hours before baby is born,
    • you go into labour before 37 weeks,
    • if you’ve previously had a baby infected with GBS, or,
    •  you carry GBS in your vagina/rectum
  • Most babies who become infected with early onset GBS infection will show symptoms within 12 hours of birth.  These symptoms include:
    • being floppy or unresponsive,
    • not feeding well,
    • grunting,
    • high or low temperatures,
    • fast or slow heart rates,
    • fast or slow breathing rates,
    • irritability
  • There is no screening program in the UK for GBS though the charity Group B Strep Support are campaigning to change this.  In this I feel lucky that I am having my second baby out here where I have been tested and made aware of the risks.
It seems a scary list, and it IS a scary list.  But I am confident in my doctor and my abilities.  My doctor in the fact that he picked this up, has scribbled all over my notes that I need antibiotics in labour, and impressed upon me that I need to tell everyone this when I go into labour.  And my ability as a mother to shout out if I think anything is wrong with my baby that needs looking at, my faith in my ability to shout that I need antibiotics.  My faith in my husband that he has my back.

On a lighter note, 32 weeks, bump watch……..


Next week – 33 weeks!

blogger bumps
Group B Streptococcus positive (GBS+) and pregnancy



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