Group B Strep

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Joined: 05/31/08
Posts: 1131
Group B Strep

So, I am considering declining even getting the test this week. I can't decide...if I get the test, then I know if I am neg or pos, and if neg, I can relax and not worry. If pos, I will then have to decide whether to decline the antibiotics or not, or whether to try and get rid of it on my own, and re-test, or what. My midwife's answer when I asked about declining was "well, you can always decline anything..." but in this way that was like "but really, we'll be annoyed if you decline." Any thoughts about this? Anyone decline? I think it is silly to treat all women as if our babies are in danger, but at the same time, if something DID happen I'd feel like a jerk for not getting the antibiotics...

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

My midwife didn't even mention it, I brought it up. But take it or not there is another option besides the antibiotics. You could always do a hebiclens treatment. It is good for 4-6 hours and you can repeat it as often as you need, you just do it once you go into labor. I took the test just so I knew and my midwife got the preliminary results back the day I went into labor. I got the stuff just in case but never ended up using it. If I had been positive the only way I would have gotten the full antibiotics is if I had gotten them right before she broke my water. Once my water was broken it was a 2 hour labor.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

I think you need to find out what procedure your midwife will follow if you decline the test. Will she treat declining as positive and then you have to decide to refuse the antibiotics anyways?

If I were to do it again, I would decline antibiotics regardless of pos or negative, so to make it easier on me, I would try to get rid of any potential strep BEFORE the test. There are various ways to sway the test.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Personally I think I would take the test, because a neg. would give me peace of mind. But if you dont want he antibiotics, and you are pos., then dont be shy about declining them. Maybe do a cleanse, and then just make sure that you are aware of what symptomes to look for in your LO so that you can catch anything before it becomes serious for him.

I believe I mentioned before that I was pos. with DS, but didnt get any antibiotics due to timing. We didnt have any problems at all, and my Dr wasnt worried at all, just told me what to watch for and sent us home.

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I decided after posting here (there should be a thread similar to this one not too far back), getting some info and talking to my midwife that I was going to skip the test altogether. The thing is technically, even if you test and it comes back neg, you could potentially be pos by the time you actually give birth... and it could be the other way around too. My midwife said that in her 25 years of service, she's never seen a baby get sick from GBS, and I think she said she had a couple moms that she knew were GBS+ (and many for whom she didn't know one way or the other). I think if you're attentive to your newborn afterward, then, you'd catch any issues anyway. That was the final thought for us... that we'd know what to look for, etc in the days after birth, and if baby is showing any signs of problems, you get them checked out/treated!

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I've been tested with each of my 4 pregnancies and will again this time. I've been positive each time and expect the same results this time. I test because the information is valuable if baby does get sick (even if it isn't GBS, you've ruled it out) and the test is so minimally invasive.

For my first three deliveries, I was under GP care and they did antibiotics, however, my 2nd and 3rd births were so quick that I only got one dose of antibiotics (and the standard for prevention is 2 doses, 4 hours apart), so it was ineffective.

With my 4th, we decided to play it by ear. If my water broke without labor starting, I would start antibiotics (but it has never broken spontaneously). If my labor was slow in progressing, I would start antibiotics (my labors are short and pushing lasts only minutes). If I developed a temp in labor, I would start antibiotics. In the end, I didn't need them.

I plan and doing the same thing again. GBS in newborns is rare, but deadly. I feel we were able to strike a balance of caution and common sense.

IzzysMama's picture
Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 119

I was positive with both of my pregnancies. However, with my first I took antibiotics and re-tested and was negative later... but according to my midwife at the time, once you test positive they will always treat you as a positive even if you have a subsequent negative test.

My first delivery was so fast that there was no time for antibiotics. They kept us in the hospital an extra day to keep an eye on the baby, but also because we had BFing problems. Baby ended up being fine.

I did have the antibiotics for my second delivery, since I was induced (blech). So it was just one more thing in the IV line. What is your reason for declining--on principle, because antibiotics are overused? Because you want to avoid an IV? Just curious.

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1316

"kris_w" wrote:

With my 4th, we decided to play it by ear. If my water broke without labor starting, I would start antibiotics (but it has never broken spontaneously). If my labor was slow in progressing, I would start antibiotics (my labors are short and pushing lasts only minutes). If I developed a temp in labor, I would start antibiotics. In the end, I didn't need them.

This is what I did. I tested and was pos. I decided to wait to see if there were other risk factors and if another risk factor presented itself then I would start abx.
My water broke and I ended up with one round of abx before my son was born.

"IzzysMama" wrote:

I was positive with both of my pregnancies. However, with my first I took antibiotics and re-tested and was negative later... but according to my midwife at the time, once you test positive they will always treat you as a positive even if you have a subsequent negative test.

Yes, but if you don't test at all then they'll treat you as if you're positive. The only way to be treated as negative is if you test negative the first time. At least that's how they do it here.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

"azin_may" wrote:

Yes, but if you don't test at all then they'll treat you as if you're positive. The only way to be treated as negative is if you test negative the first time. At least that's how they do it here.

That's what they do here, too, but if you get a later negative test they'll accept it.

Another thing that might help your decision is to find out what the hospital would want to do if you didn't have the abx. Even if you're planning a homebirth, it's good to know what your backup hospital's policy is. Some hospitals will want to give your baby IV abx after birth, others will insist on keeping baby for 72 hours' observation and would make it extremely difficult for you to leave early even if you felt up to it. Yes, you *can* decline anything, but they don't have to make it easy on you, kwim? When I wanted to leave with Tiven, who had inhaled & swallowed copious amounts of meconium, against doctor's orders, it took them so long to prepare the AMA forms that I passed their stupid breastfeeding test and they decided to let her go home after all. :roll:

And honestly, I'd rather know I'm negative, or know I'm positive and do a Hibiclens protocol and see if I can get a negative test, than risk having my baby get sick. GBS disease doesn't always show up right away, and the late-onset disease is the most dangerous. Meningitis is the most common late-onset GBS disease and there's no way I could handle putting my newborn through a spinal tap when I could have easily prevented the transmission in the first place.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908
boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

I've declined it for the last three births (including this one.) I pretty much had read the same things as Janelle. Good articles above.....