What is Group B Strep?
Group B Strep is a bacterial infection. A bacterial infection is a proliferation of a harmful strain of bacteria on or inside the body. Bacteria can infect any area of the body. In the case of Group B Strep it affects the intestines, vagina, and rectum.
How do care providers test for it?
The test involves a swab of both the vagina and the rectum. The sample is then taken to a lab where a culture is analyzed for any presence of GBS. Test results are usually available within 24 to 48 hours.
How is it treated?
Antibiotics are given to the mother when labor starts. It is not effective to give antibiotics while the mother is still pregnant because the bacteria will grow back at a very fast rate. For a woman who is GBS positive, it is imperative that she get to her care provider right away if she suspects her water has broken as antibiotics will need to be started immediately.
For women who have already delivered babies previously, they should keep their care providers informed when they think they are in actual labor as the care provider may want them to come in for a round of antibiotics. Each care provider is different and you will need to ask yours about their personal preference.
How does this affect my baby?
Babies who come into contact with Group B Strep may develop sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis, or may occasionally even experience death.
As you can see, Group B Strep is not something to play around with. The consequences of leaving it untreated can be life altering for you and your baby. Your care provider makes a big deal about it because it is a big deal. One that can have lasting affects on your baby if left untreated.