Group B Strep positive

[deleted account] ( 8 moms have responded )

Hi, I'm 37 weeks pregnant with #2. (Read my birth story of my son under the positive natural birth stories thread.) I just found out at my appt with my midwife today that I tested positive for group b strep this time. I was negative in my last pregnancy. Sadly, this means a strong recommendation to receive IV antibiotics (penicillin) during my labor (repeatedly - every 4-8 hours I think?) So I'm bummed that I won't get a completely intervention free birth this time around, but I have to remain hopeful, because I'm told that I'll still be able to move around freely, and to labor in the tub when I'm not on the IV. Laboring in the water was so good for me last time, so I really hope that I get to do it when I want to. I relied a lot on 'letting the primitive side' of my brain take over during the first labor. Or just 'not thinking'. So one of my worries is that having a hep lock on my arm is going to make me a lot more 'conscious' of the more medical side of things, which I don't want! Not only will I have a course or several courses of IV antibiotics given to me, there are more restrictions on the window of time I have before I would be transferred from the birthing center to the hospital. The midwives would go with me to the hospital, so I don't fear too much that I'd be pressured into getting meds, but I would be more fearful of not being in a comfortable enough situation to let my body do it's thing. Oh, and I would be required to stay on for at least 12 hours observation after birth. (With my son, I was home within a few hours.) The midwife tried to say how that is a great time for me to get rest. yeah, right - I'm going to be wanting to get a shower and get my things and get home to the rest of my family (who will take care of me there - in my comfort zone - that is where I can get some rest.) Anyway, just wanted to 'vent' a little about my situation and I'd love to hear from anyone who has tested positive and received the IV during their labor, but still was able to have a natural birth. Thanks!


[deleted account]

I tested positive as well.  I didn't have time for the antibiotics because when I arrived at the hospital I was already 9.5 cm.  Everything turend out fine for us.  After doing more research on the topic afterwords, I found that the chances of passing strep B to your baby are the same whether or not you get the antibiotics.  Also, you can test positive for strep B one day, and the next you can test negative, so the test itself isn't all that reliable.  Maybe get tested again to see if you can get a different result.  If you are interested, you can treat strep B with therapeutic doses of garlic.  I'm not sure the exact dosage, but I'm sure if you google it you can find out.  Like a previous post suggested, the antibiotics can cause problems too, like an increased chance of thrush which makes breastfeeding harder. 

Kirsten - posted on 12/31/2008




Hi Willow - I also tested positive for Strep B with my son. I had planned to take the antibiotics via IV and labor in the tub when not hooked up. My midwife assured me the IV would not restrict my movement during labor any. As with all well laid plans - things went very differently on the day of delivery. My labor went so quickly (5 hours of labor - 2.5 of them pushing) that they didnt have time for any IV or antibiotics. Apparently the drugs are not effective if they arent given at least 4 hours before delivery. So instead of giving both of us antibiotics that we didnt need - they just tested my son for infection right after he was born. He tested negative. If he had been positive they would have given him a round of antibiotics. I dont particularly recommend trying to manipulate the situation so you CANT take the antibiotics but you might discuss options with your midwife in case your labor does end up going a little quicker this time. You never know... Good luck with your labor! I hope it goes well.


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[deleted account]

You can always deny the IV antibiotics, the risks are low for the baby contracting this talk with your provider. I had two natural births and the doctors at my local birth center gave me several is the IV antibiotics during labor, another is you can start taking antibiotics (depending on where you are in your pregnancy) before your birth (you take them for 2 weeks I think) then retest for group B, another is you can use a bacterial cleaning soap (surgical soap) hibiclens (spelling?) to clear it out, there may also be the possiblity of giving your new baby antibiotics after delivery. If your labor is short, the IV antibiotics won't even have time to take effect and will be the same as having none at all...something to think about. I know many, many moms who do not treat at all, risks of passing it on are low, but still possible.

[deleted account]

I was + and had the hep lock and still did a Bradley birth, including laboring in the jacuzzi. It was a little rough in the tub--they tried to put a glove on me then tape it over, turned out to be fine. Hardly noticed it.

Sorry to hear about your change of events, but I'm sure it'll be just as great (and natural) for #2! There may be a concern of getting there fast enough to get a dose in case you progress quickly, though!

All the best!

Tabitha - posted on 02/12/2009




Please check out:  This website has alot of alternatives.

Here's what my midwife and I did. Take maxium amounts of ecchinecea root, vit C, alfafa , garlic, and Christophers pregnancy formula stating at 36wks.  Then I purchased Chlorhexidine Gluconate Solution. When labor starts with a clean skurt bottle get someone to help you  wash out the birth canal every four hrs.  Lay in the bath tub so the solution can run out freely.

This worked!

Blessings to ya,


Franny - posted on 02/09/2009




Before you give in to the IV antibiotics, try something my midwife (she's a naturopathic doctor) had me do:  she gave use an acidophilus powder (you could probably get from any herbalist/naturopath) and - this is the unpleasant part - ummm - "place" a paste of it up close to your cervix (get it?).  we did this every nite for 9 days. my partner had to participate obviously, as i couldn't really reach - honestly, it was neither of our favorite part of the evening, but in the end the doc gave me another strep b test and i came up negative!!!  another girl in our birth class had the same problem & it "cured" her too.  its just a case of "good" bacteria colonizing and crowding out "bad" bacteria.  its the same stuff that's in yogurt, so if it doesn't work for you, thee no harmful side effects. its worth a try - and i can't believe i've never seen this remedy elsewhere, i scored a "4" pr something on the strep test initially so this was great for me - i wentahead and had my natural home birth!

Mattie - posted on 01/16/2009




I tested GBS positive too and was NOT happy about the idea of being tied down with an IV at all. I gave birth at a birth center with midwives and was able to labor and give birth in a tub. I arrived at the birth center only 3 hours before my little one was born so I only had one dose of the antibiotic and everything turned out great. I wouldn't worry about it too shouldn't impact your desire for a natural birth or laboring in the tub. Good luck!!

Jennifer - posted on 01/11/2009




I had a similar situation as Kirsten, only I didn't know I had tested positive until I arrived at the hospital. I technically should have been hooked up as soon as I got therem but by the time I got to the hospital bed and was checked for dilation, the head was already down and I was already pushing.  They tested my son, too, and didn't let us go home for 3 days because of that.  They did say, however, if our pediatritian  called to speak with the hospital's ped and agreed to folloow up on the test results, we could have gone home earlier, but we could not get ahold of our ped, so we stayed.  Whatever happens, just make sure you are taking and continue to take a good probiotic.  My cousin had a c-section with her 1st and was given antibiotics- she ended up with a baby who had sever diaper rash and couldn't figure out why. Turns out she had a yeast infection on her nipples and that was causing the rash. Once the problem was taken care of, no more diaper rash for the baby.

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