Q&A: I've been diagnosed with Group B Strep. What does this mean?
My doctor just diagnosed me with Group B Strep (GBS). He didn't seem to be concerned about it and told me before I go into labor to make sure I have an IV of antibiotics. I did some research about GBS and found out it can make your baby really sick after birth—it can even be life-threatening. Will antibiotics be enough to protect my baby?
I can understand why you’re concerned. GBS can be a serious condition for your baby—if it’s not treated properly. Antibiotics have proven to be an effective and relatively painless way to deal with the condition.
Your health care provider may not express too much concern because GBS is a relatively common condition. Depending on which source you’re looking at “about 25 percent of pregnant women carry GBS in the vagina or rectal area,” according to the March of Dimes. That’s one reason why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that all pregnant women get tested for GBS. If an expectant mom tests positive, as in your case, the standard treatment is to give her IV antibiotics while she’s in labor and before she delivers her baby.
Left untreated, the baby can become infected as he or she passes through the birth canal. But with IV antibiotics, your chances are greatly improved that your baby won’t be infected.
Still, talk to your doctor about the treatment for GBS. Make sure you understand exactly what will happen once you’re in labor and you arrive at the hospital.