The month of February is International Prenatal Infection and Prevention Month, bringing important awareness to Group B Strep infection. According to midirs.org, 1 in 4 woman carry the bacteria GBS which can be passed onto the baby during child birth. This is the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns according to the U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Some babies that are exposed to GBS might not even become infected. groupbstrepinternational.org says, GBS can cause babies to be miscarried, stillborn, born prematurely, become very sick, have lifelong handicaps, or die.
There are ways that you can protect babies from Group B Strep,
What you can do before labor:
-If you test positive for GBS, talk with your doctor
-If you test negative you will most likely be fine, but there are risks.
-Your IV will give you Antibiotics during labor.
When your water breaks or when you go into labor:
-Go to hospital and expect to get IV antibiotics during labor.
-Make sure the labor and delivery staff know you tested positive for GBS.
According to CDC.gov, “If you test positive, that does not mean you have an infection. It only means you have these bacteria in your body. You would not feel sick or have any symptoms. GBS are usually not harmful to you. However, GBS can make your newborn sick if you pass these bacteria to your baby during childbirth. Other people that live with you, including other children, are not at risk of getting sick from GBS. Testing positive for GBS does not mean that you are not clean. It also does not mean that you have a sexually transmitted disease. The bacteria are not spread from food, sex, water, or anything that you might have come into contact with.”
Spread awareness about Group B Strep this month.