What is GBS and is it dangerous?

Everything you need to know about GBS and pregnancy

 What is GBS and is it dangerous for the birth

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria which is a common cause of infection in newborns and pregnant women. It is estimated that 1 in every 4 pregnant women has GBS bacteria in their vagina or rectum. Although most GBS infections in newborns are not severe and do not cause long-term damage, there is a small risk that GBS can cause serious and even life-threatening infections in newborns, such as meningitis, sepsis, pneumonia, and infections of the blood, bone, and joints. So, it is important for pregnant women to be aware of the dangers of GBS and the steps they can take to reduce their risk of passing the bacteria to their baby during delivery. In this blog post, we will explore the basics of GBS, the associated risks, and what pregnant women can do to protect their baby should they test positive for GBS.

 iIt is recommended that every woman has a GBS culture check between 36 to 38 weeks of repgnancy even if they plan on having a c-section as they could break their water and go in labor before their planned c-section.

If the woman has a positive culture for GBS, it is recommended that she receives i.v. antibiotics during labor (at least 4 hours before the birth) to lower the chances of her baby catching GBS. 

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Not all babies exposed to GBS will develop an infection, far from there. it is estimated that  1.7 babies out of every 1,000 live births who are exposed do develop an infection. 

You also have to know that a woman can test negatie for GBS and acquire the bacteria before the birth and transmit it to her baby without knowing it. There is also the limitations of the test as it does not detect 100% of all women carrying the bacteria.


GBS during birth and how it can affect the baby


So do not panic about GBS as you will be tested for it, you will receive antibiotics during labor to protect your baby if you are a carrier and they will monitor your baby closely. Furthermore, most babies exposed to GBS are not sick.

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