July is Group B Strep Awareness Month and we would like to do our part to help raise awareness and help protect mothers and babies infected with GBS.
According to www.groupbstrepinternational.org:
Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women carry GBS, the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). GBS can also infect babies during pregnancy and the first few months of life.
Not all babies exposed to GBS become infected, but, for those who do, the results can be devastating. GBS can cause babies to be miscarried, stillborn, born prematurely, become very sick, have lifelong handicaps, or die.
Fortunately there are ways to help protect babies from Group B Strep. It is now the standard of care in the USA and Canada for all pregnant women to be tested for GBS at 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy.
If you are GBS postive you will likely be given intervenous antibiotics 4 hours prior to delivery while in labor. This reduces but does not eliminate risks to the baby so please visit this page for a comprehensive list of things you can do and questions to ask your doctor. http://www.groupbstrepinternational.org/info_main.html
Please educate yourself about GBS. Remember that many women test positive and have healthy babies with no complications or infection to the baby. Know your options and prepared ahead of time.