If mom has group B strep that isn’t treated, it is dangerous for the newborn
Group B strep is a type of bacteria that can reside in an adult’s body without causing any symptoms — you may never know you have it. It can be transmitted from food, water or something you have touched, but it is not sexually transmitted. The bacteria can reside in the reproductive tract, urinary or digestive systems. If you are looking for a Southlake ObGyn, we routinely test for Group B strep as part of our battery of prenatal tests right here in Grapevine.
Group B strep can cause many problems for newborns
While group B strep isn’t dangerous to you, it can be dangerous if it is transmitted to your baby during delivery. Babies can get two types of group B strep.
- Early-onset occurs during the first seven days after birth, primarily in the first 24 hours. The symptoms are difficulty breathing, fever and drowsiness. It can also lead to pneumonia, meningitis or sepsis. About half the babies who get group B strep contract the early onset type. Treating the mother with antibiotics helps prevent this type of group B strep.
- Late-onset occurs between one week and three weeks of age. This type can also cause meningitis and sepsis. Treating the mother does not prevent late-onset group B strep, and a baby can also catch the infection from someone else who has it. Parents should be aware of the symptoms and take their baby to see a doctor ASAP if they note the following: poor feeding, vomiting, irritability, high fever, lethargy or inactivity.
We test for group B strep between 35 and 37 weeks
As you can see, testing for group B strep is very important. Between 35 and 37 weeks, our ObGyns swab your vagina and rectum and test for group B strep.
Positive mothers are treated with antibiotics prior to delivery
It’s important to know that 1 in 4 women will test positive. If you do test positive, our ObGyns have the matter well-in-hand. We will give you IV antibiotics during labor to prevent group B strep from being passed to your newborn during delivery.
When a group B strep positive mother receives antibiotics during labor, her newborn only has a 1 in 4000 chance of developing group B strep. If she is not treated, those odds in-crease to 1 in 200.*
When you receive regular, comprehensive prenatal care from our highly experienced and trained ObGyns, you can rest assured that we know what to expect and how to take care of you and your baby. For prenatal care, contact us for an appointment.