How will I know if I need antibiotics to prevent passing group B strep to my baby?You should get a screening test late in pregnancy to see if you carry group B strep. If your test comes back positive, you should get antibiotics through the vein (IV) during labor.
If you had a previous baby who got sick with group B strep disease, or if you had a urinary tract infection (bladder infection) during this pregnancy caused by group B strep, you also need to get antibiotics through the vein (IV) when your labor starts.
How do you find out if you carry group B strep during pregnancy?CDCs revised guidelines recommend that a pregnant woman be tested for group B strep in her vagina and rectum when she is 35 to 37 weeks pregnant. The test is simple and does not hurt. A sterile swab (Q-tip) is used to collect a sample from the vagina and the rectum. This is sent to a laboratory for testing.
What happens if my pregnancy screening test is positive for group B strep?To prevent group B strep bacteria from being passed to the newborn, pregnant women who carry group B strep should be given antibiotics through the vein (IV) at the time of labor or when their water breaks.
Are there any symptoms if you are a group B strep carrier?Most pregnant women have no symptoms when they are carriers for group B strep bacteria.
Sometimes, group B strep can cause bladder infections during pregnancy, or infections in the womb during labor or after delivery.Being a carrier (testing positive for group B strep, but having no symptoms) is quite common. Around 25% of women may carry the bacteria at any time. This doesnt mean that they have group B strep disease, but it does mean that they are at higher risk for giving their baby a group B strep infection during birth.
What if I dont know whether or not I am group B strep positive when my labor starts?Talk to your doctor about your group B strep status. Pregnant women who do not know whether or not they are group B strep positive when labor starts should be given antibiotics if they have:
- labor starting at less than 37 weeks (preterm labor)
- prolonged membrane rupture (water breaking more than 18 hours before labor starts)
- fever during labor.