What Is Group B Strep Pregnancy ?
Group B strep : Its causes , Symptoms, Treatment is done because it is a bacterial infection that infants can get from their mothers at childbirth or in the first few months of life. Infants who contract this disease can develop problems such as pneumonia, meningitis or sepsis, an infection of the blood.
It is possible to avoid contracting this virus. If you are pregnant and the tests show you have this type of bacteria, your doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent you from passing the infection to your baby during labour. If your baby gets sick, antibiotics can be used to treat the infection.
Group B Strep Causes
The bacteria that cause group B streptococcal infections reside in the intestines and genital system, including the vaginal area. These germs are carried by about one in four pregnant women.
These bacteria are common in the human body. They usually don’t make you sick, so you won’t realize you have them. They can cause bladder and urinary tract infections in some people (UTIs). Group B strep bacteria are not harmful to you, but they can harm your baby if you become pregnant.
How Babies Get It
During vaginal birth, if you have group B strep bacteria, your baby could get sick. Although not all babies exposed to GBS are infected, a small minority will.
This is more likely if:
- You give birth before 37 weeks.
- In your past you might have had a baby with GBS.
- During labour, you develop a fever of over 100.4 ° F.
- You have an infection of the placenta or amniotic fluid.
- Your water breaks at least 18 hours before childbirth.
GBS infection can affect babies in two ways: Early-onset begins during the newborn’s first week of life. This is the type of baby that is born. A week to a few months after the birth of the child, the late-onset begins. Antibiotics given during pregnancy do not protect against this type of infection, which can be acquired at home or in the community.
Symptoms of Group B Strep
Babies infected with this virus may show symptoms during the first days of life, or weeks to months later. You might observe that your child has the following symptoms:
- The blue colour of the skin.
- Fast, slow or forced breathing
- Fatigue Eating problems
Here are some of the main problems that group B strep bacteria can cause in babies:
- Sepsis: an infection of the blood
- Meningitis: Inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes that line the brain and spinal cord.
- Pneumonia – a lung infection
These conditions can be life-threatening.They can also cause long-term issues like:
- Hearing loss
- Cerebral palsy
- Learning problems
At the start of your pregnancy, your obstetrician/gynaecologist may do a urine culture to check for the presence of group B strep bacteria. Between the 35th and 37th week of pregnancy, you should be examined. A sample of your vagina and rectum will be taken by the doctor and sent to a lab. You have this kind of bacteria if you get a “positive” result.
If your baby develops symptoms of this infection after birth, the doctor may take a sample of his blood or cerebrospinal fluid and send it to a lab for analysis. The bacteria will be grown in the lab to test whether group B strep bacteria can thrive. This process can take several days. In babies, a chest x-ray can be used to help doctors diagnose the infection.
Intravenous antibiotic treatment can begin even before laboratory results are received.
Treatments for the symptoms of GBS may be needed in your infant, including:
- Fluids in a vein (IV)
- Medicines to treat other symptoms
Researchers are developing a vaccine that may protect mothers and their newborns against this virus in the future. However, it is not yet finished.
If the test shows that you have group B strep bacteria while pregnant, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to take during childbirth to prevent the disease from spreading to your baby.
The drugs penicillin and ampicillin are commonly used to treat this disease. If you have a penicillin allergy, your doctor may prescribe an alternative antibiotic.
Antibiotics should be taken during labour, not before. Germs can reappear if you take them early in your pregnancy.
If you have a cesarean before your water runs out, you won’t need antibiotics.
Antibiotics taken during labour will protect your infant against the early development of group B strep infections. However, this will not reduce the chances of your child developing the late variant. So, especially in the first three months of life, watch for any possible signs in your baby.