At 36 weeks pregnant with Frankie I had a routine midwife appointment & I mentioned that I had been experiencing odd coloured discharge, my midwife immediately rung the hospital to chase up a swab I had had a week earlier when I had been admitted to hospital after experiencing reduced movements which showed that I had a positive test for Group B Streptococcus.
I had never heard of GBS or Strep B as it’s commonly known & I was terrified, when anyone, more so your Midwife starts a sentence with the words ‘Don’t panic but..’ it sends every nerve ending into panic mode.
My midwife explained to me that as soon as my waters broke that I needed to go straight to the hospital to be put onto IV antibiotics to pass through to the baby to reduce the risk of the infection passing onto him.
I was lucky as it didn’t but I’ve had so many messages from other Mums who were unaware they were carrying GBS and have had poorly newborns as a result which breaks my heart!
A few facts:
• Group B Streptococcus is found in 25% of healthy pregnant women
• Most pregnant women do not experience any symptoms at all
• The exact reason or cause of GBS remains unknown • GBS can pass onto the baby which may result in sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis, or even more severe
• One in every 200 babies will develop the GBS infection • Routine testing of GBS is NOT offered on the NHS despite the above
As I experienced GBS in my first pregnancy, I was advised by my midwife to purchase a kit to swab myself for peace of mind which will more than likely come back positive as I had it in my first pregnancy.
Group B Streptococcus needs to be talked about more, if you have any symptoms or worries at all contact your midwife or order your own kit. You can’t put a price on peace of mind 🖤