Bacteria are essential to the contribution of human life as we know it. Human beings have many bacteria living on and within their bodies. GBS lives in the gut and/or vagina of around a fifth to a quarter of people in the UK and for most of the time minds its own business and neither helps nor harms us.
For a woman, it can occasionally cause a urine infection and it can be the source of an infection in the womb after the baby is born. Both situations are relatively uncommon. GBS can pass to a baby during birth. Occasionally a baby will become sick as a result and in rare situations can be fatal. The RCOG (2012) states that antibiotic treatment in pregnancy is not recommended for GBS carriage alone. Why? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🧫 Antibiotics will be offered in labour anyway, so offering them in pregnancy as well would incur an extra dose. 🧫 Even if antibiotics were given in pregnancy, the GBS bacteria could return during labour. 🧫 The baby is not considered to be in any danger from GBS during pregnancy, as it is protected within the bag of membranes which contains amniotic fluid. ⠀
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ GBS bacteria are transient - they come and go - performing a test too long before labour starts increases the chances that the test result will not reflect a woman’s actual GBS status when she goes into labour. Remember, this can happen in both directions. No one can deny a woman the right to give birth at home if that is what she chooses. If a woman who carries GBS wants to give birth at home and have intravenous antibiotics in labour, she may be told it is not possible. Best to speak with your medical advisors to discuss the benefits and risks and the creation of an individualised plan of care. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Routine screening is not standard in the UK. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
THANK YOU @iwanrunner for allowing me to share this intimate photo with your gorgeous son.