What is group b strep during pregnancy?

Group B strep during pregnancy: Overview

Group B strep infection is caused by a type of bacteria. It's a different kind of bacteria than the kind that causes strep throat.

You may have this kind of bacteria in your body. Sometimes it may cause an infection, but most of the time it doesn't make you sick or cause symptoms. But if you pass the bacteria to your baby during the birth, it can cause serious health problems for your baby.

If you have this bacteria in your body, you will get antibiotics when you are in labor. Antibiotics help prevent problems for a newborn baby.

After birth, doctors will watch and may test your baby. If your baby tests positive for Group B strep, your baby will get antibiotics.

If you plan to breastfeed your baby, don't worry. It will be safe to breastfeed.

How is group B streptococcal infection treated?

If you have group B strep infection or you carry the bacteria, you'll get antibiotics before delivery. If you gave birth before to a child with group B strep, you should be treated with antibiotics. Newborns with the infection will also be given antibiotics. Supportive care including fluids and ventilation may also be given.

How can you care for yourself when you have group B strep during your pregnancy?

  • If your doctor has prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any antibiotic.
  • If you go into labor, or your water breaks, go to the hospital. Your doctor will give you antibiotics to help protect your baby from infection.
  • Tell the doctors and nurses if you have an allergy to penicillin.
  • Tell the doctors and nurses at the hospital that you tested positive for group B strep.

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