My Body – Pregnancy Week 36Brought to you by
How are you feeling? You are probably seeing your healthcare provider every week now. It is common at this point in your pregnancy for your doctor to screen for Group B Strep.
What is Group B Strep? Practitioners often screen for Group B Strep because it is the most common cause of life-threatening infections in newborns. It can cause pneumonia and meningitis. Group B Strep is a bacterial infection that may be found in a pregnant women's vagina or rectum. 15 to 40 percent of all healthy, adult women carry these bacteria in their vagina or lower intestines.
It is possible for a mother to pass Group B Strep onto her baby during delivery. Therefore, every woman should be tested between 35-37 weeks. This is done with a vaginal and rectal swab. If a mother tests positive, she should be treated with antibiotics in labor to prevent the spread of Group B Strep to her baby. It’s especially important if you are Group B strep positive to head right to the hospital if you water breaks or you go into labor. You should also be sure to tell your healthcare team right away that you are Group B strep positive, called “GBS positive” when you get to the hospital, just in case your labor progresses quickly, so that they can give you your antibiotic as soon as possible.