What Is Group B Test Pregnancy?
Group B strep (GBS) is an infection that can cause serious illness in a newborn baby if not detected and treated during delivery of the baby. Group B strep is a type of bacteria that is commonly found in the intestines, vagina, and anus of healthy individuals. It was first identified in pregnant women in the 1970s and is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborns. During pregnancy, women are screened for group B strep (GBS) with a simple test that involves taking a swab of the rectal and vaginal areas.
How Is Group B Test Performed?
The group B strep test is usually performed around the 36th week of pregnancy. During the test, a swab is taken from the vagina and rectum of the woman and sent to a lab for testing. It typically takes a few days to receive the results from the lab. It is important to remember that even if the test is negative or the results are unclear, the baby is at risk for contracting GBS infection, so it is best for mothers to discuss the risks with their doctors.
What Are the Risks of GBS?
If a woman is found to be GBS positive, there is a chance of the baby being infected with the bacteria during delivery. It is important to remember that the risk of a GBS infection is low, but it is still important to take the necessary steps to help prevent it from occurring.
Some of the most common risks of a GBS infection in newborns include:
- Bloodstream infections
GBS can also cause more serious illnesses, such as:
- Brain damage
- Hearing loss
- Limb deficiencies
- Developmental delays
How Is GBS Treated in Babies?
If a newborn baby is found to be infected with GBS, they will typically be given antibiotics through an intravenous line for a period of time. In some cases, the baby may also need to be hospitalized for monitoring and other treatments.
What Are the Treatment Options for Pregnant Women?
If a pregnant woman is found to have GBS, it is important that she discuss all of the treatment options with her doctor. Generally, antibiotics are used to help reduce the chance of the baby becoming infected at the time of delivery.
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics can be used to help reduce the chance of a baby being infected with GBS at the time of delivery. Antibiotics are typically given intravenously during labor. This is done to ensure that any bacteria are killed before the baby is delivered.
- Vaccinations – Vaccinations are available to help reduce the risk of GBS infection in newborns. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of the vaccine with your doctor to ensure that it is the right decision for you and your baby.
- Conducting Follow-up Tests – After delivery, your doctor may suggest following up with additional tests to ensure that GBS was not passed to the baby.
Group B strep (GBS) is a common infection that can cause serious health issues for newborn babies if it is not detected and treated. It is important for pregnant women to discuss the risks and treatment options with their doctor, and to follow their doctor’s recommendations.
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