Group B Strep in Pregnancy
By Barbara Parker, RN, ARNP, CNM
Q. I've tested positive for Group B Strep (GBS). Is there anything I can do while I'm pregnant to reduce the risk of passing this on to my baby? The research I've done seems to indicate that this is a big deal. Some say that high doses of vitamin C, soaking a tampon in tea tree oil, goldenseal and echinecea are possible ways of reducing the bacteria while pregnant. Should I see a naturopath to see what's safe during pregnancy? Help! I'm really afraid of what this will do to my baby.
A. Oh, my, don't panic! Don't put tampons in Tea Tree oil and stick them in your vagina!
Group B Strep is a common and NORMAL part of the bacteria that live in the vagina. Some women, around 20-30% of ALL women, are "colonized" with GBS, which is NOT HARMFUL to you. HOWEVER, there has been some research over the past 10 years which has shown that GBS can be passed to the baby from the laboring mother, and that in rare cases (some stats say 7/1000) it can make the baby very ill. That whole scenario can be prevented simply by giving the mother antibiotics during labor.
There are NO naturopathic remedies for this. We have tried giving women antibiotics during pregnancy, but the GBS just comes back. So, rather than breed a bunch of resistant germs, the CDC recommends treating you in labor in order to protect the baby.
I hope that helps you feel better.
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