I am expecting my 2nd baby sometime around 10/15 and we are planning a home birth.  I did a GBS test this week and now I wish I hadn't as I tested positive.  I tested negative with my first so I am ashamed to say this is not a topic I was well-studied on (I am a birth doula as well, shame on me).  I treat predominantly with a home birth midwife but also occasionally see an OB (who home birthed with my midwife).  I know neither of them think that GBS+ is a contraindication to home birth (and I have read a lot of studies that make me feel the risk is very low/there is no guarantee with or without antibiotics that might baby won't develop an infection), but I am just curious to hear others' thoughts/experiences with this.  I'm looking for more reassurance, basically.

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This is one thing I'd be very careful about. The risk might be low -- but the negative outcome is one you just don't want to deal with. I've been GBS+ for two of my labor & deliveries -- the ones with midwives -- and I used the antibiotics during labor. One midwife did antibiotic injection; the other did the IV. My view is definitely colored by the fact that I know multiple women who have had GBS-affected babies.

the midwife at my first delivery told me during pregnancy to refuse the gbs test bec 20% of women normally test positive, and the possibilities of complications during delivery are serious, but remote. so, i've never done the test...

and if you test positive, and they give you antibiotics, that could lower your immunity, and can cause yeast/thrush infections, which is not what you want to deal with as soon as you've given birth to a healthy baby with a healthy mother.

I wasn't even tested for GBS with my first two (OBGyn delivered) babies. With my third, I found out that I am a carrier - some women have GBS present only occasionally, I have it all the time. Babies one and two were perfectly fine, with baby three I had the antibiotic drip along with an induction to make sure I had time to have all of the antibiotics. Baby number four was born at home. My midwife used a medicated swab around my vaginal area (sorry, I don't remember what it was called) and then my daughter was born with the bag of aminotic fluid in tact - it burst just as her head came out - thus giving her minimal exposure. She was also perfect. I wouldn't let GBS discourage you. Do what you are comfortable with.
Just wanted to add a post script that my son was born 10/17 and it was a complete non-issue.  My water broke about 20 minutes before my son was born (water birth).  Everyone is happy and healthy.  After my research and experience, if I ever do it again, I won't even test for GBS.

Congratulations, Katie! I'm glad you didn't have any issues, and I'm glad your baby is fine. As I said, after seeing the catastrophic (if admittedly rare) problems with a number of GBS-compromised babies, it isn't something I would be comfortable risking, and I'll be getting the test at my next appointment.

For people who are concerned about thrush after having ABX during labor, using probiotics makes a huge difference. In 12+ years of breastfeeding, sometimes while on antibiotics, I've never gotten thrush.



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