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Group B Strep help

Last post 01-13-2011 3:17 PM by morae. 10 replies.
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  • 01-04-2011 2:58 AM

    • morae
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-14-2010
    • eugene oregon
    • Posts 12

    Group B Strep help

    I am going to give some back ground information here that may seem irrelevant. However my goal is to give you the whole picture as it may effect my entire overall health and current state of my body. So please bear with me.

    I am currently 34 years old and 37 weeks pregnant, in a couple days will be 38 weeks. I am on my third pregnancy, having delivered both prior children vaginally with no complication, intervention, iv or other. My first was born between 34 and 35 weeks weighing 6 lb 8 oz with no health issues and my second at 38 weeks weighing 6 lb 2 oz again no health issues.

    Two weeks ago I had my GBS test and last week found out it came back positive. I was not tested with either of my previous children. They swabbed vag and per. They did not give me a numbers count or tell me which area or if both tested positive.

    I have been sick for over 6 weeks now with a  cold. I have seen my drs multiple times regarding this, and every time am told it is simply a common cold. I have had no fever at all, no infection, sinus, lung, ear or other. I simply have a nasty cough and sinus congestion that wont leave.

    I have been fighting oral thrush for 2 1/2-3 weeks now. It started out very painful with a  fully coated, thick, white tongue. through diet I have now reduced it to fully pink with extra texture on the sides, occasional soreness and swollen taste buds all over. I have not been on any antibiotics, but have been taking Robitussin and some prescription cough syrup for my cough since it was so bad it was bringing on contractions and caused me to pull ribs and throw out my back. I have also been using safe, herbal cough drops, and now taking tylenol to cope with the pain from the ribs and back. And I have been taking Pepcid AC and Tums for heart burn.

    My only other symptom is swelling and water retention. My blood pressure remains low and not an issue. The swelling is always worse on my right side and most prevalent in my feet and legs.

    In regards to the strep.

    In retrospect I think I may have contributed to the positive results. I took my shower the night before my appointment just before bed and put on clean panties then. I had 3 bowel movements between the time of my shower and the time of my appointment. In retrospect I would have done things differently, such as showering just before my appointment and putting on clean undies then, making sure that I was freshly clean down there before the test, so there was no chance of recolonization.

    For the week before my GBS test I had been doing garlic suppositories vaginally as my doula had recommended to ensure a negative culture. However upon further reading after my results I now believe I was doing this wrong. I had been using whole cloves and only scoring them. I have now read one should only use a half a clove and should crush it to release the optimal amount of allicin, which is the component in garlic that actually kills the strep.

    The dr currently wants to put me on an iv drip of antibiotics (penicillin) at time of labor. After my appointment I spent the weekend researching GBS, antibiotics and alternatives. my reading has lead me to be highly uncomfortable with the use of antibiotics as a preventative measure against complications in infants. I personally feel the risks far out way the possible but certainly not guaranteed benefits.

    At this point it is my plan to refuse this treatment. If I have fever at the time of labor or premature rupture of membranes I will rethink this and readdress the pros verses cons. I do not anticipate this being an issue at this time though.

    I also spent hours and days reserching alternatives and feel that the safest and most effective for me would be a simple combination of garlic and yogurt. Using the garlic to help kill any exisitng GBS and the yogurt to help prevent any recolonization.

    I have currently been using a combination consisting of one dose a day of a half clove of garlic, crushed and inserted for several hours. Then a few hours latter a generous dose of active, live culture, plain yogurt. then repeating the yogurt dose again in a few hours. I am open to adjusting this dosage regiment if any of you have knowledge of a better formula. I am just kind of winging it.

    I was also doing rectal alcohol swabs after each bowel movment, but this burnt like wild fire. Since I have numerous bms a day I have slacked off this due to pain and inconvenience.

    I have also been trying to boost my immune system and replenish my intestinal flora orally.

    I have bene taking 1,000-1,5000 mg vitamin C a day, drinking two cups of echenacea tea a day, eating at least 2 large slices of sour dough garlic toast topped with a varriety of hard cheeses a day. I have been eating a varriety of C rich foods, drinking at least 48 oz of water a day and have been eating 12-18 oz of active, live culture yogurt a day. Along with adding active live culture cottage cheese in where i can and taking my other vitamins, D, super B, prenatal, etc.

    I am open to adjusting any of this or adding additional things if any of you suggest. This regiment seems to be helping with the thrush, but my cold does not seem to be improving at all.

    I am also hoping to talk my dr into using a hexidine wash at the hospital to further reduce risk to my newborn.

    I have done my research on hexidine, and had considered the idea of using it once or twice a week untill labor, but the statistics dont really show that this would help as GBS recolonizes so quickly, and there would be added risk of abosorbtion into my and babies blood streams. At this time I am most comfortable with just the garlic adn yogurt for now and only using the hexidine at the time of birth.

    I am also aware of two different kinds of tests they can perform on newborns to test for likely hood of complications. One is a blood test and the other a 4 point swab test. It is my hopes to talk the dr into testing her after birth.

    I would love feed back on my research and conclusions, along with any added suggestions you guys may have! also i do have links to my resources if any one is interested in reading up for themselves.

    Okay, finally getting to my actual questions.

    I have had friends show concern that the garlic, being a blood thinner, will put me and baby in danger. How much garlic is actually too much?I am likely eating about 2 tsps or a bit more of minced garlic a day. Is this really enough to put us at risk of bleeding to death?

    and secondly...

    I was not planning on bathing her at the hospital. I would love to hear your input on pros verses cons when the strep issue is added in.

    On one side her natural layer of protection could protect her from the GBS, as my reasoning for leaving it in place till we got home was to protect her from any exposure to crap at the hospital.

    On the other side one could argue that leaving her unbathed increases risk of complications if I choose to leave her covered in essentially a layer of GBS.

    However neither senerio factors in weather or not my at home regiment is successful and how much GBS may actually be present at the time of birth.(there is no way they are going to test me while in labor to see if i am still positive) Nor does it address the fact that even with GBS present on me I haven't had any indications of vagginitis or other issues, and that babies get antibodies from mom. Thus if my system is copping with the presence of GBS it is more likely my newborns body will be capable of coping as well.

    With all of the information, which would be your suggestion? bathe or don't bathe, and why?

    I thank you guys in advance for you input and feedback! This whole matter has been very stressful for me!

  • 01-04-2011 3:12 AM In reply to

    • morae
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-14-2010
    • eugene oregon
    • Posts 12

    Re: Group B Strep help

    I am also curious if any of you have any opinion of if you think my adding a daily, oral dose of apple cider vinegar to my regiment would help lower my internal colony of GBS. Thus reducing risk of further  recolonization vaginally, or additional exposure to baby.

  • 01-04-2011 9:34 AM In reply to

    • midwifea
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-12-2009
    • Kailua Kona, HI
    • Posts 475

    Re: Group B Strep help

    Morae,

    Again you have written a beautiful, intelligent post and you have done your research!  Good for you.  My advice to you would be, see how your birth unfolds and make your decision to bathe baby or not after she is born.  She'll let you know what she needs.

    That amount of garlic should be fine, some eat that much daily without a medicinal intent.  If bleeding has not been an issue before for you then I wouldn't sweat the garlic (pun intended).

    The apple cider vinegar can't hurt and may help with your thrush and cold.

    Sounds to me like you are doing everything perfectly.  Enjoy the last days of your pregnancy.  Trust in your body.  Connect with your baby.

    Happy Birthing,

     

    Blessings,
    April
    moderator

    "The Voice

    There is a voice inside of you
    That whispers all day long,
    "I feel this is right for me,
    I know that this is wrong."
    No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
    Or wise man can decide
    What's right for you--just listen to
    The voice that speaks inside."
    — Shel Silverstein
  • 01-04-2011 1:07 PM In reply to

    • morae
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-14-2010
    • eugene oregon
    • Posts 12

    Re: Group B Strep help

    Thank you so much April! I will try to stop stressing and just go with the flow these last days. More mantras and meditation!!!

    Love and blessings, Morae

  • 01-04-2011 5:43 PM In reply to

    • midwifea
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-12-2009
    • Kailua Kona, HI
    • Posts 475

    Re: Group B Strep help

    Amen.

    Smile.

    Breathe.

    Love.

    Blessings,
    April
    moderator

    "The Voice

    There is a voice inside of you
    That whispers all day long,
    "I feel this is right for me,
    I know that this is wrong."
    No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
    Or wise man can decide
    What's right for you--just listen to
    The voice that speaks inside."
    — Shel Silverstein
  • 01-10-2011 11:29 PM In reply to

    Re: Group B Strep help

     Morae,

    Congrats if you have already had your baby!

    It sounds like you have done your research and that is probably the most important thing to do so you can make an educated decision. Im my experience with working with GBS it is rare that newborns have infections passed during delivery (most research says <5%). If you dont get antibiotics the pediatricians will probably discuss drawing blood from the baby to evaluate for infection. In cases where the membranes are ruptured >18hrs, fever, or preterm delivery <37wks it is more common. You have had children before so your labor will most likely progress well. Lots of cervical exams are a big no no while in labor so less exams will decrease the chance of a fever. Some research also shows that antiobiotics in labor can increase risks of the newborn developing resistance to antibiotics, although the current medical recommendations are antibiotics when in labor.

    Jared Kennedy
    CNM/FNP (student)
    University of Colorado
    C-EFM, RN-C Inpatient Obstetrics
  • 01-11-2011 3:21 PM In reply to

    • morae
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-14-2010
    • eugene oregon
    • Posts 12

    Re: Group B Strep help

    All of my research confirmed exactly what you said! I had her last Friday, Jan 7th at 9:16am. I refused antibiotics, insisted on the wash, which they informed me latter they would not have done without my asking. I refused to let them do any checks until I was fully dilated and she was coming. They then informed me that despite my constant verbal updates on my progress, they had not yet contacted the dr!!! I was told they gave heads up calls when the patient was admitted. Any way they refused to contact him till they did an exam to see where I was, thus my dr almost didnt make it in time!!!! I was at the hospital less than two hours before delivering her, so there was no time for the antibiotic 4 hr 30 min regiment any way.

    They did the heel stick blood test on her and her levels were fine. I chose to stay in the hospital with her till Sunday evening so they could continue to monitor her, just in case. At this point she has no signs of any issues! her color, breathing , weight, everything are great! shes feedign wonderfully and we are far ahead of the minimum on wet and dirty diapers, the poo color is already changing nicely, plus her birth weight at 38 weeks (to the exact day) was 6 lbs 13 oz. her weight at dismissal was 6 lbs 6 oz, which pleased the dr. today at her well check, at day 4 she is up to 6 lbs 7.4oz. overall the drs have been very pleased, and i'm ecstatic!

    now i'm just waiting for my breasts to regulate and the darn engorgement phase to pass. when that happens i will be happy  as pie and everything will be perfect!

  • 01-11-2011 4:33 PM In reply to

    Re: Group B Strep help

     Wow congrats! Thats great to hear! I bet you drove the L&D nurses crazy, I would have loved to see it..lol. Everyone means well but sometimes get caught up in procedure and policy that its hard to customize care to patients. We see it a lot with continuous fetal monitoring. They can sometimes get in trouble if they dont push for people to follow protocols and it really is looking out for your best interest on a very cautious note. It is the most litigated field with many crazy lawsuits. GBS is small peanuts with a routine fast labor compared to all the other things to monitor in a pregnancy. Not that Im advocating for people to refuse antibiotics, the admirable thing is that you researched it well and made an educated informed decision. :)

     

    Jared Kennedy
    CNM/FNP (student)
    University of Colorado
    C-EFM, RN-C Inpatient Obstetrics
  • 01-12-2011 6:47 AM In reply to

    • morae
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-14-2010
    • eugene oregon
    • Posts 12

    Re: Group B Strep help

    oh yes, i made her very nervous, but she told me after the birth that she knows to pick her battles and that was not one she was going to win, lmao. me and my doula both got a "vibe" off her at first and were both concerned we would have issues, but, turned out she was willing to put her issues aside and we ended up working together beautifully. i am really glad she didn't let herself get stuck on policy and practices and was just able to focus on my birth.

    it likely helped that i know she was just doing her job, i stayed polite, and i was well informed.

  • 01-13-2011 12:52 PM In reply to

    • RobsGirl
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-04-2009
    • Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    • Posts 364

    Re: Group B Strep help

    Congrats morae!!!  Enjoy your sweet wee one.  :-)  Hugs. 

    So glad everything went well.  It pays to be informed and confident of what you want.

    RobsGirl, 31
    Wife of one fabulous guy (34)
    Mommy of 3 awesome boys, ages 11, 8, and 4, and a precious 2 year old daughter.


  • 01-13-2011 3:17 PM In reply to

    • morae
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 12-14-2010
    • eugene oregon
    • Posts 12

    Re: Group B Strep help

    thank you so much! i am just so happy and so in love!!!

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