My wife and I have a beautiful and healthy 4 month old daughter, and thankfully, we had her through a midwife the natural way. That is, not without many challenges along the way. Our experience with "Group B" is what I want to share with you here, so you can get a broader perspective on what is right for you.
Our midwife, who like many midwives, was under great pressure to do things according to conventional medical protocols and suggested we test my wife for Group B Strep, which according to the literature we received from her office seemed like a very bad bug. We were told that if my wife was tested for Group B Strep and it was positive, she would have to undergo antibiotic treatment during birth. This would have violated all the principles of health and sound medical opinion that we hold dear. On the other hand, our midwife informed us that if we did not take the test, we would not be obligated to take antibiotics should she be found Group B positive. A catch-22, it seemed. Shouldn't we have a right to know, and then use that information to make our choice, not have the choice made by the State.
Thankfully I did more research and found out that even if my wife tested positive, it was not some death sentence. It appears that Group B Strep, though implicated in serious but rare infections, may not be the "cause" of them.....and just as the forest floor is teeming with "pathogenic?" fungi that break down dead plant matter, some bacteria may only be secondary manifestations of a deeper underlying break down of immunity (inadequate implantation of beneficial bacteria? Insufficient IGA production in mother's milk? Etc...)
I found a study on Medline entitled "Vaginal bacterial flora of pregnant women colonized with group B streptococcus." and published in the Journal of Infectitious Chemotherapy, 2002, which concluded:
These results suggest that the GBS-positive flora is associated with a
lower risk of abnormality during pregnancy and abnormal pregnancy
outcome compared with the GBS-negative flora, although this group is
one of the most important pathogens in neonatal infections.
Another study in the Journal of Pediatrics, 2005 entitled: "Association of intrapartum antibiotic exposure and late-onset serious bacterial infections in infants." shows that intrapartum antibiotics may increase the risk of late-onset serious bacterial infections in term infants.
CONCLUSIONS: After adjusting for potential confounders, infants
with late-onset SBI [Serious Bacterial Infections] were more likely to have been exposed to IPA [Intrapartum Antibiotics] than
noninfected control infants. Pathogens that cause late-onset SBI were
more likely to be resistant to ampicillin when the infant had been
exposed to intrapartum antibiotics.
These studies help us to see beyond the fear-based, toximolecularly-driven disease-model of allopathic medicine. Blasting "evil bacteria" with poisons usually creates more harm than it undoes. I hope this information helps others make better decisions. We have an extremely healthy baby and I know that had we exposed her, or her mother, at what is perhaps the most important moment of her life, things might not have gone over so well.
I have posted other relevant studies to this page: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/taxonomy/term/5598