Group B Strep. is a common type of bacteria called streptococcal bacteria - found in up to 2 in 5 people, usually in the rectum or vagina. To the average adult it is normally harmless, it doesn't normally show any symptoms and as a result most people don't normally know that they have it.
Having Group B Strep. is not normally harmful to your baby during pregnancy, and should not affect the health of your baby, however risks arise during labour as the bacteria can be passed on to your baby making them ill. The risks of passing the bacteria on to your baby are higher for vaginal birth, but Caesarean delivery can still carry risk of passing the infection from mother to baby depending on the circumstances.
If you are identified as having Strep B, you will need to let your midwife know, particularly when you go into labour, and antibiotics may be given to you during labour. Your baby will be monitored for 12 hours after labour for signs of infection.
Without treatment, Strep B infection in newborn babies can lead to serious problems like sepsis or meningitis. This can cause lasting problems like hearing loss or loss of vision and can sometimes be fatal.
The Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Testing Kit available from Your Baby Scan includes everything you need to test for Strep. B from the comfort of your own home.
Each pack contains a complete and easy to follow guide on how to take the test. Complete with two swabs and accompanying transport tubes to swab both the lower vagina and rectum.
Bacteriological testing should ideally be carried out at 35–37 weeks of gestation or 3–5 weeks prior to the anticipated delivery date, e.g. 32–34 weeks of gestation for women with twins.
Tests should be returned using the included pre-paid envelope immediately. If test cannot be returned immediately they should be refrigerated until they can be posted.
Once tests arrive at the laboratory, test results will normally be available in 3 days. The results will be sent via both SMS to a mobile number that you have provided when returning your swabs for testing, and via post. Where your test returns a positive result for Group B Streptococcus, our laboratory will also send a copy of your results directly to your midwife to ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment at the right point during labour.
To buy your The Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Testing Kit, simply visit us at our Widnes Scan Centre, or pick up your testing kit during your next scan.
Available today from £35.