One potential hazard that Moms may face during labor and delivery is the use of IV antibiotics for Group B Strep (GBS) infections.
At around 35-37 weeks gestation, a pregnant woman is routinely given a swab test that determines if they are infected with Group B Strep. This bacterium is very common. Approximately one in every three women carries it in her vagina.
The Group B Strep bacterium, while no threat to the pregnant woman, has the potential to cause very serious health consequences for the newborn baby.
Most women who test positive for Group B Strep are able to go on and deliver perfectly normal, healthy babies with no complications. However, a few babies exposed to Group B Strep may develop pneumonia or meningitis either immediately after birth or up to a week later. Some babies may have long term vision or hearing loss from the exposure, though this is quite rare.
Like the dangerous, synthetic Vitamin K shot that is administered to all newborns for an extremely rare, bleeding into the brain disorder, the Standard of Care for all pregnant women testing positive for GBS is IV antibiotics during labor and delivery even though Group B Strep infections occur only in approximately 1 out of every 4444 babies born to GBS colonized women (.0225%).
In one review of babies with early-onset Group B Strep infections born in Southern California Kaiser Permanente Hospitals from 1988-1996, use of IV antibiotics during labor “did not change the clinical spectrum of disease or the onset of clinical signs of infection within 24 hours of birth for term infants with EOGBS infection.” (Pediatrics, Aug 2000; 106: 244-250).
Did you get that?
1 out of every 4444 babies still gets sick with GBS infections even if their mothers are treated with IV antibiotics during labor and delivery. IV antibiotics make absolutely no difference to the outcome of babies born to Group B Strep colonized Mothers and yet this miserable failure of a medical protocol is still considered Standard of Care for pregnant women who test GBS positive.
Incidentally, antibiotics for a common related condition known as strep throat are not usually necessary either. Doctors just prescribe drugs for this condition because it is easy and patients expect it according to the Journal Canadian Family Physician (1).
Strep throat remedies using natural antibiotics such as cayenne pepper, manuka honey, garlic, and turmeric are fast and effective without the side effects.
Beware of doctors who tell you that the “medical research” indicates that this treatment does work. Research is a very different thing from what happens in practice. Research may indicate that a treatment works, but in practice, it may not work at all or may cause even more serious consequences than what the treatment is trying to prevent in the first place!
For example, children whose Mothers undergo IV antibiotics during labor and delivery appear to be highly predisposed for potentially lifelong complications, including severe allergies, asthma, ADHD, and autism just to name a few.
I realize this is anecdotal observation, but most children of the women I know who received IV antibiotics during labor and delivery have some sort of chronic health issue that the parents are continuing to struggle with years after the birth.
Another unintended yet extremely dangerous consequence of IV antibiotics during labor and delivery is the increased occurrence of antibiotic-resistant, “superbug” infections like MRSA.
In addition, IV antibiotics have increased the occurrence of infections such as sepsis and E. Coli. The sobering truth is that the risks of developing a superbug from IV antibiotics are much greater than the chance of saving your baby from Group B Strep infection.
It is clear that avoiding IV antibiotics during labor and delivery needs to be a priority for every pregnant woman.
It is imperative that this message gets out to Mothers-to-be that antibiotics don’t work to prevent a Group B Strep infection and this treatment has a high potential to predispose your child to the development of auto-immune disease later in childhood. Why hasn’t this treatment already been abandoned for lack of efficacy?
While it is always a difficult task to explain pure stupidity especially when such behavior comes from highly educated people trained to deliver care in a supposedly objective manner, my guess is that the boost to the bottom line in requiring IV antibiotics for every GBS positive pregnant woman (one out of every three!) is so powerful and such a dependable source of revenue for hospitals that only pure outrage and refusal of this treatment from an increasing number of pregnant women will stop the practice.
What is the best approach to avoid this dangerous treatment in the meantime while OBs continue to falsely trumpet it as somehow helpful to the birth outcome? In my case, I simply refused the Group B Strep test outright.
Even if you’ve had a negative GBS test already (for example, I tested negative with my first pregnancy), you can still test positive with later pregnancies, so when I became aware of the uselessness of this treatment, I no longer submitted to the test at all. With no positive test hanging over your head, medical personnel has a much weaker case for insisting upon IV antibiotics in the first place.
In my opinion, it is also best to seek an out of the hospital birthing environment where the birth process is not viewed and treated as a medical event. Medical personnel attending to a laboring Mom at a freestanding birth center or home birth are much less likely to favor the utilization of this type of treatment than the same personnel in a hospital setting.
If you choose to refuse the test as I did, make sure to consume a quality probiotic throughout pregnancy and especially during the final weeks of gestation which will promote the growth of beneficial bodily bacteria and will give any GBS bacteria (if you even have any) very little opportunity to flourish and harm your baby during the delivery process.
An additional habit to develop while pregnant is to utilize the benefits of fresh vegetable juicing as this practice has a wonderful, alkalizing effect on the body chemistry, discouraging the growth of any pathogens such as GBS and promoting the growth of healthy, beneficial, body flora. Ideally, fresh vegetable juice should be consumed on an empty stomach to have the most pronounced, alkalizing effect (2 hours after eating and do not eat anything for about 20 minutes after drinking the juice).
If you are reading this and you have recently given birth to a baby and you received IV antibiotics during delivery, it is IMPERATIVE even if you are breastfeeding that you get your baby on a Bifidus supplement immediately (there are brands made especially for infants) and continue for a month or two so that your baby’s gut can be recolonized with beneficial bacteria.
It is also wise for the Mother to start taking a therapeutic strength probiotic right away as her own beneficial bacteria will have been decimated by the IV antibiotics and her breastmilk will most likely not contain the number of good bacteria that it should as a result.
I am a mother of two healthy boys. I am glad to come across this topic again since I am pregnant again and due in Nov 2018. Time to face another GBS topic with my doctor. During the second pregnancy, I refused GBS test. My OBGYN told me I would be considered “+” and given an IV antibiotic anyway since I did not get a “-” test result. I insisted on no internal exam and any test after 36 weeks. This is my way to reduce any chance of infection, to break water before active labor, and possible interventions. And to increase chance for a complete natural birth. They also said my baby would be put on IV Antibiotic afterward to be sure. I still refused two week in a row. My second son came so quickly. I walked in the delivery room with 9 cm and pushed for 10 mins. No antibiotic. No pain relief. When the same doctor checked on me during hospital stay, he said “you see, if you did GBS test as I told you, the baby would not have to suffer through IV now”. I almost laughed right in front of him. My second son (7lb, Apgar 10)and I were healthy and discharged in 2 days. The Peditrician did not IV him with antibiotic. Now he is a happy healthy strong 2.5 year old. I am grateful for his well being. I am also glad that I was strong to decline what I did not want. I will do it again this time around.
I am so happy I came across your website. I was “diagnosed” with GBS, and I was going to take the antibiotics by IV. I began to feel iffy about it. I came across this article because I wanted to see what was in the Vitamin K shot. I took a chance and read. I’m glad I did. I will be sharing your information with my husband. I will also be taking your advice about taking a quality probiotic. Do you suggest any specific brands? I know some yogurts contain probiotics. Again, thank you. I will not be hooked up to an IV. God used you to answer my deepest question.
Good for you! Here’s some info on choosing a quality probiotic. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/choose-best-probiotic-supplement/
Hey I tested positive for gbs with vaginal swab on 9week pre pregnancy. I just also tested positive for gbs 50,000-75,000 cfu/ml in my urine on my 12th weeks of pregnancy. My doc wants to treat me with oral abx now because he’s worried of “pyelonephritis”. I’ve read up that treatment for gbs is not needed for levels below 100,000 with no uti symptoms. I have no uti symptoms. Also, I will be having a scheduled c section and he said he wants to still treat me with antibiotics during delivery but he said one dose instead of the usual 4 doses. I do not want my child to be exposed to any abx, especially since the CDC states that no abx is needed during a c section. So I’m not sure what to do. Should I take the abx now for the gbs in urine or should I not do it? And I’m thinking of completely refusing abx during my section, or tell him to deliver baby and then start pushing abx.
I also tested positive for Group B strep and used the hibiclens wash every 4 hrs during labor. No problems with it, and my little girl didn’t have any negative effects. I tested positive for group b strep with my second pregnancy as well, we didn’t get the results back until the day after delivery 🙂 I wasn’t in the US at time of delivery, so rather than try to explain my no-antibiotic preference, I was just going to go ahead and let them give me the antibiotic as a precaution, but it turned out that I had a fast labor and they didn’t have time to give me the antibiotic! Baby #2 didn’t get the group b strep either. I’m not saying don’t take any precaution against the bacteria, just that we had a different plan 2nd go around. If I was more familiar with the new country, I would have gotten hibiclens here too. PS Also, try to avoid having your water broken by the doctor; the amniotic sac acts as a protection to the baby, so why increase the risk for transmission of the bacteria if unnecessary?
What if your water breaks early in labor, maybe even before contractions start, isn’t your baby more at risk for infection, especially if you’re positive for GBS? I do not want to get antibiotics, but I want to be cautious for my babe. Are there any natural ways to help protect baby??
This happened to me with my second child. My water broke about 6 hours before I started actual labor. I did not have any antibiotics, and it is safe as long as labor starts within a reasonable length of time.
although IV antibiotics during labor may not do anything to protect the NB against GBS infections and complications, women should still have this test done later in pregnancy and be treated with appopriate PO (oral) antibiotics and then retested after the course to see if it got rid of the infection. GBS can cause many problems and is a major reason for many early miscarriages so women should be tested early and then again later in pregnancy.
Just an FYI… I will be planning on getting the strep b test at 36 weeks and if positive I will definitely be getting the recommended antibiotic treatment. My cousin gave birth to a baby girl may 25th and 2 days after she was born the baby started having seizures and was immediately airlifted to children’s hospital in Boston. Her OB did the strep B test at 34 weeks (1 week before it should have been done). Turns out mom would have tested positive if the test was done on time and she would have received the antibiotics and baby would not have been born with bacterial meningitis. The baby has permanent brain damage and doctors are continuing to fight the bacteria that remains in the baby’s brain. Just remember the consequences of what might happen if necessary steps aren’t taken. I’m all for natural remedies and avoiding the use of antibiotics, but in this case I say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Didn’t you read the article? Research has shown that antibiotics during labor does NOTHING to prevent GBS infections in a newborn. Those doctors are putting a guilt trip on that poor mother that is totally unwarranted. FOR SHAME.
I would like to add that, while the method I am sharing DOES remove beneficial microbes from the birth canal, it IS effective for protecting from group B.
I tested positive for GBS with my forth pregnancy. I was not having my baby in the hospital, but in the event we needed to transfer, they SURELY would have given my baby antibiotics and likely forced them if refused. I asked for a second test the following week. I cleansed thoroughly with HIBICLENS soap (1 oz soap to 7 oz water) using a peri bottle (insert and squeezed in firmly one good time and rinse the exterior with the rest.
My test results came came negative. So, with the negative result I didnt have the worry of antibiotics, but I was really still GBS positive. The answer? THe same cleansing every 4-6 hours during labor (starting at the onset). I was told this is used in Europe effectively… and I believe it to be effective since it worked to decolonized me for a second test! My midwife uses this protocol for all her patients and has never had a GBS positive baby. Another thing to note is that just because you test positive or negative today, doesn’t mean that will be the status the day of the delivery. GBS status can change daily. A negative result is a great tool for denying power too. I think this article is great, but it is hard to convince people to listen to this great info without them knowing an alternative way to protect their baby. 🙂
Someone said that you can catch a UTI infection in this discussion board and I just want to laugh uncontrollably. First of all, you cannot “pass alont” a UTI infection. That is just ridiculous. It is caused by dehydration in the body.
Is there a more recent journal article that states the inefficiency of antibiotics?