About 25% of pregnant women carry Group B Strep (GBS) bacteria. GBS is found in the vagina and/or lower intestines.
It usually causes no symptoms and is not harmful to adults.
If a pregnant woman has a positive GBS culture, she can transfer the bacteria to her baby during childbirth. These bacteria can cause a life-threatening infection for babies.
How can I lower the risk of my baby getting a GBS infection?
The Centers for Disease Control recommends a vaginal/rectal swab be used to test all pregnant women for GBS around 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy.
If you are found to be a carrier for GBS, you will be treated with IV (intravenous) antibiotics during your labor. Antibiotics need to be given during labor, as the bacteria can grow back quickly after treatment.
Giving antibiotics to a woman during labor has been shown to prevent GBS in newborns.
Please discuss this with your health care provider at any of your prenatal visits if you would like more information about GBS.