Group B Streptococcus (GBS)

Up to 30 percent of all women may carry this bacterium in their vagina or rectum. While the women may not be affected by it, the baby may become infected as he/she is passing through the birth canal. This may lead to complications in the newborn such as pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. This can be a scary and severe infection for the baby. Therefore, to prevent this from happening, all women get screened for this bacterium around 35-36 weeks, unless they already have had a GBS-positive bladder infection or a child affected by GBS disease after birth. If your culture is positive, then you will be given antibiotics in labor or if your water breaks. This typically involves getting penicillin. If you are allergic to penicillin, a different antibiotic will be given. Sometimes GBS can also cause uterine infection after or during delivery. You will be monitored closely for this.