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12 Days of Birth: Day 3

While having a positive result for Group B Strep is not on its own a big deal, it does require you to get may result in you getting* one or more rounds of antibiotics while in labor. This can be disruptive, annoying and even painful.
If you are GBS+, and your water breaks, you may need to make your way to hospital for these antibiotics right away, regardless of if you are contracting or not.


*See the CDC’s guidelines for Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease here.

Adriana Lozada


Susan Moray

I have to quibble with your use of the word “require.” Perhaps where you are this is the case, however in Oregon, most out of hospital midwives provide informed consent which gives the choice to clients. There are concerns that a positive result will be negative as it gets closer to birth time or vice versa. Many here in Oregon offer herbal suppositories to eradicate the bacteria which can be effective. I have conversations with my clients frequently where they tell me they were ‘required’ to do something when that is inaccurate. Coercion is not informed consent and it’s important that women feel powerful in the processes of pregnancy and birth.

Adriana Lozada

Thanks for pointing out my use of the word require! Of course you are right in that not 100% of women who are GBS+ will get antibiotic prophylaxis for this. And I wholeheartedly agree that “coercion is not informed consent and it’s important that women feel powerful in the processes of pregnancy and birth.” I have changed my comments accordingly, to a less absolute phrasing.
However, the recommendations from the CDC (endorsed by ACOG, AAP, ACNM, AAFP, and ASM) state that “At the time of labor or rupture of membranes, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis should be given to all pregnant women who tested positive for GBS colonization (AII), except in the instance of cesarean delivery performed before onset of labor on a woman with intact amniotic membranes.” This is the information and care that most women will received from their care providers. It’s a one-fits-all approach that is far from ideal, and the administering of IV antibiotics during labor disrupts the process, and increases the risk of yeast infections on both mother and baby, potentially wreaking havoc on breastfeeding. This is why my birth wish for pregnant women is that their results come back negative. As a doula, I see first hand how disruptive the procedure is to the labor process, and how uncomfortable it is for the laboring woman.
Could you share more information on the herbal suppositories that you mentioned? Thanks!