Group B Strep (GBS) is a bacterium that can be found in the vaginas of many healthy women. In many women, it does not cause any harm and these women are just carriers of this bacteria. But if your baby gets infected with this bacterium during a vaginal birth, GBS bacteria can cause a serious infection in the baby.
The test is like a pap smear and a swab will be taken from your vagina and rectum. Also your urine will be tested for GBS.
This is a routine test and the doctors like to play it safe and around 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy, screen all women for GBS. If you test positive, then you will be given intravenous antibiotics to kill the bacteria (no chance is taken to infect the baby) during labour.
If the baby gets this infection, they can get pneumonia, blood infection or meningitis (infection in the brain). Infected babies can be treated with antibiotics. But doctors do not take this chance and give antibiotics to the mother carrying GBS.
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