Group B Strep Infection
Group B Step Infection affects, on average, one out of every 2,000 babies each year. This common bacterium normally comes from the intestines, but you can also find it in the lower genital tract. It can cause a serious illness known as Group B Strep Infection, or GBS. Normally, this illness is harmless in healthy adults, but it can pose an exceptional number of health complications in infants. Doctors usually try to screen and treat this problem before it has the chance to materialize.
How to Identify GBS
Medical experts have identified a few different ways that they can spot GBS in a mother. Normally, the doctor will perform a test at 35 to 37 weeks into the pregnancy. When doctors undertake the testing process, it’s normally quite simple. It involves taking swabs and sending them to a lab for testing. To get the results takes anywhere from 24 to 48 hours.
Some of the potential signs that your infant has GBS include:
- Difficulty feeding
Some signs could indicate you yourself have GBS. For example, if you are prone to developing a fever while in labor, this could indicate that you have it. You could also be at risk of GBS if you experience urinary tract infections often during the course of pregnancy.
How GBS Can Endanger Infants
There are a few dangers to infants that can come as a result of Group B Strep Infection. Not all babies that have been exposed to this danger will automatically become sick, but every child who has been exposed to it runs the risk of a few dangers to their health. For example, they could wind up with meningitis, sepsis, or pneumonia. Additionally, there’s the potential for the mother to have a stillborn child. The dangers of GBS for mothers have been well documented. For example, they could develop a bladder infection, a fever, or a uterine infection.
How to Protect Your Child
If you have GBS, you want to prevent it from spreading to your child and causing a birth disorder or health complication. Typically, your doctor will give you an IV antibiotic. Normally, this will be penicillin. This course of treatment attempts to keep the bacteria from returning before the labor starts.
If GBS takes hold and goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy. This birth injury is a lifetime disability that varies in its level of severity. While some people with cerebral palsy don’t have any mobility, others can walk with no problem. It depends on the individual circumstances and how the disease has affected their brain. Regardless, if your child was born with an injury, you should learn more about your financial support options.