Black To Life… For A Healthier You
Proactive healthcare is essential to delivering a healthy newborn
BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES
Many pregnant women prepare for the postpartum period by thinking about what baby clothes to buy, which stroller to select and how to design the perfect nursery. A lot of those same women are very aware of all that is medically required to ensure delivery of a healthy baby: proper nutrition, prenatal vitamins and regular visits to their OB/GYN. Successfully balancing these concerns can make pregnancy and early motherhood a most enjoyable experience.
July is Group B Strep Awareness Month. Group B Streptococcus (also known as Group B Strep and GBS) is a type of bacteria that causes serious illness in people of all ages. It is the most common cause of certain life-threatening infections in newborns. Beginning in the 35th week of pregnancy, you can help protect your unborn child from Group B Strep by requesting that your doctor order a test for the infection. This test will let you know if you are carrying Group B streptococcal bacteria, which can be passed to your baby during childbirth. It is important to note that if you have GBS, your baby can get very sick — and even die — if you are not tested and treated.
There are steps that can be taken to prevent Group B Strep, and the GBS test is the first course of action in every individual pregnancy. It consists of a very simple, and typically painless, swab of the vagina and rectum. The test will determine whether you carry the bacteria — and if the results come back positive, you will be given medicine during labor to stop the bacteria from spreading to your baby.
With this method, an antibiotic (usually penicillin) is administered through an IV during childbirth. Antibiotics taken before labor will not protect a baby against GBS, because the bacteria has the ability to grow back quickly.
If you go into labor before taking a GBS test, inform the doctor or nurse at the hospital so that antibiotics can be administered four hours before the baby arrives.
It is important to enjoy making wonderful plans for a new baby. A large part of that joy is maintaining a proactive approach to healthcare in order to ensure optimal health for your newborn.
For additional information, contact the Las Vegas All Women’s Care offices at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane No. 165 (1st floor) in Las Vegas.