Monday, March 4, 2024

HEALTHIER YOU: Group B strep and newborns

July 13, 2023 by  
Filed under Health

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

Group B strep (GBS) disease can include many different types of infections. Symptoms depend on the part of the body that is infected. Symptoms of GBS disease are different in newborns compared to people of other ages. 

The symptoms of GBS disease can seem like other health problems in newborns and babies. Symptoms include fever, difficulty feeding, irritability or lethargy (limpness or difficulty waking up), difficulty breathing, blueish color to skin. 

Most newborns who become ill in the first week of life have symptoms on the day of birth. In contrast, babies who develop later can appear healthy at birth and during their first week of life. 

The two best ways to prevent GBS disease during the first week of a newborn’s life are testing pregnant women for GBS bacteria and giving antibiotics during labor to women at increased risk. 

Women who test positive for GBS bacteria are not sick. However, they are at increased risk for passing the bacteria to their babies during birth. 

GBS bacteria come and go naturally in people’s bodies. A woman may test positive for the bacteria sometimes and not at other times. 

Some doctors or midwives give antibiotics to women who are at increased risk of having a baby who will develop GBS disease. The antibiotics help protect babies from infection, but only if given during labor. Antibiotics cannot be given before labor begins because bacteria can grow back quickly. 

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit us at 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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