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Group B Strep – Easy, Natural Treatments For Group B Strep

September 10, 2010

Have you been told that Group B Strep will likely kill your baby?  Has your doctor put the fear of God in you that if you don’t treat Group B Strep with their exact protocol (penicillin) for 4 hours during labor, you will be causing extreme danger to your little one and it will probably kill them?  I get a lot of emails and phone calls concerning GBS (group b strep) and frankly I am tired of ‘everyone’ being afraid of this bacteria that is commonly found in healthy individual’s intestines.  I have done a lot of research about the treatment of Group B Strep.  My goal for the research was to figure out if it really is in our favor and is it really safe to take antibiotics during labor to prevent the baby from contracting GBS during delivery.  Read my disclaimer please, because my lawyer/husband doesn’t want you to incarcerate me because you think I’m a doctor :-)

Pregnancy – What Causes Group B Strep?

Group B Strep can be found in your intestines at any given time whether pregnant or not.  The problems come when it colonizes (multiplies) during pregnancy to the point that it becomes a danger to your health and potentially to your babies health and in very rare cases will kill your baby if it goes undetected.

As a side note, if wonder if you are more susceptible to testing positive for GBS, keep reading.  If you have had one or more yeast infections during your pregnancy, that is a sign that your good bacteria in your gut is becoming out numbered.  Yeast also loves sugar, so maybe you are eating too much sugar.  Eating yogurt daily or taking a daily probiotic like a capsule (if you can’t do dairy) is a wonderful thing to do for your diet, colon and health.   If you have been on antibiotics, you definitely need to be on a probiotic.  Daily if possibly.  Antibiotics kill all bacteria – the good and bad.  Probiotics (like acidopholis found in yogurt) helps your body grow and multiply (colonize) the good bacteria that eats the bad bacteria in your system.

The Group B Test

Your care provider will usually do the Group B Test sometime during weeks 35-37.  If you decide to get the test done, I would recommend doing it week 35 or 36 and get your results right away so you can take action to get rid of the GBS before the baby comes.

If you have a say over the test, in my opinion, I would have the only swab the vaginal area.  Some swab both vaginal and rectal.  Since the baby is born vaginally, then there is no need to swab the rectum.

If you test positive for Group B Strep, your care provider will recommend or demand that you be on antibiotics with you start labor as to ‘protect’ the baby from contracting GBS during delivery.  See Statistics below.

Antibiotics During Labor

As stated above, antibiotics kill all bacteria -good and bad- in your system and likely to kill the same in your baby.  When given antibiotics for any reason during labor, the chances of your baby developing thrush (yeast infection) is great.  Also, since the good bacteria gets killed too, you now know longer have a defense system working in your favor to protect you from all the other germs, bacteria and viruses you will be exposed to in the hospital.  Antibiotics also lead to the problems of ‘super bugs’ (very serious) which are resistant to normal strength antibiotics.   One intervention leads to potentially more need for intervention and concern.

How To Avoid Group B Strep

  • Eat lots of good yogurt throughout pregnancy
  • Try to avoid all antibiotics during pregnancy
  • Throughout pregnancy eat fermented foods (they are high in probiotics) like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, homemade sauerkraut, and tempeh, to name a few.
  • A week or two before the test, increase your probiotic intake.
  • Insert a garlic clove vaginally nightly for a week or two before the test day. Click here for ‘how to insert garlic‘.  No, really, I’m serious – garlic is an amazing thing.  Bacteria can not live in the presence of garlic.  If the pharmaceutical companies could patent garlic, they would be even more wealthy than they already are.

Natural Remedies For Treating Group B Strep Before Deliver

  • Start inserting a garlic clove vaginally every night. Click here for ‘how to insert garlic’.  -why at night? because you will probably taste it and it’s easier for you and others to deal with the taste/smell when asleep.  If you taste it, that is a good sign because that means it’s active and working!  You can slit the garlic a bit to make it more potent.
  • Take mega doses of probiotics. A good product is called Fem-Dopholis by Jarrow
  • Eat fermented foods (they are high in probiotics) like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, homemade sauerkraut, and tempeh, to name a few.
  • If you can’t find Fem-Dophilus locally, you can order it from amazon or vitacost.
  • Get another Group B Step test done 2 weeks later (week 37/38) you can do it as early as 8 days later if you are running out of time.
  • Continue treatment until labor starts or until water breaks – which ever happens first
  • Echinacea and Astragalus help boost your immunity and are safe during pregnancy. (both available at health food stores or online)
  • additional protocols that can be added to the above are listed here

Alternative Approach To Treating Group B Strep

“It’s well known that the percentage of babies who actually benefit from antibiotics is very small.  And, increasingly, the routine use of antibiotics during labor is causing problems with resistant GBS or resistant e. coli.

So, in this area, some OBs and pediatricians have a new approach; for cases of prolonged rupture of membranes, they’re only giving antibiotics if the mom runs a fever (100.4 or higher).  Otherwise, they just do a simple blood test on the baby (can be done from cord blood or a heelstick if they miss the cord blood opportunity) to check for C-reactive protein.  This is an indicator of an acute infection.  If it’s negative, everyone can be reassured that baby’s fine, even though mom didn’t get antibiotics; if it’s positive (for whatever reason!), then baby will be appropriately treated for an acute infection.  This has great potential for focusing the treatment where it is most needed and not exposing all the others to unnecessary side effects and increased risks from resistant bacteria.  HURRAY for progress!”   quoted from gentlebirth.org

Rapid Testing For Group B Strep

If you don’t want to wait the 48+ hours it takes to get your GBS test results back, check into one of these tests listed on this website: Rapid GBS Testing

Statistics

  • Studies show that approximately 30% of pregnant women ate found to be colonized with GBS in one of both areas.
  • Approximately one half percent of women found to have Group B Step at 35 to 37 weeks into their pregnancies and choose not to be treated with antibiotics will go on to deliver a baby who becomes ill from GBS.
  • Out of 200 women that use antibiotics for Group B Strep only one baby would have actually contracted GBS during birth.
  • Research is beginning to show that the benefit of giving antibiotics during labor is being outweighed by increasing the number of other forms of infection.
  • Conservative studies find that the use of antibiotics during labor fails to prevent up to 30 % of GBS infections and 10 percent of deaths from GBS disease or infections.
  • Resourced from here.

Testimony from a midwife:

”I would like to share with you a case I had last year. Mother’s culture at 36 weeks yielded a result of 2+ colonization, which was the same at 38 weeks. I had her take 500mg Vitamin C every 4 waking hours, 1 EHB (NF Formulas) capsule every 4 waking hours, Propolis 4x daily, and she inserted a tampon soaked in 2% Tea Tree oil solution 2%Tea Tree essential oil, 98% Olive oil). She left the tampon in for 4 hours each day for 6 days. Culture at 39 weeks was negative for GBS. She had a long labor, a high leak for 72 hours,  then a rapid active phase and 2nd stage, healthy baby, normal placenta, and normal recovery.”

Here is another article that explains it differently and has more options and statistics are here at the Healthy Home Economist site: GBS Pregnancy.

 

 

 

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127 Comments leave one →
  1. 1st time mama permalink
    December 9, 2013 11:07 pm

    My story is very similar to rest of prev comments but i was wondering if I can use a probiotic supplement vaginally if directions say to take it orally? I really don’t have lot time left before I want to get retested for GBS in next 4 days and i could not find a store that carried the ones you insert vaginally (I just bought one thinking thats it but got home & saw the directions) and I do not have time to wait if I order one online. And if I can, does it matter what type of probiotic it is? Does it have to be gel capsule or can it be solid form? I have been taking probiotics orally everyday even before I tested positive but in last several days I’ve taken about 3 a day (same w vit. C supplements). Also I am doing a Hibiclens rinse for last 3 days & inserting raw garlic clove for 2 days now and will continue. I’ve been eating raw garlic cloves with 1 or 2 of my meals daily & drinking milk Kefir & Activia yogurt. But the reason I feel I need to focus my attention on getting rid of the bacteria more so in vaginal area is bc I get yeast infections often and believe I had one after I got tested (or even during) and also had bacteria vaginosis during my pregnancy.

  2. Shari Bedford permalink
    November 16, 2013 11:51 am

    Do you have any suggestions for a baby that has been infected? My niece has a baby that is back in the hospital a second time for this infection. He was given 12 days of IV antibiotics at 2 weeks of age and is now back in the hospital after being out for only 2 weeks. We have not yet gotten the new culture back to determine if it’s the same infection. If it IS Group B strep and it’s resistant to antibiotics, what alternative remedy can you give to a baby? I tried to get my niece to start making her raw milk kefir again, but she hasn’t gotten around to it. I’ve read that you can put a small amount of kefir in the baby bottle but I know that won’t be enough to help at this stage of the game.

    Do you have any ideas?
    Shari

  3. Monica permalink
    September 5, 2013 11:11 pm

    I am starting to wonder if routine antibiotic treatment of mothers is related to the rise in food allergies in children. Recently there have been articles about how important it is for babies to be exposed to the bacteria in the birth canal, for proper development of the baby’s immune system. Babies born by c-section have higher rates of autoimmune disorders. Anaphylactic food allergies are an autoimmune disorder. I was treated for group B strep with my third child…he has a peanut allergy, and I regret that I allowed the doctor talk me into antibiotics.

    • Titus2Homemaker permalink
      September 21, 2013 9:02 am

      Y’know, this is a really interesting comment. I just read something not long ago that claimed (I’ve not read the longer version with better referencing, etc.) that certain vaccines and intravenous antibiotics contain adjuvants, etc. that can incite peanut allergy. I never thought of GBS antibiotics in that context.

    • DoctorsNeedAClue permalink
      November 27, 2013 11:46 am

      My mom took a lot of sulfadrugs (antibiotics were less common in those days, but the action is the same) immediately prior to her pregnancy with me and I was also born via c-section. I have severe food allergies (gluten, milk, and egg to name the main ones).

      Here’s a related article about antibiotics and food allergies (although in this case the antibiotics were given in the first year of life): http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/780023

      It makes me so angry that doctors continue to behave so irresponsibly! I am only in the first trimester and they keep looking for reasons to have me take antibiotics (such as this strep b). I don’t want my baby to suffer through life the way I have.

  4. Bellinda permalink
    August 8, 2013 7:17 pm

    Hi,
    I am 14 weeks pregnant with my 4th child. I have never been “diagnosed” with gbs until recently. I received a phone call from the nurse practitioner at my doc’s office stating that my urine culture came back positive for gbs. 1. why would she test so early… I have had problems with previous pregnancies for other reasons, but not gbs. 2. why take antibiotics now? she also told me that they would be giving me iv meds during birth. I am soooo far away from delivery date, why is this an issue now? I am going to ask for a re-test at my next doc visit, but that is not for almost 2 weeks. any ideas or suggestions? Thank you!

  5. lauren permalink
    July 16, 2013 1:38 am

    HELP ASAP! I am now 38 weeks and tested positive. I want to take every avenue possible to eliminate due to fact I will retest in about about a week. Naturally I want to try anything and everything to get rid of this. But is it possible to go overkill on this? I was thinking about taking vitamin C daily, probiotics capsules daily, eating yogurt and raw garlic daily, inserting garlic at nighttime while during daytime using essential oils on tampon for 4-6 hours. But is it overkill to try all of these at once?

    • theCmom permalink*
      July 27, 2013 8:29 am

      How did your retest turn out?

  6. anny permalink
    June 25, 2013 12:21 am

    Plz suggest me home remedy as i m 38weeks preg and hvng yeast infection almost through out my pregnency and now b-strep positive…i used pills to put in my vagina for yeast but it cmes again and again…my doc told me there is link betwen b strep bacteria and yeast but personally i think it has some kinda link.plz suggest somethinv for my yeast prb as m gonna try b strep home remedy …though hav lil time left.

  7. Gheath permalink
    June 16, 2013 5:09 pm

    Is there a difference in treating when the gbs is found in the urine? I switched providers at 30ish weeks and she tested my urine at my first appt. That came back positive and she said she wouldn’t even do the swab at 35 weeks since I tested positive. I don’t want antibiotics after my water broke. My original plan was to stay home as long as possible to avoid any intervention at all. I caved and took the antibiotics bit haven’t finished them and have missed doses. What should I do? Does it matter if the gbs was found in urine or vaginal swab, my dr says that it usually means there are larger amounts.

    • theCmom permalink
      June 17, 2013 11:04 am

      I would highly recommend fighting the GBS and work at getting the counts much lower. You are the client, you can definitely have the test redone – it’s your body and baby. It would be better for you and baby to fight the GBS now… Hugs!

      • Erika permalink
        June 17, 2013 11:11 am

        hi there I posted earlier about testing positive for group b strep at 38.5 weeks pregnant, I was with a midwife and had a choice for or against the antibiotics and decided against, I took the oral probiotics and vaginal probiotics as well as garlic for 1 night. I decided not to retest but I will report I had a perfectly healthy 8.3lb baby girl with clear lungs, jaundice free, alert and feeding within the hour, not one single health problem to report. after she was born the midwives confided they see too many Babies needlessly treated (Erika in Ottawa)

      • theCmom permalink*
        June 18, 2013 8:28 pm

        Erika,

        Thank you for the update about how you handled GBS at the end of your pregnancy and through birth. Congrats on your baby girl!

  8. Alice permalink
    May 29, 2013 9:24 pm

    I usually dont comment on blogs, i just search the web to collect the answers that reasonates with my beliefs but I really feel the need to leave my 2 cents on this. I am very pro natural on all levels and always question and oppose to any interventions but when there seem no other way out I ask why. And the universe gives me an answer. I too just tested positive for GBS and I am so upset to this because I feel I could have done something to prevent it. I am upset that I did the vaginal AND rectal test when I was left to do this by myself in the bathroom and simply could have just done the vaginal. I am upset of all the sugar I have eaten throughout my pregnancy and the antibiotics I have taken throughout my life which probably caused the GBS in the first place. As all these thoughts run through my head and the anger towards the medical industry intensifies my much more grounded husband notice my distress and with one look at his worried head I finally realize I have to snap out of it and start to look at the bigger picture. I always believe that whatever situation I am in is because I was meant to go through that for my own (and now baby) highest good. Whether my current natural beliefs match up to what that is. The thing is that I’m not perfect. My body is not 100% natural and clean no matter how much I would like to think it is. I make mistakes and I have to accept that I live in a polluted world and learn my lessons according to that. Once I get a little more neutral about my situation I start to recieve the answers I need. First of all the rectal swab may not be necessary but if you think about it as your baby passes through the vagina it is very close to that part of you and the skin stretched so thin. At the same time you have a doctor or midwife delivering you baby that may very likely touch that part of you however careful they are and the area around it and then right after touch your baby. So even if there is a small chance I understand why they now require both. It is just to reduce more risk and it does makes sense since those two parts of your body is so close to each other so there is a potential for infection to occur. Now as for the infection itself it became clear to me that maybe there was several things that needed to be cleared in myself and baby from the start. Whether it is GBS or some other infection that they did not test for. I am all for healing yourself natural but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way and especially if you did neglect on pursuing you optimal health in time there may be a reason in doing so. Now I am the biggest advocate for avoiding Antibiotics but this was the answer that reasonated withing me so I went a head to accept it for my own piece of mind since at this point I really dont have much other choice than allowing the IV with antibiotics once in labor. I know I can refuse and cause a big scene or opt for an “accidential home birth” or late hospital arrival but that just didn’t feel like the right choice in this case. I will instead go with the flow on things when I do get into labor. Again I do believe this is happening to my out of my own power. Another thing is I am starting to think maybe I have been passing or causing some infections in baby that would be easily cured from the get go with the strong (I know -deadly) antibiotics. One example could be my teeth in which I had gum infection/bleeding gums for most of my pregnancy and when I started looking more into that this could very well cause bacteria to be transferred to baby. So I am going to allow the antibiotics to treat us both. And how I wish I could avoid it but I will apreaciate instead that this is being caught early and thank god for providing me and baby with the treatmeant we need to be healthy from day 1 of her life even if it means wiping out the good bacteria along with the bad. In addition to that i am giving thanks to The Lord in providing me with the knowledge to progressing on a healthier future path for us both and doing whatever I can to optimize our immune systems, replenish with healthy bacteria and eating healthy to give us the best odd of surviving the antibiotic treatmeant. I am still going to clean up these last few days or weeks before my labor begins to help reduce the odds of an infection as with antibiotics there still is a chance and I can rule out that I may not even have enough time (4 hours) to recieve before giving birth. So all that in consideration I am trying to be smart about everything and avoid sugar along with taking a better (maybe the pearl) acciphodillos and perhaps the garlic (although my husband think its too radical) so that I will be at lesser risk when time comes. I will also ask my doctor (although they will probably try to refuse me one) for a retest next week if im still pregnant, just to see the results of my good intentions and maybe have a better piece of mind that I’m not hurting baby with my infection. Yes I wish I had done all this way earlier when I disovered I had a yeast infection but I didn’t so now I can only do what I can. I have to accept I can’t go back in time. So to all you moms out there who tested positive dont let it bring you down. Just listen to your own good sense and do what you feel is right for you and your baby. Everything can always be turned around for the best no matter what it is. And doctors are not the devil himself. God did put them there to do what they need to do for you. It may not be in full compliance with your beliefs but then again do you really know all there is to know about this world and our universe? I certainly am still learning. God bless you all!

  9. Michaela permalink
    May 24, 2013 10:31 am

    “If you have a say over the test, in my opinion, I would have the only swab the vaginal area. Some swab both vaginal and rectal. Since the baby is born vaginally, then there is no need to swab the rectum.”

    A suggestion: maybe to offer some balance to this, you could include the reason *why* some care providers swab the rectum. Then the reader can decide for themselves whether or not this is a valid testing approach.

  10. Erika permalink
    May 23, 2013 12:27 pm

    Hello, I tested positive for group b strep at 38 weeks and wanted to avoid antibiotics during labour, I researched everything and began a routine of inserting probiotics into the vagina daily, vitamin c 500 mg 3x a day,
    probiotics orally and garlic inserts at night. I will test again at the end of the week, will let you know how it works for me!!

  11. May 2, 2013 3:17 pm

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every
    day. It’s always useful to read articles from other authors and use something from other websites.

  12. April 8, 2013 1:20 am

    Thank you so much for this blog post. I’d love to re-post it on my site. My due date is April 22nd and I am starting the natural treatment today which will include the insertion of garlic, cutting out sugars/yeast, and getting more probiotics as well as at least 8 glasses of water a day. I have been discussing this with my doula and hope to be re-tested in a week. My religion prohibits intentional piercing of the skin, so an IV is out of the question.

    • theCmom permalink*
      April 11, 2013 4:02 pm

      Yes, you may repost on your site, just link back to this one :)

      Blessing to you and your new little one!

  13. Mom with Stillborn due to GBS chorioamnionits permalink
    April 7, 2013 1:03 pm

    I know third world countries and midwives use Hibiclens in the vagina. but when penicillin is available it should be used. It has the wrong vagina pH and is against manufacturers recommendations.
    HIBICLENS® is an antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleanser possessing bactericidal properties. HIBICLENS contains 4% w/v chlorhexidine gluconate, a chemically unique cationic bisbiguanide with inactive ingredients: Fragrance, isopropyl alcohol 4%, purified water, Red 40, and other ingredients, in a mild, sudsing base adjusted to pH 5.0-6.5 for optimal activity and stability as well as compatibility with the normal pH of the skin. (pH of the vagina is 3-4, hibiclens could induce bacterial vaginosis to develop which in turn could cause preterm labor).
    Manufacturers recommendations: Avoid getting this medication in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, rectum, or vagina. Chlorhexidine topical is for use only on the skin.
    FDA pregnancy category C. It is not known whether chlorhexidine topical will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medication.
    It is not known whether chlorhexidine topical passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed if you are using this medicine to treat a skin condition in the breast area.
    Be very careful when using chlorhexidine topical on a child younger than 2 months old. This medication may cause severe irritation or chemical burns on a very young child.
    Read more at http://www.drugs.com/mtm/hibiclens.html#iIV3vSXrKQkUR0c4.99

  14. Melissa permalink
    March 25, 2013 3:12 pm

    After testing positive for group B strep in my first preganancy I did not do my research and followed along with the doctors recommendations of going on IV antibiotics while in labour. The funny thing is I know better but I thought what could a couple of rounds of antibiotics do to my baby, doesn’t it take years of antibiotic abuse to cause major problems. Well apparently not… my son was born after 30 hours of labor, 12 of these I was hooked up to the antibiotics. I guess this really wasn’t even neccessary until my water broke… from the beginning my son was unhappy. He cried all day every day for the first 7 months and did not like to sleep… Around 8 months old he development contispation that quickly became chronic, i tried everything to help him but eventually caved and put him on a strong laxative. I recently took him to a charted herbalist and he has candida really bad, parasites and is showing signs of being malnurished due to the parasites and digestive issues. He was only on antibiotics once or twice after being born. I know GBS can cause death but now my son is suffering due to my poor choice. Malnursihment in the first 36 months of life can cause neurological problems that can lead to autism. Is this anyway for a person to live? He is being treated for these health issues now. I pray that no permanent damage has been done. He has suffered for almost two years now and it was my fault for not researching GBS sooner. The stress from him being so unhappy and not sleeping has led to adrenal fatigue which I am just now starting to recover from. Think twice before going on IV antibiotics. If you can prevent this you can give your baby a better start in life.

  15. March 22, 2013 4:16 pm

    Thank you for this article! This information is wonderful. I wish I had read this when I was pregnant. I’m delighted to share it with my sweetsagacity.wordpress.com readers!

  16. March 22, 2013 4:14 pm

    Reblogged this on Sweet Sagacity and commented:
    Natural Treatments for Group B Strep

  17. Paula permalink
    March 16, 2013 9:55 pm

    I tested neg. for GBS with my first 2 pregnancies. Unfortunatlly with baby #3 it was +. I had a hospital birth and did not have enough time to get the full dose of IV antibiotics. My water was in tack however until the last few minutes before he was born. I did opt for a dose of antibiotics to be give to my son. He was healty and had no problems.

    Baby # 4 I tested + again at 37 weeks but was planning a homebirth. I think this is the site I came across and tryed the regime of 500 vit c, and B-propolis every 4 hours and I also did a 7 day high dose of primadophilous along with 4 days of garlic vaginally. I retested at 38 weeks the test came back negative. I wanted to be sure that it would stay negative so I tryed a vaginal tee tree supository. Needless to say my water broke that evening and I deliverd my healty baby 9 1/2 hours later. I am 36 1/2 weeks pregnant with baby #5 and again tested posative for GBS. I did do 7 days of high dose primadophilous, bee propolis and 500 vit C before the test but it still came back +. The only part missing from the equation was the garlic vaginally ( I was hesitant to start anything vaginally before 37 weeks because my first was born at 35 1/2 weeks -call me paranoid). At any rate I firmly believe it is the garlic that kills the GBS. I am going to start my regime again, but this time add the garlic and retest. I am planning another homebirth, but the thought of GBS does concern me enough to consider a hospital birth if I test + again.

  18. February 18, 2013 12:49 pm

    Reblogged this on Rootedforlife's Blog.

  19. megan permalink
    February 17, 2013 8:10 am

    Hi! I tested positive at 37 weeks and have started doing the garlic regimen. The first two days I just inserted it without a string. I never found it. I did a sweep with my clean finger, but have not been able to find them. I didn’t taste garlic anymore when I woke up, so I’m wondering if it somehow fell out when I urinated in the middle of the night. I didn’t flush until the morning so I could look and see if it was in the toilet and didn’t see it, but I suppose it could have slipped down into the toilet where I couldn’t see it.

    Last night I put a string in it and was able to pull it out this morning. Do you think I should be concerned and/or have my doctor look for the 2 cloves I couldn’t find? Will it cause more problems if it is in there? I’m going to request to be re-swabbed next week at my appointment. Also, is putting my fingers up there actually pushing the infection up higher?

    Thanks!

    • theCmom permalink*
      February 22, 2013 8:36 am

      The vaginal cavity isn’t that big, if you felt around well and didn’t find them, I am guessing they surely fell out during your bathroom visit. Look into do the priobiotics regimen as well…. there are come comments from others that explained what they did.

  20. Heidi L permalink
    February 8, 2013 10:15 pm

    I tested positive for GBS with my last 6 pregnancies. It was difficult for me to know when to get to the hospital so that I could get antibiotics. My labors can be unpredictable, and I wanted to try to get there in time to get at least one dose before the baby was born. With my current pregnancy, I was dreading having my GBS swab done and hearing the bad news one again. On a whim, I went online to see if there were any natural remedies for getting rid of the GBS. I read about probiotics and everything else under the sun. I knew I could do the chlorhexidine wash before the test and get a negative result, but I didn’t want to just get a negative test result, I wanted to be truly negative for my baby’s sake and my peace of mind. I decided that probiotics made the most sense, so I started taking a medium potency (17 billion) capsule 3 times a day around 33 weeks. I also cleansed with chlorhexidine wash after bowel movements, but NOT the day of the test. I had two tests done a week apart. My results were NEGATIVE. I was so happy to know that this time my baby won’t be pumped full of antibiotics, essentially wiping out his immune system, making him susceptible to other kinds of infections. Yes, I’m happy too that I won’t have to get an IV in labor and tolerate the burning of the antibiotics going through my veins. It’s not fun! But this is really about my baby and what is best for him. I am confident that the probiotics have done the job, and I will continue taking them until baby’s birth (he’s due in 1 week) and after he’s born, since I’ll be nursing him. The $80 I will have spent on the probiotics will have been worth every penny!

    • theCmom permalink*
      February 11, 2013 8:38 am

      Heidi,

      Thank you for sharing your experience. Well done mama :) This baby will thank you for allowing it to have a great start to life earth side with a happy stomach and a jump start to it’s immune response. If you get a chance in the next month or two, we would love to hear if you see a difference between this baby without antibiotics vs your others that have had a least one dose? Sleeping, eating, contentment, health (ear infections, etc), tummy issues, colic, etc.
      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting. Congrats on your new little one – hugs!

  21. Holley permalink
    January 15, 2013 10:51 am

    I wanted to leave my outcome. As you may have read in a previous post, I had GBS. I had never had it before. I did all the natural ideas, I was taking 45-75 pills a day not to mention other items like creams, etc. I was retested and still had it. My strain was tested to see what the best option for antibiotics was. It was Penicillin which is the normal regimen. I am allergic to PCN as well as Erythromycin which is the next drug in the lineup. After that the next antibiotics do not cross the placenta and therefore, cannot help your baby or there are serious issues with it being safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding. I decided to do nothing, obviously. I offered to have my baby immediately tested after birth and to treat at that point. They said there would be no way for them to know because the testing takes too long. Symptoms would present before this. So we decided to watch her closely. She ended up fine. We couldn’t wait to get out of there. Because she was big (please she was just over 8lbs at 38 weeks gestation at birth) they wanted to torture her by checking her sugar count every 4 hours. NEVER AGAIN! She was low one time with no signs of low blood sugar. They told me she should be shaking and lethargic. Never happened. I swear, i would have my baby at home if I could. We have been to the Dr once thus far and had a home nurse come in once 2 days after we left the hospital. She is doing great and I can tell you, I would not have made an different of a decision. My doctor was not happy with our situation but if the drugs you take won’t do anything anyway, why do it? Stupid to deal with all the issues afterward, like yeast, etc for no reason. I know that some have lost children to Strep B but according to what I have read, something else is usually going on with a lowered immune system, etc and that is why most babies don’t get it. I sympathize with them and I am grateful the good Lord has not asked me to carry that burden but I have always believed that if I was meant to lose a child than that is what was intended. I was taught that by my mother. She lost a two day old baby boy and while she still grieves at times, she believes that God has a purpose in all things. May I just say, if I have offended anyone, I apologize. I am only do what everyone else has done, expressing my beliefs and opinions. Good luck to all and may God bless you.

    • Anonymous permalink
      March 25, 2013 2:13 pm

      I wonder if your test results were wrong. Maybe you truly did not have it after taking all those pills. Good thing everything worked out in the end.

  22. Caleb permalink
    December 9, 2012 9:37 pm

    Great information, here. Thanks!

    I’d like to suggest another option that is a little more embarrassing. Given that GBS is a normal intestinal bacteria, it reminds me of the frequent recalls in the supermarkets of spinach and what have you because of salmonella infections, e. coli, etc. What they rarely say is that the infections are the result of some fecal contamination, as these bacteria also are part of a healthy intestinal flora. To make a short story long, moms might be dealing with the same issue. The direction you wipe, cleanliness of clothing, and perhaps other cleanliness issues will affect a GBS infection in the birth canal, as they do UTIs.

    I hope this helps!

  23. Sylvia permalink
    November 28, 2012 2:19 pm

    Does it matter how far up you insert the garlic?

  24. laraste permalink
    November 24, 2012 3:32 pm

    As the mother of one dead child thanks to a false negative GBS test, DO NOT RISK THE LIFE OF YOUR CHILD AT THIS WOMAN’S ADVICE. Take the antibiotic and have a living baby. Trust me.

    • theCmom permalink*
      November 26, 2012 5:41 pm

      I am terribly sorry to hear of the loss of your baby. There are on words.

      I am simply giving mama’s options. There are serious risks with taking antibiotics (that will put your baby’s life at risk) and the same goes if you choose not to take them. I do not know of any doctor that will let you refuse antibiotics if you test GBS positive at the end of your pregnancy.

    • January 14, 2013 9:00 pm

      I am so sorry for your loss Laraste.. I too lost my son due to Strep B. Please GET TESTED EARLY into your pregnancy and get treated. You do not want to lose your child due to Strep B.. please visit Groupstrepbinternational.org or Fight4Jalen.org to keep yourself inform about GBS. Read others stories that have also lost a child due to Strep B.

    • April 18, 2013 11:44 pm

      I had a false negative gbs test at 36 weeks. I now have a baby that had over a dozen mini strokes she has mental and physical issues she had late onset meningitis at 2 weeks old, its not worth it take the meds her issues are life long I’m not sure what’s gonna happen in her future, we have physical therapy and feeding and speech every week since she was 8 weeks old she will be 2 in july, I’m terrified to have another but its all my husband wants, what’s a person to do

      • April 18, 2013 11:53 pm

        Oh an I forgot to mention the 21 days in hospital 7 in nicu on life support/breathing vent fever hundreds ofseizures and a un meassurable amount of terrified with a side of is this real? My baby isn’t suppost to get sick but we are stuck in that hospital room for hours on end.

      • stacy h permalink
        May 5, 2013 11:12 pm

        Conversely, I have a 3 yr old son suffering the effects of IV antibiotics I had in our labor. There are many things that need looked at and reconsidered in our general maternity care- one being the frequent checks, which push the strep up, increasing risk of exposure. Two, the premature breaking of waters, which of course the intact bag of waters protects baby. And three, our own diets. I’d be interested to see what connection our diet has to this strep overgrowth.
        If I could go back, I’d refuse those damn checks, the breaking of my waters, and my IV. There is no telling the extent of the damage done to my son due to those antibiotics. The gut/brain/immune connection is something they are only just beginning to understand.

      • theCmom permalink*
        May 6, 2013 8:35 pm

        Stacy – I agree… leaving the mother alone during labor protects her and baby from many many interventions… Thank you for sharing.

  25. Anonymous permalink
    November 9, 2012 6:00 am

    Hi, I am 13 weeks and had some swabs which showed I am positive for GBS :-( I want to start dealing with it NOW not when I am near labour (although I will treat then aswell) can I use the remedies from now until birth? is the garlic clove at night not necessary all the time between now and birth? maybe if I did it for 2 weeks? every month or so? can I take propolis now and right through the pregnancy to keep it at bay? is echinacea safe this early? THANKS :-)

    • theCmom permalink*
      November 9, 2012 5:07 pm

      if it was me, I’d follow the diet recommendations (limit sugar, lots of probiotics, etc) and a week before your next GBS test do the garlic clove. Make sure to clean really well before your next test and request only a vaginal swab, no rectal.

      • Anonymous permalink
        November 10, 2012 7:35 am

        thanks, i have been thinking…if you’ve got the time like I have would it be helpful to use garlic internally for a week or 2 THEN use a probiotic pessary for a week? I guess the garlic kills the good and bad bacteria so once its killed everything if I replace this with lots if friendly bacteria aswell as taking an oral probiotic hopefully i will just have lots of friendly bacteria to keep the GBS at bay?? would this work? :-)

      • April 11, 2013 10:58 am

        @Anonymous, I don’t believe garlic kills everything willy-nilly the way manmade pharmaceuticals do.

      • theCmom permalink*
        April 11, 2013 3:57 pm

        you are right, garlic does not work in all applications… but it’s certainly got many fewer side effects. Pharmaceutical antibiotics kills all the good and the bad, leaving you with very little defense system left…

      • April 11, 2013 5:36 pm

        I think maybe you misunderstood me. :) I was saying I don’t think the garlic will wipe out all the good stuff along with the bad!

      • theCmom permalink*
        April 12, 2013 3:50 pm

        Ah, correct! :)

  26. October 24, 2012 9:52 am

    I’d like to see some information here, or in another blog post, about urine culture for GBS, the possibility of GBS crossing the placenta, etc.

  27. Melissa permalink
    September 17, 2012 7:44 pm

    I tested positive for GBS at 37 weeks with my 2nd (I was negative with my 1st). My provider told me they would probably want to induce my labor so that they can ensure I get a full round of antibiotics at least 4 hours prior to birth. My first was completely drug free, zero intervention, waterbirth with a midwife, so elective induction was not an option for me. When I told my provider “no thanks” she threatened that the nurses could call child protection on me for endangering my child. Are you kidding me?! I took probiotics, apple cider vinegar, Vit C, echinacea, astragalus, raw honey and garlic every day from then until my daughter was born. I stayed at home as long as possible. Arrived dilated 9cm and baby was born 1 hour after I was admitted so no time for antibiotics (hehe). Her water didn’t break until she crowned, so that gave her added protection, but she was born totally healthy. My provider refused to retest me so I don’t know if I was still positive at birth.

    • theCmom permalink*
      September 18, 2012 8:24 pm

      I applaud your decision to create the birth experience you wanted and to own it.
      I’m sad you were threatened. We all know that induction is not very safe and often leads to more intervention and commonly c-sections.
      And as stated in the blog post, there are serious potential side effects to the antibiotics as well.
      They say they can call child protection on us, who do we get to call on them for a bad decision?
      I thought the unborn child sadly has no protection in our country? How could child services be called in on an event prior to birth?

      Thanks for sharing your empowering story!

  28. Christina permalink
    August 30, 2012 10:52 am

    I am very curious how one becomes infected with GBS. I am fully convinced I got it after the natural Vaginal birth of my first baby from the Hospital. After I had her, (had been GBS NEG) the following year or so I had a lot of yeast infections, and a UTI… Never in my life had I ever experienced these things. I tested positive with it in my urine with my last pregnancy and my current pregnancy. I always do the Hibiclens douche in labor, but it burns terribly. I am allergic to all the antibiotics they could give me, as they have tested the GBS against resistance, and it is resistant to EVERY OTHER DRUG!!!!! So for me, antibiotics are out of the question… and since I do homebirths now, I just Hibiclens. I am going to try Garlic for the last few weeks of this pregnancy to see if it helps. I am very upset that I have this gross stuff in my body!!!!!!!!!!

    • kkrog permalink
      August 31, 2012 9:37 am

      I am doing a pretty strong regiment of the garlic, Femecology, Candida Stat, and Congaplex. I like it because they are all natural and I know they will work. I go in for my testing in a week. Will l let you know how it goes. I figure when it came up in my urine, I would have it in my other areas too. I can’t take the antibiotics either and frankly, I don’t want to. Aside from that I am also taking other things like Alfalfa and probiotics from Digest Gold as well as my Prenatals and DHA. I feel like a pill dispenser!

      • theCmom permalink*
        August 31, 2012 3:25 pm

        Let us know your results. Remember to bathe well right before you go in for the test. Good luck!

  29. Tania Colon permalink
    August 24, 2012 4:54 am

    This has been very informative. I am 18 weeks pregnant and my doctor told me at 12 weeks that I had an infection caused by Group B Strep (through a urine culture). He prescribed antibiotics and I took them. When I returned at 16 wk. he said i still had it and prescribed more meds. This time I did some research on natural remedies because I did not want to continue taking antibiotics. I would like to try the tampon with olive oil and tea tree oil but I do not know how to measure 98% and 2%. Can someone help? Also, I bought raw honey and raw apple cider vinegar, but I have not started taking it because I keep reading mixed reviews abut ingesting unpasteurized foods during pregnancy. Should I buy a different type of honey and vinegar? Please help. Thanks!

  30. J. Hines permalink
    August 8, 2012 8:44 am

    PLEASE EXERCISE CAUTION when reading this article. I DO have knowledge in the medical field. Though I myself am a crunchy, ap, bf’ing, co-sleeping Mama, this article is dangerous and misleading. My son was sick for 14 days in the NICU with group B strep. We all most lost him. Inserting ANYTHING in the vaginal canal during pregnancy is increasing your risks for complications. Eating yogurt will NOT kill group B strep. I know we all love to find natural methods, but please, take the medicine, even Dr. Sears errs on the side of caution for this one. I appreciate these blogs, but without having proper knowledge in the field of microbiology and study of bacteria, this article can really deceive others.

    • theCmom permalink*
      August 13, 2012 11:45 am

      I agree that yogurt does not kill GBS (or any bacteria).

      This article on GBS is written to empower the mama and to inform that you have a choice. Just because a protocol is “standard” does not mean it is 100% safe.

      And simply because you get a positive GBS test, does not mean you have your “hands tied” as to your options. If you have time left in your pregnancy, you can use some of these tools and get a second test. You are the paying customer, they are the service provider.

    • kkrog permalink
      August 13, 2012 12:00 pm

      There is always another way. I am allergic to their choice of antibiotic so I am doing everything I can to avoid being sick while I deliver. No offense but there are other things you can do. I know you had a bad experience but I get the feeling you also didn’t do any of the “other” options. I would never expect anyone to do or feel the same way as me but I would encourage them to get retested after they did everything they could. If I can have 5 pregnancies and deliveries, why can’t I take this opportunity to get rid of it for the 6th pregnancy and not do the antibiotics? Especially when I am killing off everything good in baby and my system in a germ infested place like a hospital? Just my point of view. If you can get rid of cancer then I a little strep is nothing!

  31. kkrog permalink
    August 1, 2012 7:02 pm

    Natural remedies do work. I got rid of cervical cancer spots. The research has NOT been done because they can’t make money on it! Love this blog – so thankful for it.

    • Digital Blood permalink
      October 4, 2012 1:19 pm

      KKROG: how did you get rid of cervical cancer spots??

  32. Josslyn permalink
    July 24, 2012 7:43 pm

    I have had recurring Group B Strep UTIs. They are painful, cause pelvic aches, fever and urinary incontinence, and after four rounds of penicillin this year, I have become allergic. I am scared because my doctor no longer wishes to treat this painful condition and I am worried about damage to my bladder and kidneys. I have started on a regiment of cranberry capsules and acidophilus, hoping for success. Do you have any other suggestions? I feel like I am no longer being taken seriously and I’m so tired of getting these every two months!

    Thank you!

    • theCmom permalink*
      July 30, 2012 3:18 pm

      Do as many things as you can in this post. I have a friend that swears by using garlic vaginally…

      • Josslyn permalink
        July 30, 2012 7:54 pm

        But will methods for vaginal colonies cure the ones in the bladder? That’s what I am having problems with.

      • theCmom permalink*
        August 1, 2012 7:51 am

        Bladder… you may want to look into D-mannose, I’ve heard amazing reports about its use. Also, pure cranberry juice (not the sweet stuff), lots of water and eliminate all sugar from your diet (and corn syrup) as it feeds the bacteria. Hugs!

      • berea permalink
        August 16, 2012 10:13 pm

        D-mannose does work great for UTIs….I recommend that and also the pure cranberry (bought at a health food store, no sugar)

    • Anonymous permalink
      August 9, 2012 1:31 pm

      D’Mannose powder! Check into it.

    • Kerri permalink
      January 23, 2013 12:59 am

      If you are still struggling, I have learned that cranberry and d-mannose do nothing for UTIs caused by gram positive bacteria, such as strep, staph, etc. Cranberry/d-mannose work on E.coli (gram negative), which causes most UTIs. For gram positive UTIs, Uva Ursi and Usnea extracts work wonderfully. Can be taken in tea or tincture form. Garlic an probiotics help as well! Good luck.

  33. Anna permalink
    July 20, 2012 1:35 pm

    I am 12 weeks pregnant with my third after two miscarriages (7 & 9 weeks) and I just received a call from my obgyn saying I tested posative for strep b. They want me to take antibiotics now! Is this normal? I do not want to be on anything especially if it’s unnecessary! I eat organic yogurt every morning after drinking pure cranberry juice. I also take two digestive aids (digest gold) a day and most nights, a garlic pill. I don’t have any itching or burning… No symptoms of anything but the nurse was saying they want to treat the posative like a uti? I was on prometrium up until 12 weeks which is when they collected urine for the test. Would that have anything to do with the posative strep test? I will take the antibiotic if that’s what’s best for baby and me but I hate the thought of taking anything for fear it may hurt the baby.

    • theCmom permalink*
      July 23, 2012 8:50 am

      I doubt the prometrium has anything to do with the positive GBS. I personally would ask for a re-test (making sure I was well bathed prior just to the test). Secondly, everything I have read is that GBS isn’t a problem until delivery. “everyone” has GBS in their system, it’s a common bacteria. It’s when the levels are too high that it may pose a health concern for baby AT BIRTH (not during pregnancy…)

      • CherrieMidwife permalink
        January 18, 2013 12:33 pm

        theCmom,

        There is a big difference between GBS in the urine and a GBS positive vaginal/rectal swab. If GBS is found in the urine this indicates a bladder infection (UTI) and vaginal suppositories of garlic etc., won’t help. It’s more serious if GBS has ascended to the bladder. GBS bacteria are very likely to reach the bladder through intercourse. Look up “honeymoon cystitis”. After a bowel movement, the bacteria can sit on the perineum and through wearing panties/pants get rubbed into the vagina.They then are pushed up to the urethra/uterus through intercourse, douches, fingers, suppositories etc. This is why women should refuse vaginal exams and membrane stripping, especially when known positive. The risk of GBS sepsis in newborns increases when a woman has had GBS bacteriuria during her pregnancy. A growing problem is the increasing rate of antibiotic resistance, late-onset GBS sepsis in infants of women who received antibiotics during labour, and other complications of antibiotic treatment.

        Read more http://www.aom.on.ca/files/Health_Care_Professionals/GBS/GBS.pdf

    • Anonymous permalink
      September 29, 2012 10:48 am

      They were telling you that your UA was positive for GBS. You need antibiotics for the UTI, it’s not to prevent GBS in labor. You’ll need antibiotics in labor for that. Yogurt is not going to clear a UTI and bathing before a UA will not change the results.

  34. Emily permalink
    July 18, 2012 11:34 pm

    I love your blog about GBS. I tested pos at 36 weeks and will be declining the ABX during labor. I started taking probiotics, vit c, yogurt, and a garlic/ACV/honey I made. I just requested to retest so we’ll see what they say. I’m so so scared after talking to a OB today, she told me that depending on the OB on staff during delivery my declining their ” just in case” protocol for baby to receive ABX could be overruled. She also mentioned they might do a spinal instead of a simple blood test for my baby. I hate this. I do have a question though. I know that cervical checks can push bactiera twards the baby and although I’ll decline most of them I’ll want to know where I am dialation wise every now and then. Do you know if hibiclens will help protect this? If I use the cleanse before examination should I be ok?

    Thank you!!!

    • theCmom permalink*
      July 23, 2012 8:54 am

      The longer you stay home and labor, the less opportunity you give the hospital staff to intervene with your body’s natural progression of labor. I have heard of many women not ever having a cervical check and the baby is born just fine :) More interventions usually means more complications.

      Good luck on your GBS retest!

  35. Becca permalink
    July 13, 2012 6:12 pm

    Thank goodness I found you! I have been having some issues lately and went to the OB/GYN to figure out what is going on before getting pregnant. My culture returned positive for Strep B. I have been referred to a urinary specialist but have been searching the internet while waiting for him to make an appointment with me. It’s a scary world out there! I am afraid of miscarriage but cannot find answers as to how to get rid of the Strep B permanently. I am changing my diet to eliminate acidic foods like coffee and tea and introduce more alkaline foods. Thank you for the reminder to take a probiotic and your other suggestions. I will follow them until this Strep B is gone. Then, I will get pregnant.

  36. SHOHREH SHARIFI permalink
    June 24, 2012 3:33 am

    Hi and good morning…..I am sooo glad that I have found your info on Strep B. I am 36 and pregnant with my first baby, have tested positive for Group B Strep only by chance as this is not tested for in the UK. Am desperately looking for alternative remedies to kill or cure this illusive bacteria, have come across an amazing booklet on Olve Leaf Extract that lists all conditions that it is usefull and Group B Strep is in the listing. I am alredy taking Vit C, Pregnancy Multi vit, Magnesium, kelp, and zinc as advised by a Nutritionist not sure if I should now take the Olive Leaf extract and how to take in conjunction with the rest…..can you help with any advice??? Much appreciated….first time mom..

    • theCmom permalink*
      June 29, 2012 7:40 am

      Consult your nutritionist about the Olive Leaf extract.
      Make sure you ask for a re-test to see if you are still GBS positive (and bathe well before your appointment :)

  37. Misty permalink
    June 5, 2012 1:32 pm

    My 8 year old tested positive for strep b last year and just last week I was. She has excessive yellow discharge to the point of needing pantiliners. It is very heartbreaking for me because she doesn’t understand it and feels very self conscious and I don’t know what to do! They put her on an antibiotic last year when discovered but it didn’t help. She and I have both been taking Femdophilus. I have been searching the web but can only find info about this regarding pregnant women and how to prevent infant from getting it. NOTHING about non pregnant women and/or children with it. Any info???

    • theCmom permalink*
      June 20, 2012 1:29 pm

      same info will help you if you are or are not pregnant. :) good luck! HUGS!

  38. Mark permalink
    June 1, 2012 12:48 pm

    My wife is 14 weeks pregnant with our 4th child and they found strep B in her urine. She has never had a yeast infection and we eat an almost organic diet with no processed foods. We do our best to avoid antibiotics and other forms of medications having been successfull with resolving issues with dietary changes. Today my wife was told she needs to be on antibiotics for the entire pregnancy and will be treated whether she likes it or not during delivery otherwise the baby will be taken away to “triage” after birth for observation. We are outraged at this. What the heck has this world come to for your doctor to threaten you with this sort of thing if you don’t comply? My wife had our previous three children drug free with the exception of what they gave her wihtou her knowledge through the IV. Most antibiotics such as Amoxicillin make her very ill and do not work. Has this become hospital policy to treat something like this knowing the risk is so low?

    • theCmom permalink*
      June 20, 2012 1:34 pm

      I am sorry to hear that your doctor is not listening to your wishes. Please remember you are the the client, they are the service provider. You are free to change care anytime you want up until the birth of the baby. No one makes you deliver with a certain doctor. Have them re-test you and see if it is still positive. Make sure to be well bathed before the test. Not all care providers make you take the GBS test. Do you research and think outside the “box”.

    • Nicole permalink
      August 10, 2012 9:34 am

      You are definitely early enough in your pregnancy to switch providers. If something is not making you comfortable you should consider switching- it is a very important relationship to have and if you are uncomfortable, your whole pregnancy and birth could be as well
      . Given your experience and your hopeful avoidance of interventions, I would also look into finding a midwifery practice in your area. They are often more flexible with ‘policies’. Good luck in your pregnancy and labor!

  39. Anonymous permalink
    May 18, 2012 1:35 am

    Thank you for this blog. I am currently 16 wks. pregnant with my 4th child. For the past 2-2.5 months, I’ve had a constant urinary tract infection with one yeast infection on top of that. I originally tried googling natural cures and started eating raw garlic and olive oil, natural greek yogurt with accidopolis, probiotic pills, vitamin C and drinking only water with lemon juice added. I dropped all sugar and processed foods as well as any grains yet it didn’t help my infection. I was also doing the garlic insertion thing, not only just over night but round the clock because the pain was so bad (of course that meant that I reeked of garlic but I didn’t really care at that point). Anyway, I caved and took the antibiotics the doctor prescribed. They didn’t work either. My OB then prescribed more antibiotics. I am allergic to penicillin so they assured me that Bactrim would be safe for my baby. I took it because I saw no other alternative but am still having symptoms (although not nearly as bad). I got a call today from the OB’s office, saying that I am testing positive for GBS and that they want me to take MORE antibiotics. That stunned me because I have always tested positive for GBS (in previous pregnancies) and this is the first time they have suggested antibiotics before labor (especially this much before labor). They said that the GBS is what is causing all of my discomfort and infections and that the antibiotic will clear it up. Is that possible? I don’t recall ever having actual symptoms from GBS before, does it mimic UTI’s? I really don’t want to continue taking so many antibiotics, especially while pregnant but none of the natural remedies I’ve tried have seemed to help at all. Oh, cranberry, blueberries and pineapple all seem to exacerbate the problem when added to my diet. Could it be that this new antibiotic geared toward the GBS vs. the UTI will actually help?

    I should just add as a side note that even though I have always been GBS positive, I have only had the full treatment of antibiotics during the first labor. My second baby was born in the car, so no antibiotics there and the third came so quickly that there wasn’t enough time for the full round to be administered. My second and third babies were much healthier than the first. I don’t really know if I can attribute that to no antibiotics or not, I’ve always thought it was because the first was induced (doctor insisted) and I eventually got an epidural with her. The second two were natural (other than a bit of the antibiotics on the third). Anyway, just a sidenote- sorry this is so long.

    • theCmom permalink*
      May 18, 2012 7:20 pm

      hmm… sounds like your natural births are the reason your 2nd and 3rd babies were healthier. How do they know you tested positive for GBS already? Did they swab you? I’d be surprised they could get a positive GBS test if you had just showered and cleaned really well. There are some good Yeast/Sugar cleanses available that should get rid of the growth… do you crave sugar? I think olive leaf is safe while pregnant – that might help… check into it.
      Also see if there is a reputable midwife in the area and call and talk to her. They can be a great resource!

    • Tippereenie permalink
      October 23, 2012 12:22 pm

      You may want to look into interstitial cystitis. I don’t with it upon anyone, but it can mimic UTIs to a degree. Here is one helpful link. http://www.icaroadtorecovery.com/

  40. Ym mama permalink
    May 9, 2012 4:24 pm

    I asked about refusing the antibiotics and my hospital’s policy is to admit the baby to the NICU for a 48 hour observation period. So maddening! Even if I’m re-screened and the screen comes back GBS-, since I had a + test, it doesn’t matter. I’m so frustrated. I think my plan at this point is to wait as long as possible to go to the hospital in hopes that I deliver when I walk in the door and miss the antibiotic window of opportunity. I’m so frustrated about this. :( I think the worst part about wanting to have a natural, drug free, anti-biotic free labor and delivery is the fact that if your go against the system at all, you are treated like an idiot who doesn’t care about the healthy or well being of you or your baby. Thanks for reading my vent. :)

    • theCmom permalink*
      May 17, 2012 9:23 pm

      Thanks for commenting!

      Remember (everyone) that you can change health care providers at anytime during your pregnancy. You can even just choose to go to the ER… sometimes we have to think outside the box :)

    • Erika from Maine permalink
      May 24, 2012 11:52 am

      I tested positive with a vaginal swab. My doula reminded me that they CANNOT keep the baby in a Nicu without consent, and they cannot “hold your baby for observation” without consent. They may tell you “this is what will happen if…” but you have rights and ultimately YOU say what goes with your body and your baby. At the very least, you could agree to have baby tested after birth and then proceed accordingly if baby has positive markers for infection….
      I plan to use the Hibiclens (vaginal wash) during labor- look into that. I bought 2 bottles at the pharmacy so I can wash in early labor and re-wash in active labor. I’m also using garlic, vit c, probiotics now.

      In the end, you know what is right for you and your baby and fear will only make your labor more difficult. GET INFORMED, MAKE YOUR BIRTH PLAN, TELL YOUR BIRTH TEAM, AND TRUST THAT THEY WILL LISTEN AND EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. Don’t let them scare you- know the facts and stay strong.

      Good luck!!

      • LaNae permalink
        July 15, 2012 12:59 pm

        Although this is true in theory that they cannot keep the baby in nicu without consent, we were bullied into agreeing to give my daughter antibiotics in nicu by them telling us that they would call DCFS and take away our parental rights.

  41. James A. Randle permalink
    May 8, 2012 3:49 am

    “Throughout pregnancy eat fermented foods (they are high in probiotics) like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, homemade sauerkraut, and tempeh, to name a few.”

    So you simply means fermented foods are really helpful with regards to health especially pregnant women?

  42. April 13, 2012 6:57 pm

    I am 37 weeks and just heard from my doctor that my GBS test is positive. I’m trying to find natural ways to get rid of this bacteria before this baby gets here. I am hoping I can produce a negative culture so I will not be put on antibiotics during labor. I think this whole garlic idea sounds like a great option. I know if I ask my conventional doctor he is going to tell me “there have been no studies, therefore you shouldn’t do it”. Has anyone had any negative results from inserting garlic in the vagina? Is it safe for mom and baby? I understand that I may not be able to kill this bacteria, I am just curious if it can be in any way harmful for me or this growing child if I try using the garlic cloves. If anyone has any advice for me about the garlic, please share, I’m running out of time!

    • theCmom permalink*
      April 21, 2012 9:36 am

      I know a lady that uses garlic vaginally when she gets yeast infections. They clear up in less than 24 hours. She has much better success with garlic than she does with OTC or prescription drugs… and faster results!

      Make sure when you go in for the GBS test to clean really well in the shower. There is almost no chance to get a positive test if all your areas are clean :) If they swab inside your rectum then I would be very concerned with your provider. The only reason they would do that is for a 3rd degree tear. There is NO REASON to have a 3rd degree tear. There are many, many ways to prevent a tear that bad. (I have had three 14inch heads with zero tearing and my mom birthed a 15 inch head with no tearing) It’s called not lying on your back, no forceps and a provider that really cares about mommy and baby.

      Eat garlic too, that will go through your digestive tract and kill keep the bacteria to a minimum. Best of luck!

      • April 22, 2012 1:37 pm

        Thanks for all the information. I used the garlic vaginally as well as increased my vitamin c intake and also started taking probiotics. I feel very confident that I would produce a negative GBS test, but if you would believe it, my doctor won’t even re-test me. I guess this is my fault for choosing a conventional doctor. Apparently it is mandatory at the hospital I am delivering at, to put mom on antibiotics during labor if the GBS test was positive at any point during the pregnancy. I am very angry about this, but at this point there is really nothing I can do. I am also mad because I never knew I was having the GBS test done, so on the day that they took my culture I hadn’t even showered in two days (I know, maybe sounds gross, but with a three year old at home, and a husband that works a lot, I don’t always get a shower everyday), had I known I was having a culture done, I probably would have washed before my appointment, and who knows, maybe wouldn’t have even tested positive in the first place.

        Anyways, this is just another reason why I am being pushed further and further from the medical industry. The doctor doesn’t seem to think it is a big deal that they put me on antibiotics, I on the other hand, think it is a HUGE deal. Antibiotics are serious and should not be passed out like candy or to be used as a “just in case” measure. I wonder how many moms are being put on antibiotics in the hospital everyday for GBS, when they shouldn’t be.

        I am trying to put it all behind me now and have happy thoughts of delivery and birth (only 1.5 weeks left). I am looking into supplements to help boost the immune system for both myself and my child after we receive these antibiotics. I already have have multivitamins & vitamin c for infants. I haven’t purchased any probiotics for infants yet, but I’m sure they make them, and I will certainly be buying them. Also, a friend of mine told me to use Theives essential oil – rub on our feet once a day to help fight off infections. If there is anything else that you think may be helpful, let me know.

        Love your site. Thanks for all the great information.

      • theCmom permalink*
        April 23, 2012 2:53 pm

        Ah, I think you have the right to demand a second culture to be done. You are the client/customer – they are the service provider.

        Another thing you can do is to make sure you don’t go to the hospital too soon. If you have a doula and she is laboring at home with you, she will probably know when it’s “go” time and you can get to the hospital as close to having that baby as possible. The less time you are at the hospital before having the baby, the less opportunity you give them to intervene.

        Hugs to you and your new little one.

    • Samantha permalink
      April 22, 2013 6:34 pm

      This is a year late, but I am posting this in the hopes it will help someone. I tested positive for GBS at 37 weeks and because I didn’t even know about getting tested, I hadn’t done anything to try and test negative. I was SHOCKED that I was positive. I am an all natural, organic-eating person and I have only treated myself with Homeopathic medicine for the past 8 years at least. I haven’t had a dose of antibiotics since I was about 12, I think (21 now). I am pretty sure I had Strep Throat in January, and I was able to treat that with a Homeopathic remedy within 24 hours. Once again, I was SHOCKED that I have GBS and I even cried and freaked out when the midwife told me that I have to take antibiotics during labor. I have seen people who’ve taken it and then either their baby has developed thrush, they’ve gotten a yeast infection, or the baby had allergies through the breast milk and eczema :(

      So I had one week and I looked up everything I could do. I found a study that said that garlic kills GBS directly so I inserted a smashed garlic in my vagina for that week. But everyone said it had to be at least 8 days of it, so I also took a smashed garlic with me to the exam in a plastic bag and after I swabbed just my vaginal area (the first time, I did both areas– yes, my midwives let me do them myself), I took the swab and stuck it INSIDE the smashed garlic and rubbed it all around JUST to see if the garlic really was the answer…

      I got a call today from the birthing center and I’m still positive. I feel soooooo lost and can not believe the garlic didn’t help. Isn’t it supposed to be a natural antibiotic??? I really don’t want to take the antibiotics in labor but the problem is that my husband is a medical student and is trained to be scared of the GBS so he’s not going to support me refusing it, esp because the safety of the baby is involved. I am so frustrated because when I start laboring, I will have to drive 30 mins to the birthing center to get my first dose of the AB and then will be able to go continue laboring until I go back home and will have to give myself (or my husband can give me) the 2nd dose within 4 hours of giving birth. Aaaaaaahhhh WHAT IS THIS bacteria with no known natural cure??? My homeopath and acupuncturist didn’t know what to do to combat it either!

      • lisa permalink
        May 3, 2013 11:54 pm

        my midwife studied GBS in a lab environment for almost 2 years trying every natural remedy she could think of and GBS responded best to grapefruit seed extract and bee propolis. she said that fresh garlic did not kill it in the lab. she also recommends using Hibiclens after bowel movements. i don’t like the idea of using the Hibiclens but so far i haven’t been able to kill it with just the GSE and bee propolis and probiotics myself. i have also been using a colloidal silver wash.

  43. December 28, 2011 9:53 pm

    I love yogurt i also love to put different fruits into it. Though i wouldnt do the garlic thing i have heard of olive oil massages that actually help in two ways, they will help to get the parenium ready for birth AND introduces natural antibacterial and antibiotic items into the vaginal and anal area (the massage get oil in that area due to the amount used to massage) it actually kills the bad stuff and leaves much o fthe good bacteria alone! also if one increases their ginger and berry intake they can naturally kill yeast anf promote good flora! im going to start the massages around 25 -30 weeks and i will be getting big things of real desi yougurt (tangy like greek but does sweet and savory better) and eating it with fruits!!

  44. August 26, 2011 2:55 pm

    Hi there! I’m trying to reach you regarding permission to reprint this article in a magazine. If you would kindly drop me at line (pathways@icpa4kids.com), I’ll send the relevant information — we think our readers would benefit from this article.

    Thanks so much!

    • theCmom permalink*
      August 27, 2011 10:03 pm

      That would be great! Thanks for asking, please let me know when the article has been published.

      • August 30, 2011 11:59 am

        We’re looking into running it in the winter 2011 issue of Pathways to Family Wellness magazine: http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/

        I just have a permissions form to send over to you — we’ll need a short bio and head shot as well, if you’re willing. The copyright will be maintained by you but we’ll be happy to link to your blog, provide a free subscription, and send copies when the magazine goes to press. :)

        If you could drop me a note at pathways@icpa4kids.com, I’ll send the link to that permissions form and get you set up for publication.

        Thanks so much for being willing to share your article with our readers! I think they’ll benefit greatly from your perspective.

  45. Anonymous permalink
    August 16, 2011 7:25 pm

    Hi, I am 31 (not pregnant) and after 3 months of constant UTI’s and and painful bladder infections, I CURED MY GROUP STREP B INFECTION NATURALLY WITH THIS!!……A glass of Organic Cranberry juice in the morning, a 1000mg of Vitamin C with lunch and a Probiotic before dinner (Ultimate Flora Woman’s Probiotic bought at the vitamin shoppe!) I am sooooo happy!! I hope this helps someone in my same situation! :)

  46. July 26, 2011 3:06 pm

    Antibiotics are very serious and should not be given ‘just in case’. Hospitals are very dirty places for precious newborns. Nurses and Doctors wear gloves to protect themselves, not you. Ask anyone who works there.

  47. Peggy Hunton permalink
    July 10, 2011 2:19 pm

    I was GBS+ throughout all three of my pregnancies. I was treated with antibiotics with second one, because I did not know any of the above-mentioned remedies at the time, except colloidal silver. As far as I know, there have been no lasting effects from the antibiotics. My children have all had strep throat and Chicken Pox at the same time. However, I have treated them naturally and homeopathically, and they have been fine. None of them have ever had conventional antibiotics. I am thankful that some research has been done that has been successful on some.

    I have learned that natural and homeopathic remedies are just like conventional pharmaceuticals. Not every one works for every person in the same way. My husband cannot take some of the remedies that work for me and the children. On his own, he discovered Oil of Oregano, which works wonders. I imagine it would do the same thing as garlic, because it also kills Staph.

    I am also a “Contrarian Mom”. That is a very good name for it. I have always been contrary, just ask my mother. However, I am not ashamed to be in that category. I like my contrary ways, because they have been beneficial in my life.

    • Anna permalink
      June 8, 2012 5:13 pm

      Oil of Oregeno is great but not safe during pregnancy/breastfeeding. It is actually an herb that was used for abortions in the pre-20th centuries. It is used to bring about the monthly cycle and is only safe in food quantities, not medicinal :-)

  48. July 10, 2011 2:17 pm

    I love this post. I have noted for many years (in my pediatric nutrition practice) that moms given antibiotics for Group B Strep at birth often have babies with colic, allergy, milk protein intolerance and all sorts of problems that appear to be secondary to having baby’s beneficial microflora stripped away – even when baby has not been given any antibiotics in first year. I have long wondered what the alternatives are and what the truth is about how necessary or effective it is to use antibiotics for moms with positive Group B Strep. I only wish I had included information like this in my last book, Special Needs Kids Go Pharm Free. It can help more families avoid special needs for their kids!

  49. June 6, 2011 2:45 pm

    I just wanted to mention vinegar, tea tree oil and colloidal silver are all good for the treatment and prevention of Group B Strep as well. Great post.

    • March 27, 2012 1:14 am

      Yeah right. We used colloidal silver before for treatment and prevention of Group B Strep. About vinegar, my biology friend shows me how to create vinegar using apple juice. That was really awesome!

  50. Jane permalink
    May 18, 2011 5:58 am

    Sadly, none of the alternative approaches mentioned above have been proven to work. See http://www.wrenjones.com/GBSAlternativeRemedies.doc for an interesting analysis of why they haven’t.

    • theCmom permalink
      May 18, 2011 9:21 am

      My point for writing this post was to point out that there is a serious risk with taking antibiotics (we seem to think antibiotics are safe, but really they can lead to even more serious problems). Potentially more problems can come from antibiotics than from GBS – statistically. Antibiotics can be life threatening and GBS can be life-threatening. You always have to weigh your options. Please do not make your choices out of fear or because a doctor is a bully and making you feel like a bad mother.

      • Jane permalink
        May 20, 2011 5:14 am

        Absolutely antibiotics are not a free lunch and each of us needs to decide at what point having them (for whatever reason) outweighs the risk.

        My point for commenting is that we need to understand that, although alternative medicine is clearly an attractive option, there’s just no good evidence that it works. If I make a choice to do that instead of having antibiotics in labour when I’m carrying GBS, I need to be clear about I’m doing – I’m making a a choice which, however much I might prefer it to taking antibiotics, is not backed up by medical evidence.

        Obviously some doctors are bullies. Sadly lots of people in all walks of life are. That doesn’t mean they’re not giving us good, expert advice (just that perhaps they could use an interpersonal skills course in communicating that advice).

    • Peggy Hunton permalink
      July 10, 2011 2:22 pm

      Proven by whom?

      • Anonymous permalink
        July 13, 2011 4:24 am

        Proven by good quality research.

    • Kim permalink
      July 23, 2012 10:25 am

      Thank you so much for this article! Makes sense that treatment may temporarily eliminate the GBS but not eliminate it and it could come back in full force! I delived my daughter several years ago and had tested negative at 36 or 38 weeks prior to delivery. I had the shakes and high fever about 12 hours after delivering her (this went on for days even after several rounds of IV antiobiotics). I was recently tested and found positive for strep B and am sure it was strep B that gave me the terrible infection I had after giving a vaginal birth. I truly believe it is not the risk to rely solely on natural remedies when the life of a child is at risk. I am so thankful that nothing happened to my daughter after her birth and grateful the doctor insisted that we deliver within 2 hours of pushing…which we did with some help. Just wish we had known about the strep B and treated with antiobiotics much longer beforehand to avoid my extended hospital stay.

      • theCmom permalink*
        August 13, 2012 7:29 pm

        Interesting point! So you are saying that they didn’t flag you for GBS and you still had it… The infection may or may not have been GBS related. But it isn’t uncommon to get an infection in the hospital because every time they check you, you are at risk for infection.

    • palm permalink
      October 27, 2012 11:52 pm

      Actually probiotics HAVE been proven to reduce vaginal colonization by GBS. I would not use natural antibiotics such as garlic, etc, because they kill the normal flora. Don’t kill the good guys. Reducing the pH to below 4.2 kills GBS. Inserting a FemDophilus capsule would probably be just as effective as antibiotics without the dangers of antibiotic resistance. What really matters is vaginal pH (bacterial vaginosis and GBS both are implicated in pre-term birth with poor outcomes), and that is what should be tested. Here are some references I found by searching pubmed for “probiotic group b streptococcus”.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=probiotic%20group%20b%20streptococcus

  51. Julia permalink
    May 17, 2011 9:18 pm

    While I appreciate what you have written, I would still caution mothers on this one. I, too, did my research on the topic. I was GBS+ on pregnancy #4, though -ve on my first 3. I declined antibiotics during labour because other than having a +ve result at 37 weeks (baby born at 42 weeks), I had no other risk factors (no premature rupturing of membranes, no fever, no previous history etc.) We don’t know what was really wrong with my son after he was born, but the doc was concerned and he was admitted to the children’s hospital for “2 days.” It turned out to be 10 days of heavy antibiotics. They treated him for a GBS pneumonia, though they could not verify that is what they had. They were even concerned about meningitis at one point. This is all based on symptoms he had (blood results, x-rays, etc.) In the end, he likely had some sort of infection? He had some wetness in his lungs, which was mistaken for pneumonia, though a month later was determined not to be pneumonia.

    All I am saying is that it can be serious. And you can have your baby ripped temporarily from your family. Do your own research.

    I’m not a fan of antibiotics by *any* stretch, but let me tell you that I took them in labour the next time because the risk wasn’t worth it for me. One dose for me is better than 10 days of *heavy* antibiotics for a tiny newborn.

    • Crimson permalink
      March 5, 2012 8:16 pm

      Julia,
      Had you tried any natural ways to get rid of the GBS before you went into labor or did you not know that was an option? How do you think it would have turned out differently for both you and baby if you had gotten rid of the bacteria before the birth?

  52. November 26, 2010 8:46 am

    Fantastic blog, that is what I have been searching for, many thanks it really helped me

  53. emt training permalink
    September 20, 2010 8:10 pm

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Trackbacks

  1. Nutrition in Pregnancy | Yavapai County Birth Circle
  2. Pregnancy Testing and Care: Natural Options | Wellness Mama
  3. 2 Doulas On A Mission » Blog Archive » Group B Strep
  4. GBS: a lesson. « Midwife 101
  5. I got the pink slip over GBS « Blog « Adventures In Childbirth
  6. GBS positive question - birthtalks

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