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Group B Strep and Pregnancy

February 7, 2023 |

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Pregnant? Hope to be one day? Know someone who is? Then listen up!

It is routine in the United States for pregnant women to be screened for Group B Streptococcus anywhere between 35 and 37 weeks gestation. While Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is not considered pathogenic normally, in pregnancy it can be cause for concern. It can be passed from mother to baby during delivery and could potentially lead to pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis in the infant.

To address if a mother tests positive, they use IV antibiotics during labor as treatment. And you know how passionate we are about the gut; this is not something that we want to have happen if it can be avoided.

But we’re here to say a positive test doesn’t immediately mean you need antibiotics. Studies have shown that while you might test positive one day, if you ask to be swabbed again the next week, there’s a good chance you will then test negative. Basically, GBS can be transient–aka show up at times and then not at others. So asking for a retest is something we would suggest if you test positive.

We wouldn’t be NFM though, if we didn’t offer a root cause solution to the problem. In recent studies, two probiotic strains were researched to show that they can be used to prevent AND treat GBS! One of the ways the probiotics are so effective is because they are able to open the biofilm that surrounds GBS. (Biofilms require 5,000x the antibiotic dose to penetrate them otherwise!)

Due to this research, we suggest taking one of the specific probiotic capsules orally and inserting one vaginally at night, starting in the third trimester.

One midwifery practice made this treatment the standard of care and had a 75% REDUCTION in the rate of GBS positive cultures in their pregnant patients! We’ve implemented this with several of our pregnant patients and have yet to have one test GBS positive! Amazing, right? And so simple and safe.

The specific probiotic combination used is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14. We have this available at our office in a convenient shelf stable formulation and at the correct dosage. Pick yours up today!

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