Group B Strep

Group B Strep (Streptococcus Agalactiae – GBS), is a bacteria that was first identified in cows in the 1887, and later discovered as a vaginal infection in women in 1935. GBS as a neonatal disease was rare until 1960, when dairy farms began using bulk tanks for the collection of milk from farms. By the 1970s, the disease had progressed to become a major factor in infant mortality.

Treatment by antibiotics began in the early 1980s, and by 2002 it was recommended that every women with child be tested for GBS between weeks 35 and 37 of pregnancy.

Natural GBS Prevention

  • Start taking a probiotic orally that contains these strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus fermentum early in your pregnancy. They help prevent the GBS bacteria from adhering to the skin cells in the vagina, but it can take a few months for it to work, so start early.
  • During your entire pregnancy try to eliminate sugar, most fruits, and all junk food completely from the diet and eat lots of green leafy vegetables. GBS is similar to yeast infections, eating a lot of sugar can make it hard to get rid of it.
  • Be sure your prenatal vitamin contains zinc, vitamin D, vitamin A, and vitamin C, to boost your immune system.
  • Reduce stress through meditation, yoga, getting massage, and other relaxing activities – high stress impairs immunity, gut health, and the microbiome
  • Other ways to increase your probiotic intake is by eating fermented veggies. Some health foods stores sell already made ones that have not been pasteurized. Or you can make your own.
  • The last month of pregnancy some women do this: Inserteither 1 clove (not a bulb, just a clove!) of carefully peeled garlic into the vagina each night, using your finger to push it in about 2-3 inches (remove with your finger the next day), or if you’re adventurous and willing to prepare this, use the herbal suppository, recipe below, nightly for 3 weeks to reduce local colonization and heal vaginal tissue if there is any inflammation or irritation. You can alternate as follows: three nights of the suppository, one night of garlic, two nights of probiotic, one night off; repeat for three weeks. 
  • Some women Have cleared Group B Strep naturally with essential oils, see link below

Healing Vaginal Suppository from Aviva Romm

To prepare: Melt ¼ cup of coconut oil and ¼ cup of cocoa butter in a small saucepan.

Turn off the heat and add:

  • 2 TBS calendula oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of thyme or oregano essential oil
  • 2 TBS goldenseal powder
  • 1 TBS myrrh powder

Pour the warm, slightly thick liquid into a suppository mold (you can order affordable silicon ones online). Put the whole mold into the fridge and let the suppositories harden for about an hour, then pop them out of the mold and store in the fridge in a container.

Suppository molds can easily be prepared at home by using aluminum foil that has been folded several times lengthwise, and then widthwise, to form a trough approximately 8 inches in length and 1/2 inch in width. This mixture is then poured into the mold, refrigerated to harden, cut into pieces the size of the patient’s pinky finger, and inserted as needed.

Another way to make suppositories is to let the mixture cool and partially set up in the fridge until it is solid enough to mold with your hands like play dough. Form into pinky finger sized shapes and place on a cookie sheet. Place in the freezer and when firm, store in the fridge in a container.

Wear a light menstrual pad each night to protect underwear and bedding, as the oil and goldenseal powders can stain as the suppository melts. These herbal products can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs online.

Can I Decline Antibiotics & What are the Risks of Doing So?

You do have the right to decline antibiotic prophylaxis in labor. If you decline, while there is an overall very low likelihood (2-3% chance) that your baby will develop early onset GBS infection; the risk is about double what it would be if you did accept the antibiotic.

Some women will only treat if they have ruptured membranes and labor has not started or birth is not imminent.

If you do need to take antibiotics, then don’t fret, you can give your baby probiotics starting on the first day of life.

 Newborns exhibiting signs of GBS infection must receive immediate and aggressive antibiotic therapy. If you decline antibiotics in labor, and are GBS positive, you may be pressured to give your baby antibiotics after birth if you deliver in a hospital.
Some other things to think about:

Could you and your partner be passing GBS back and forth? YES! It is good to treat your sexual partner at the same time that you threat. So give him or her probiotics, encourage them to cut out sugar and eat lots of green leafy vegetables too.

Men can do penis soaks, yes you heard me right, LOL! See link below for instructions

Resources:

Here are a few brands of probiotics that contain the strains that have been studied to inhibit GBS; Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus fermentum:

Probiotic for Newborns: http://www.jarrow.com/product/201/Baby’s_Jarro-Dophilus

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