What is Group B Streptococcus in Pregnancy?

testing for Group B Streptococcus in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your doctor is at your side to prepare you and your baby for the birth process. In each appointment, they discuss what will occur, assess you and your baby and conduct necessary screening tests for conditions such Group B Streptococcus (GBS).

Our St. Louis birth injury attorneys want you to understand what GBS is and how a routine screening may help prevent a birth injury lawsuit.

Defining Group B Streptococcus in Pregnancy  

GBS is a bacterial infection found in the vagina or rectal area. During pregnancy, the bacteria may be passed to the baby during a vaginal delivery. Many pregnant women may experience symptoms of a fever, abdominal swelling and uterine tenderness if they have GBS during pregnancy.

With 1 in 4 women carrying the Group B Strep bacteria in their body naturally, doctors must test a pregnant woman for the condition. If a test comes back positive, your doctor will recommend an antibiotic treatment to help protect your baby from contracting GBS during delivery. If a test is not administered and your baby contracts GBS, it may lead to severe issues like sepsis, pneumonia and infant meningitis.

Your Doctor’s Role in Prenatal Care

Throughout pregnancy, mothers attend a series of prenatal appointments to monitor their baby’s growth and development. With each trimester, your doctor is advised to administer tests and complete routine checks to keep you and your baby healthy. The GBS screening test is a standard of prenatal care to prevent transmission of Group B Streptococcus to the unborn baby and additional birth injuries.

Your doctor must follow these key steps to help prevent your child from the risks of GBS:

  1. Your doctor should screen you for Group B Streptococcus during your pregnancy.
  2. If you test positive, your doctor must administer antibiotics before and during labor to reduce the chance of the infection traveling to your baby during delivery.
  3. If you go into labor early and previously tested positive in an earlier pregnancy or your GBS status is unknown, administration of antibiotics during labor as a preventative measure is highly encouraged.

If your doctor failed to administer the screening test or give antibiotics for GBSat the appropriate times, you should consult a birth injury attorney to discover your next steps for the injuries you or your child experienced due to the failure to treat Group B Streptococcus in pregnancy.

A Team for Your Family

As both attorneys and parents, we fight for your family like it is our own. We work hard to hold the medical personnel responsible for the monetary and emotional damages they placed upon your home. Through our careful guidance, we are here for you and your family — now and in the future. To learn more about our team or to schedule a free consultation for a birth injury, contact our St. Louis birth injury attorneys and take a step toward justice.

Missouri Birth Injury Lawyer

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