March 2012

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a leading cause of neonatal infections. This particular infection, if it occurs in your infant, can cause serious problems such as apnea, breathing difficulties, meningitis, seizures, and even death.

It is recommended that all pregnant women be screened for this bacteria at 35 to 37 weeks gestation. Based upon the results of this culture, your infant may be at increased risk of acquiring GBS infection during delivery.

The majority of GBS infections in newborns occur within the first week of life. It may also occur after one week and as late as 3 months of age. Illnesses caused by GBS include sepsis (infection in the bloodstream), pneumonia, bone infections, and meningitis. It is critical that your pediatrician know whether you tested positive or negative for GBS. If you were not tested because you were positive during a previous pregnancy, it is important that you inform your pediatrician.

If you are having, or have just had, a Cesarean delivery (C-section), it is important to realize that GBS disease can still occur. However, the risk is much lower as long as you have not also had fever during delivery or prolonged ruptured membranes. Therefore, you may or may not receive antibiotics despite testing GBS positive. Regardless, you should discuss GBS testing with your pediatrician.

If you have received antibiotics during delivery, and/or if you tested positive for GBS during your pregnancy, your infant may be required to remain in the hospital for at least 48 hours of observation. Some infants will require specific blood tests shortly after delivery to help screen for GBS disease. If you have questions about Group B Strep, please ask your pediatrician.

Copyright ©2014 All Rights Reserved.

East Valley Children's Center 3200 S. George Drive, Tempe AZ 85282 ( map )
480.839.9097 (Fax) 480.839.1762 / Terms of Use / Refund/Return/Cancellation Policy

Office Hours: By Appointment Only. M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Evenings & Saturdays on urgent basis only.