GBS is common during pregnancy. GBS stands for Group B Streptococcus and is a bacterium that many people have in their gut. It can spread to the genitals and cause a urinary tract infection. You can read more about GBS in this article.
GBS stands for group B streptococci is a group of bacteria commonly found in the human gut/abdomen. The bacteria can therefore be transmitted during, for example, sexual intercourse. Approximately 30% of all pregnant women carry GBS, at least intermittently, during pregnancy. Sometimes the bacteria can lead to a urinary tract infection, which is why maternal health care providers culture generously when symptoms occur (such as contractions, urgency, burning with urination).
GBS infection in a pregnant woman does not necessarily mean that the baby is infected during pregnancy or delivery. Transmission to the baby can occur, usually during childbirth, where the newborn baby can carry the bacteria in its lungs. If the child falls ill with a GBS-related infection, it usually occurs during the first week of life. If the child falls ill later, the route of infection is less clear. Babies born prematurely have a less developed immune system and are therefore less protected in case of infection. There is also an increased risk of transmitting GBS from you as a pregnant woman to your baby.
Can GBS be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy?
Approximately 70% of all babies born where the mother has GBS become colonized with GBS. Antibiotics can be used to prevent infection in the baby and are given to a woman who has risk factors during delivery. This is because giving the mother antibiotics during delivery significantly reduces the risk of infection in the baby.
It is rare for newborn babies to have a serious GBS infection (about 1-2/1000) and special checks are always carried out on the newborn baby in the maternity ward if the mother had GBS during pregnancy.
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