GBS poses no threat to the mother, but poses risks to the baby. The GBS test is designed to screen for those mothers who may be carriers for this bacteria. A vaginal GBS culture will be taken from the vagina between 35-37 weeks gestation. If the test is positive, antibiotics are given at the time of labor to reduce any possible infection to the newborn. Antibiotics will also be given to women in preterm labor or if they have ruptured their bag of water for a prolonged period of time.
Why it’s important: GBS infection is a common contributor to sepsis of the newborn, and it can carry a high mortality and morbidity rate for the baby, especially if the baby is born prematurely. However, sepsis of newborns occurs in less than 1% of all births, so it is considered rare. Antibiotics can be given to the mother in labor to reduce the likelihood of any infection in the newborn.
If your test is positive, and you would like additional information on Group B Strep, please click here.