Please support Group B Strep International's efforts to promote the recognition that group B strep (GBS) can cause babies to become infected during pregnancy. Prevention guidelines in the US and several other countries recommend giving GBS-positive women IV antibiotics during labor and delivery to prevent GBS infections acquired at birth. However, it is not widely recognized that GBS can infect babies before birth causing babies to be miscarried, stillborn, or born already infected.
Current estimates are that 57,000 up to possibly 314, 600 unborn babies die in their mother's womb or are born very sick each year due to GBS. Although there are no health agency recommended protocols to prevent these infections, awareness is often key to healthy outcomes for babies. Pregnant women need to know to contact their health care provider if they experience:
- the symptoms of preterm labor which can be caused by GBS - some symptoms may be mistaken for the flu
- low, no or frenzied fetal movement
- any fever during pregnancy
- vaginitis symptoms which can be caused by GBS (GBS can cross intact membranes)
- symptoms of a bladder infection (GBS in urine means that a women is likely heavily colonized where it could harm her baby)
Pregnant women should also know to talk to their provider about avoiding unnecessary, frequent, or forceful cervical exams which may push GBS closer to their baby. Knowing how far they are dilated, does not accurately predict when their baby will be born.
Please give generously to help Group B Strep International inform pregnant women and providers about how to help protect babies from group B strep during pregnancy!
Mother to Rose, stillborn due to GBS
Thank you for joining us for our Prenatal-onset GBS Disease Recognition Campaign! We need your help to promote awareness that group B strep (GBS) can infect babies not only once born, but also before birth. Currently, most medical literature only acknowledges two types of GBS disease: early-onset (birth through the first week of life) and late-onset (after the first week of life to several months of age). However, pregnancy is also a distinct time when babies are susceptible to group B strep.
Our goal is for prenatal-onset group B strep disease to be widely recognized in order to promote research for its prevention and to #starttheGBSconversation to inform pregnant women worldwide about knowledge-based strategies to help protect their unborn babies from being miscarried, stillborn, born too soon, or born already sick due to group B strep.
GBS causes an estimated 57,000 possibly even up to 314,600 unborn babies
to die in their mother's womb or be born already infected each year as well as
potentially causing 3,500,000 babies to be born too soon!
Here's what we're doing:
- Presenting a poster on Prenatal-onset Group B Strep (POGBS) at the International Stillbirth Association's conference in Madrid, Spain October 4-6, 2019.
- Collaborating at the Perinatal Death Classification workshop in Madrid, Spain on October 3rd. This is crucial as currently perinatal death certificates are not routinely updated once the cause of death has been determined. Currently, if a baby dies of a GBS infection which isn't usually visually apparent, the cause of death is initially marked as "Unknown" and usually remains as "Unknown" so the actual burden of GBS disease isn't recognized appropriately for research priorities and governmental awareness campaigns.
- Developing an information sheet for patients to share with their healthcare providers about much-needed knowledge to help recognize and possibly prevent GBS infections during pregnancy.
- Developing an informative guide to inform readers about the complex issues surrounding prenatal-onset GBS disease.
Here's how you can help:
- Share our brochure which includes what women can do to help protect their unborn babies from GBS (contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Start a fundraising team!
- Make a donation!
- Learn more about prenatal-onset GBS disease
We are grateful for your support!
#AsAGroupBTheChange #starttheGBSconversation #POGBSDrecognition