Group B Strep screening in pregnancy
When you hit between 35 and 37 weeks of pregnancy; your doctor will perform a test on you called Group B streptococcus screening. Your doctor will either do a vaginal or rectal swab to try and detect if the group B strep bacteria is present. Even though the mother is usually without symptom of the bacterium even being present; in the newborn, it is quite a different story. If left undetected; the group B strep bacteria can cause life-threatening infections in newborns and also can cause mental retardation, impaired vision, and hearing loss. The group B strep can be found in nearly 30% of healthy women. If the culture comes back negative; then you have no worries and nothing needs to be done. You can have a successful and normal natural delivery. But, if the bacterium is found to be present, you will be given antibiotics (usually penicillin or other antibiotic if allergic to penicillin) during labor and then the baby will be able to be delivered naturally.