Strep B bacteria poses problems for pregnant women

Simple antibiotics, given at the right time, can reduce the risks dramatically

(CNN) – A common bacteria may have new mothers worried, but it’s not that serious.

The Strep B bacteria may sound dangerous, but it isn’t. You may be carrying it right now. However, it may pose a problem for a pregnant mother.

Group beta streptococcus: it sounds ominous, but many adults peacefully co-exist with this bacteria every day, and never notice, until you get pregnant.

“You really don’t get tested for the bacteria unless you have a urine culture done, or you’re having a group beta strep culture done at 35 – 37 weeks of pregnancy.”

The concern is that the bacteria can travel up the birth canal during labor, and infect the baby, whose immune system is not developed enough to handle it.

“The bacteria can cause problems systemically for the baby, it can affect the organs, it can affect the blood, and it can make the baby very sick, and even down to causing death to the infant.”

But not to worry, she says simple antibiotics, given at the right time, can reduce the risks dramatically.

“The idea behind getting the antibiotic in labor is that it crosses the placental barrier, and you’re getting that into the babies system.”

The most important thing to remember:

“It’s not an infection, it’s not an STD, or a disease. It’s not dangerous for an adult, or for the mother, but our concern is for the baby.”

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