When you are pregnant, you eat healthily, get your rest and prepare a safe place to welcome your infant home. You attend your doctor's appointments and ask questions about how to have a healthy pregnancy.
But sometimes your doctor is misguided. They may provide incomplete information or fail to run tests necessary for a safe birth process. Unfortunately, in some cases, you could unknowingly pass an infection along to your baby during birth.
Things your doctor should tell you about Group B Strep
As an adult, you may not always be familiar with potentially harmful conditions within your body. But before you give birth, your doctor should prepare you to have a healthy delivery. This includes protecting your infant from contracting group B strep (GBS).
Regardless of whether this is your first pregnancy, or you never tested positive for GBS during previous pregnancies, there are some things you might want to be aware of before giving birth. These include:
- Roughly 25% of women have GBS bacteria present in their bodies
- Your Ob/Gyn should test you for GBS when you are 35-37 weeks pregnant
- Doctors collect vaginal and rectal swabs to send to the laboratory for testing
If you test positive for GBS, your physician can prescribe antibiotics for you to receive during labor to protect your infant from infection.
What signs may indicate your baby contracted GBS?
You will likely watch your infant closely after they are born, in any circumstances. However, if you notice a change in your infant's blood pressure, breathing trouble, or extreme fussiness, your baby may have been born with GBS.
However, some infants demonstrate other symptoms around a week following their birth. Along with labored breathing, they may develop a fever, red area on part of their body or have trouble moving one of their arms or legs.
Can you seek recourse if your baby suffers from GBS?
If your doctor failed to test for GBS and your baby suffers as a result, you would be wise to ask an attorney experienced in handling birth injury cases whether you can make a case for recovering damages.