Preventing perinatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease involves following certain recommendations and guidelines. Here are the recommendations for prevention, both during pregnancy and after childbirth, as well as some natural approaches for supporting a healthy pregnancy:
Prevention of perinatal GBS disease:
Antenatal screening: It is recommended that pregnant women be screened for GBS between 35 and 37 weeks of gestation. This involves a swab of the vagina and rectum to detect the presence of GBS bacteria.
Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP): If a pregnant woman tests positive for GBS colonization or has certain risk factors, intravenous antibiotics are given during labor to reduce the risk of transmitting the bacteria to the newborn.
Identifying high-risk factors: Healthcare providers should be aware of certain factors that increase the risk of early-onset GBS disease in newborns, such as preterm labor, rupture of membranes for more than 18 hours, or previous infant with GBS disease.
Preventing group B strep during pregnancy:
Attend prenatal care visits: Regular prenatal care allows healthcare providers to monitor your health and address any concerns promptly.
Maintain good hygiene: Practice good hygiene by washing your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before and after using the bathroom and handling food.
Avoid exposure to infections: Minimize contact with individuals who have respiratory or viral infections, as they can increase your risk of developing complications.
Eat a balanced diet: Focus on a nutritious diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to support overall health during pregnancy.
Stay hydrated: Drink an adequate amount of water to maintain hydration and support proper bodily functions.
Get enough rest: Prioritize sufficient sleep and rest to support your immune system and overall well-being.
Preventing late-onset GBS in babies:
Hand hygiene: Ensure that anyone handling the baby, including caregivers and visitors, washes their hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching the baby.
Limit exposure: Minimize the baby's exposure to large crowds or individuals who may be sick or have respiratory infections.
Clean and disinfect: Keep the baby's environment clean, and regularly sanitize objects and surfaces that come into contact with the baby.
Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding provides important antibodies and helps boost the baby's immune system, which can help protect against GBS and other infections.
Treating group B strep naturally during pregnancy:
It's important to note that natural approaches are not a substitute for medical treatment, especially in the case of GBS during pregnancy. While there is limited evidence to support natural remedies specifically for GBS, some general tips for supporting a healthy pregnancy include:
Eat a nutritious diet: Consume a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support overall health and immune function.
Manage stress: Practice stress management techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or prenatal yoga, to promote a healthy pregnancy.
Adequate rest: Prioritize sufficient rest and sleep to support the body's immune system and overall well-being.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to maintain proper hydration and support bodily functions.
It's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, such as an obstetrician or midwife, for appropriate prenatal care, GBS screening, and medical treatment options. They can provide individualized recommendations and guidance based on your specific circumstances and medical history.