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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Archived User


    I had GBS in my previous pregnancy 4 years ago and as such was told that I HAD to go to hospital for IV antibiotics.

    I have since been advised that 30% of pregnant women carry GBS only a small proportion are screened and diagnosed. This was my 6th child, no previous child has had a GBS infection. So far my waters have broken during the second stage of delivery and the second stage takes 3 to 5 mins. I am pregnant with my 7th child and wish to homebirth, my caregivers wish to screen for GBS at 36wks and IV antibiotics in hospital if I am GBS+ again.

    How likely am I to have GBS this time round, is a baby more protected from GBS infection if waters break during a very fast second stage labour? What chance does the baby have of GBS infection if IV antibiotics are declined in a full term baby?

    Thanks in advance



    Henci Goer

    Neonatal GBS infections are rare in any case, and chances of infection decrease with light colonization, full-term baby, decreased time from rupture of membranes, and almost certainly with fewer vaginal exams especially after membranes have ruptured (the problem is that we don't have any studies where women didn't have vaginal exams). I can't give you exact odds, though. If you feel comfortable with not having antibiotics, you should have the right of informed refusal. If you don't, there is no reason why IV antibiotics cannot be given at a home birth.

    -- Henci 

    All Times America/New_York

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