July is group B strep awareness month

By July is group B strep awareness month on 03 July 2018 GBS - Group B Strep

Organised by the charity Group B Strep Support, this year’s awareness month is promoting a new leaflet to help women to make informed choices about the infection.

The charity is offering free copies of the leaflet Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in pregnancy and newborn babies to all NHS maternity units, so that all women are informed about group B strep (GBS).

The new information leaflet has been written with experts at the RCOG and explains when a baby is at increased risk of GBS infection, and how to reduce that risk. 

The UK ‘best practice’ guidelines recommend that this leaflet should be provided to all pregnant women. There is a GBS test that women can take between 35 and 37 weeks of pregnancy to see if they’re carrying GBS. The GBS test (also called the Enriched Culture Medium or ECM test) should, says the RCOG, be offered to women who carried GBS in their previous pregnancy. 

The ECM test is becoming increasingly available in NHS hospitals.

Chief executive and founder of Group B Strep Support Jane Plumb said: ‘Knowing about GBS when you’re pregnant and in the early weeks after birth can make a massive difference – most GBS infections in newborn babies can be prevented, and early treatment can and does save lives.’

Midwives can access GBS Support’s summary of the latest clinical guidelines here.
More information about GBS and GBS awareness month is available here.