July is Group B Strep Awareness Month
For those of you who aren’t aware of Group B Strep this is an infection which can be carried in pregnant ladies and can cause serious illness to both the mother and baby if left untreated.
This photo was taken not long after I had given birth, after a very long heartbreaking labour I was told I had Group B Strep and from my infection not being picked up or treated I was seriously ill which left me recovering from Sepsis.
No one made me aware of GBS, spoke about it or provided me with any sort of leaflet/information.
The NHS desperately need to change this, a simple flyer/test could help prevent further babies from dieing. Violets heartbeat stopped mine didn’t.
Group B Strep is the most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies in the UK, and the most common cause of meningitis in babies under the age of 3 months.
The number of these infections are rising.
Currently ~ 2 babies a day develop group B Strep infection, 1 baby a week dies from group B Strep infection, 1 baby a week recovers from group B Strep infection with a disability 319,000 babies are estimated to have developed GBS infection aged 0-90 days worldwide in 2015, with approximately 4.1 infections in every 1,000 live born babies in their first 6 days of life. Shockingly, in the UK, it’s 5.7 in every 1,000 – which is 40% higher than the worldwide rate, and 2.5 times higher than the US rate (2.2 cases in every 1,000 babies). Between 2000 and 2014 there has been an increase of more than 50% in babies developing group B Strep infection in the UK and Republic of Ireland. And, while fewer babies died from their group B Strep infection, more survivors had disability.
Testing can be completed within the NHS for anyone who has carried the infection before or have a ‘high risk’ pregnancy testing should be available for ALL pregnant ladies, the test can be completed in late pregnancy where antibiotics can be provided in labour. Tests which are suitable and easy to use can be found at Strepelle.
These numbers are rising and shockingly high already, a simple test could help prevent these numbers from rising, prevent babies becoming ill with the infection and prevent stillbirths. Please help raise awareness of this life threatening disease and save babies lives by spreading the word of GBS to pregnant ladies/parents.
To find out more information on Group B Strep you can head over to Group B Strep Support or their Facebook page.
My story on losing Violet can also be read on the Group B Strep Support Website.