Group B Streptococcus (GBS)

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) bacteria is normally found in the vagina or rectum.

Infections from GBS are usually not serious for the mother but they can be harmful for baby. Reducing the risk of infection from GBS can be done by testing women for the GBS bacteria and treating it with antibiotics. At about 35-37 weeks of pregnancy, your healthcare provider will test you for GBS by swabbing your vagina and rectum using a cotton-tipped swab (similar to a Q-tip) and placing the swab in special liquid to see if the bacteria will grow. Another way of testing for GBS is using a urine sample.

If you test positive for the GBS bacteria, you will be treated with antibiotics during labour or before your Caesarean section to prevent infecting the baby. If you need more information, ask your healthcare provider.