Group B Strep and a Cesarean Section…was Hypnobirthing really necessary?

Group B Strep and a Cesarean Section…was Hypnobirthing really necessary?

Written by UB Academy Midwife Sally Underwood and a Mothers account by Emily Blake.

YES IT WAS!!!

We constantly inform women that Hypnobirthing can be used for all births, whether that’s at home, in the birth centre, or even a caesarean section. The tools and information you will learn really do provide such a huge amount of knowledge…remembering KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

The lovely Emily attended our Hypnobirthing course in the summer, pregnant with her second baby and keen to have a more positive birth this time round. Emily and her husband loved the course and began practising all the techniques, enabling them both to feel excited and prepared for the arrival of their baby. 

Emily has kindly written an account of her birth story below…

 The delivery wasn’t what I planned. But I am so glad I had done the Hypnobirthing! Not once was I in a panicky state. I was calm throughout.

It’s a very long story but will try to keep it short haha! On Thursday (24th) my waters broke, it wasn’t a lot, it felt like I had just wet myself. I had my midwife appointment that day so left it until then, I honestly didn’t think it was my waters at all. I got to the appointment and got sent straight to triage! There they found out it was my waters and soon took tests to see if it was an infection etc.

I got moved onto the antenatal ward and was there until the 29th. They kept me in due to a high blood pressure. They continued to do tests just incase anything else showed up. Which it finally did on the 29th, showing I had GBS (Group B Strep). Then they discussed how we were going to deliver baby, which looking back, I can’t believe how calm I was! I opted for the hormone drip, which was the one thing I was terrified of from my last labour, but I did it and was surprised at how well this time round I managed all of the surges!! Due to having a cesarean with Noah they wouldn’t let me go too long on the drip. I went through 7 hours of the drip before the rechecked me and I had got a only 1cm…So then they told me it was to be another cesarean.

Of course I was gutted about it but I thought I’ve given it my all. I’ve tried my hardest. I’ve over come my fear of the hormone drip! I did all of it with the help from the Hypno birthing techniques and with God watching over me too!

In theatre I felt so at ease and calm and actually was able to enjoy it and be in the moment.  Even after when Eli got rushed off to intensive care, I was in a panicky state but I felt able to ask my midwife what was going on, in such a calm way, that she answered back and explained everything to me.

In all i want to say thank you!!! I honestly would of had another horrible experience if it wasn’t down to the yoga and Hypnobirthing! I actually got complemented on how calm I was! And the midwives started sending mums to my joint room for me to help calm them down 😅.

I just want to show everyone that even though your labour/birth story may look bad on paper. It doesn’t mean it has to be. I honestly can not thank you both enough! It has been a whirlwind but I’m so glad I was about to keep a clear head and made the choices that I made.

Think you will agree with me that Emily did such an amazing job, proving knowledge really is power. Hypnobirthing provides magic for ALL BIRTHS.

As you have read in Emilys account, her baby Eli was born 5 weeks early, due to her waters breaking resulting in an induction. She was also found to be Group B Strep positive (GBS).

GBS is a common and usually harmless type of bacteria but it can sometimes cause serious disease in new-born babies. Many pregnant women are offered screening and prevention treatments for GBS but there various advantages and disadvantages to this, as the main preventative treatments involve antibiotics. Dr Sara Wickham’s book – ‘Group B Strep Explained’, pulls together most of the most recent evidence surrounding this persistent infection. It is simple to read and describes the various choices open to women currently negotiating a GBS positive pregnancy.

1. Most pregnant women who carry group B streptococcus (GBS) bacteria have healthy babies. But there is a small risk that GBS can pass to the baby during childbirth.

2. Most babies who become infected can be treated successfully and will make a full recovery.

3. Even with the best medical care, the infection can sometimes cause life-threatening complications. Rarely, GBS can cause infection in the mother – for example, in the womb or urinary tract or, more seriously, an infection that spreads through the blood, causing symptoms to develop throughout the whole body (sepsis).

4. Extremely rarely, GBS infection during pregnancy can also cause miscarriage, early (premature) labour or stillbirth.

Having said al that, GBS is one of many bacteria that can be present in our bodies. To emphasise, it does not usually cause any harm. When this happens, it’s called ‘Carrying GBS’, or being colonised with GBS. Research indicates that around 20% of pregnant women in the UK carry GBS in their digestive system or vagina. Around the time of labour and birth, many babies come into contact with GBS and are colonised by the bacteria. Most are unaffected, but a small number can become infected. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has published guidance for preventing early-onset GBS infection. For more information, see Is my baby at risk of early-onset GBS infection? We do not routinely screen pregnant women for GBS within the UK. In other countries – USA/Canada/ and much of Europe, routine screening is caried out towards the later part of pregnancy as standard – this equates to around a quarter of all women requiring antibiotics therapy. We only offer women routine antibiotic treatment whose babies are considered to be high risk. – eg preterm babies or women with prolonged ruptured membranes/ or women who have previously had a baby with GBS. The RCOG states that universal screening will not be considered – ‘until it is clear that A/N screening for GBS carriage does more good than harm and that the benefits are cost effective’ (RCOG green top guidance 2016).

If a GBS bacteria is found in a urine specimen or HVS carried out during pregnancy, then the abx policy is adopted. Sarah Wickham’s book provides a great Q and A conclusion. She answers a multitude of general questions which are well worth reading re birthing choices for women with GBS. We cover some of these during out UBA antenatal programme and make reference to the importance of making informed choices and employing your BRAINS for all of the decisions you need to make during your pregnancy.

Big thank you to Emily for sharing her Cesarean birth story.

Sally

Photo credit: Eva Rose Birth on Instagram

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