Protect Your Unborn Baby or Newborn from Infections Protect Your Unborn Baby or Newborn from Infections
Centers for Disease and Prevention
Protect Your Unborn Baby or Newborn from Infections
If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, there are simple steps you can take to protect your unborn baby or newborn from infections that cause serious health problems.
Group B Strep
If you are pregnant—or know anyone who is—you need to know about group B strep. About a quarter of all women carry the bacteria that cause group B strep infection. Group B strep bacteria are usually not harmful to you and won’t make the people around you sick. But these bacteria can be very dangerous for your newborn. Babies can get very sick and even die if their mothers pass group B strep bacteria to them during childbirth. That’s why it’s so important for you to get tested for group B strep each time you get pregnant.
If you are pregnant and test positive for group B strep, doctors can give you an antibiotic (usually penicillin) during labor that prevents the bacteria from spreading to your baby. If you think you might go into labor early, talk with a health care provider as soon as possible.
Ask your healthcare provider for a group B strep test when you are 35–37 weeks pregnant. If the test shows that you carry the bacteria, talk with a health care provider. Be sure to tell them if you are allergic to penicillin or other antibiotics.