Group B Strep Awareness Month is over for another year ….

but there's still much to be done. Here are some Quick facts about group B Strep: Group B Strep is a common bacterium, carried normally by around 25% of men and women, usually without causing them any harm or symptoms. Group B Strep can more rarely cause infection, most commonly in newborn babies. It’s the number one cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, causing meningitis, sepsis and pneumonia. In the UK, the number and rate of group B Strep infections in babies is rising. Yet most of these infections in newborn babies can be prevented when women and their health team know Mum carries the bacteria during pregnancy. Since 1996, charity Group B Strep Support has led [...]

GUEST BLOG: Katy Cossham – the personal impact of group B Strep

  Prior to the birth of my third baby I had never heard of Strep B. I like to read, listen to the radio, keep up with the news, am married to a doctor, was already a mother and friends with other parents. So, right there we have a clue to lack of public awareness. My son was born in 2004, so this may well have changed. I hope so. My first babies were twins. They were born at 33 weeks and spent time in “special care” before they were resilient enough to come home. Perhaps because a hospitalised experience was necessary with them I was keen to have a home birth next time around. Everything seemed to be [...]

July is Group B Strep Awareness Month

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 age 3 months[1]. And 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 disability Shockingly, between 2000[2]  and 2014[3] 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 have died from their group B Strep infection, more survivors have disability at discharge[i]. July is [...]

“Why doesn’t Group B Strep Support pay for ECM tests?”

We are sometimes asked if we provide grants towards part or all of the cost of the private enriched culture medium (ECM) test for group B Strep carriage. This isn't something we do, or are currently planning to do. We thought we'd share how we reached our current position. It’s something we have discussed since the charity’s founding in 1996. The Board of Trustees, along with the charity's Chief Executive and staff, have all had the opportunity to share their views on the issue. Our concerns about using the charity's funds to pay for tests can be broken down into three main areas. Improving care for everyone We believe that as a routine part of antenatal care in the NHS, all pregnant women should be informed about [...]

The More You Know…

It's all about informed choice - get the facts & decide what's best for you & your baby Engagement on our social media pages is at an all-time high. We have noticed that there was a lot of misinformation being circulated. Misinformation can lead to the kind of tragic outcomes we’re desperately trying to prevent. We want every pregnant woman be given accurate information about group B Strep. This is clearly not happening and begets lack of accurate information being given about testing. There are officially three different tests for GBS carriage and it is crucial to know which is being offered. There is the Standard Direct Plating method which is the conventional NHS test, the ECM (Enriched Culture Medium method) recognised as the ‘gold [...]

Joining a Maternity Services Liaison Committee (MSLC) by Guest Kim Poulton

Group B Strep is the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, and the charity Group B Strep Support is very close to my heart. I found out I carried group B Strep after my daughter was sadly stillborn at full term plus 9 days. My precious daughter, Faith, was stillborn on 23rd October 2015. Within an hour of arriving at the hospital excited to have our fourth and last child to complete our family, I was holding my dead baby in my arms. My pregnancy with Faith had been normal and healthy, and I have three perfectly healthy children. Tests showed I was heavily colonised with group B Strep, as was my urine, placenta, and Faith’s swabs. [...]

Success in a Group B Strep Legal Claim

Guest blog from Stuart Bramley, Partner of Tozers Tozers LLP were recently successful in obtaining an admission of negligence in a complex claim where Alyssa Richardson developed the infection Group B Streptococcus (GBS) in the hours after her birth in 2013. Stuart writes: "In labour, Alyssa’s mother Rachel was found to have two risk factors – a high temperature; and her waters breaking more than 12 hours before delivery. When combined these factors gave a GBS risk of 12 times that of most expectant mothers. When Rachel arrived at her local hospital in labour she had a swab taken and was told this was for MRSA. When Alyssa was 12 hours old (36 hours after the swabs were taken) a [...]

What Group B Strep meant for me as a soon to be father

Guest blogger - Han-Son, dad blogger at Follow the journey at   The First Check Up It's April 2014, and Jess and I are just about over the ‘shock phase’ of being pregnant in time for our first ever 12 week check up. I hear this heart beat that’s growing louder and louder. My internal voice is saying ‘WOW’ Jess is growing an actual little human inside her!’ This is serial, incredible, and yes a little scary too. Bloods are taken, and we get some news soon after that Jess may have Group Strep B. ‘Strep what?’ I had never heard of it before - was it good? bad? It can’t be that bad if I’ve never heard [...]

Guest Blog: Planning a Fundraising Event by Jason Osborne

Planning a charity event doesn’t have to be difficult – GBSS supporter Jason Osborne has done it and will tell you how… First Steps You’ve decided to help those involved with the Group B Strep Support charity by raising much needed funds and awareness of the infection so it is highly likely that you or someone close to you has been deeply affected by Group B Strep . Type of Event The planning of your event will very much be dictated by the type and size of the event that you have chosen to host.  All events have some things in common though including the need for careful advertisement and to be done in such a way where people will feel [...]

International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month

International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month Facts from Group B Strep Support and Kicks Count As February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, we teamed up with KicksCount, a fellow charity we highly respect, to provide information aimed at educating and empowering mums to be. Let us first remember and review that group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a natural and normal bacterium that colonises 20-30% of all adults (men and women) without symptoms or side-effects. It is usually found in the intestines as part of your normal gut flora. It can also found in the vagina living as a ‘commensal’ – an organism which lives in or on another without causing any harm. It is not a sexually transmitted disease and simply [...]