If you have previously had a fast labour or have reason to believe your labour will be fast, do read on.
If you’re being offered intravenous antibiotics in labour against early-onset GBS infection (developing in babies aged 0-6 days), these should be started as soon as possible once labour starts or waters break at term. Although it’s not likely to be an issue, do press your health professionals to start the IV antibiotics as soon as you think you are in labour, if you need to.
Research has shown that having the first dose 4 or more hours before the baby is born (and having them at regular intervals until the birth) is highly effective at preventing early-onset GBS infection.
Although not as protective as 4+ hours before the birth, having the first dose of the IV antibiotics 2+ hours before your baby is born should provide significant reassurance. The IV antibiotics actually start crossing to the baby within minutes of being given, building up over time to reach therapeutic levels in the baby, so almost anything is better than nothing.
If you are very anxious about giving birth before you receive adequate IV antibiotics, please speak with your Consultant Obstetrician, who will be able to give you medical advice based on your specific circumstances.
How will my baby be monitored after birth?
If you received the first dose of IV antibiotics less than 4+ hours before your baby is born, the guideline against early-onset GBS infection recommends your baby should be monitored for their first 12 hours of life.
After the first 12 hours of life, the chance of your baby developing a GBS infection is small, though do make sure you’re aware of what signs to look for.