A survey* of over 5,200 new and expectant UK parents found that overall levels of awareness of group B Strep are high, with 79% of those surveyed having heard of group B Strep.
Women were most likely to hear about group B Strep through a friend or another pregnant women (26%), with just over 1 in 10 (12%) hearing about it from their midwife.
24% of first-time mothers were completely unaware of group B Strep, despite it being the UK’s most common cause of serious infection in newborn babies.
Overwhelmingly, 98% said that all pregnant women should be informed about group B Strep during their pregnancy by their doctor or midwife.
On average, two babies each day in the UK develop a group B Strep infection and each week, one baby dies and another is left with a life-changing disability.
According to national guidelines, all pregnant women should receive an information leaflet on group B Strep, written by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in partnership with Group B Strep Support.
However, many mothers-to-be are not informed about group B Strep. The survey found that only a quarter (25%) found all the information on group B Strep they wanted, with 38% finding some information but wanting more, while a shocking 34% found either no information, or nowhere near enough information.
In light of this data, Group B Strep Support are calling on the Governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to run public awareness campaigns about group B Strep, to ensure all expectant parents know about group B Strep and can take steps to protect their babies.
Group B Strep cases are rising in the UK, meaning that more newborns than ever are at danger of dying or being left with a long-term disability. This survey has revealed the massive gulf in awareness of group B Strep which needs to be addressed.Jane Plumb MBE, Group B Strep Support
We’re calling on the governments of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to run public awareness campaigns about this devastating bacteria that can wreak havoc and destruction on the most vulnerable in our society. Until all pregnant women are offered testing for group B Strep, we need to make sure that they can make informed choices about whether to get tested privately or not”
*The survey was completed by 5,205 Bounty pre-natal and post-natal members via email and the Bounty newsletter between 22 – 26 June 2019.