Amie, mum to Ralph,
“My little boy Ralph was rushed into hospital at 11 days old after he began grunting shortly before our last midwife appointment and was refusing to feed, I knew in my gut that he wasn’t ok. After lots of tests, Ralph was found to have group B Strep sepsis. He spent five days in hospital on IV antibiotics, then two weeks as an outpatient having daily antibiotics in hospital.
We finally thought the nightmare was over. Around two weeks later though, I rushed Ralph back to hospital with similar symptoms to when he was first admitted, to find out that he now had group B Strep meningitis. This time we stayed in hospital for three and a half weeks on IV antibiotics. We don’t know if the first infection fully cleared or if he’d actually contracted group B Strep for a second time since birth, so the hospital tested Ralph once his antibiotics course was over then again a few weeks later to check that he was clear of infection. Thankfully since then, he’s had a few appointments to check that there’s no lasting damage which have all came back fine.
They weren’t sure if he’d picked up GBS from someone who’d held him. I was told if GBS presents itself ten days or younger it’s likely from birth but older it can be passed from somebody*. I was tested whilst Ralph was poorly in hospital the first time and was negative for GBS. It was one of the worst times of our life as a family. My other children were too young to understand why Ralph and Mummy weren’t allowed home from hospital and my partner struggled with balancing work and childcare for our other two children.
We are just so thankful Ralph is a happy and healthy two-year-old now.”
* Early-onset GBS infections (those developing in the first week of life) are assumed to be caused by GBS bacteria passed unknowingly from the mother around birth. Late-onset GBS infections are less studied, and the GBS bacteria may come from someone other than the mother (a 1987 study found that half of the late-onset GBS infections were caused by types of GBS not carried by the mother).