Can I have a home birth with Group B Strep?

Q: I've just found out I'm a carrier of Group B Strep and that I'll need antibiotics during labour. I was hoping to have a home birth - is this still possible?

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Obstetrician Leonie says:

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a bacteria that some pregnant women carry, and which can cause potentially serious infections in their baby, which it picks up as it passes through the birth canal.
Taking antibiotics is the only treatment known to reduce the chances of a baby getting a GBS infection. Oral antibiotics are not well-absorbed during labour, which is why antibiotics via a drip are recommended. You can also have them as an injection, but it’s more painful.
Being diagnosed with GBS doesn’t rule out a home birth. You can have antibodies via a drip or as injections, as long as the midwife is happy to take responsibility for organising and giving them (they’ll have to get them on prescription via your GP). But if you’ve a history of allergies to antibiotics, this could cause complications and I’d suggest a hospital birth. See your midwife to discuss your options.
For more info, advice and support about GBS, visit www.gbss.org.uk

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