Sunday, 15 December 2013

Group B Streptococcal Infection in Pregnancy - The Mother

Group B Streptococcal Infection, also known as Strep B and group B Strep, genus Streptococcus of the phylum Firmicutes found in the flora of the gut and genital tract of 20-40% women, is defined as a serious illness of bacteria infection. In pregnancy, the diseases is deadly as it can cause fatal to the fetus. In US, the disease causes approximately 1,600 early-onset cases and 80 deaths of newborn annually.

I. For the Mother
A. Symptoms
Most women who are infected by GBS have no symptoms, but in serious cases, it causes symptoms of
1. Urinary tract infection
2. Fever
3. Seizures
4. limpness or stiffness,
5. Heart palpitation and blood pressure abnormalities,
6. Vaginal infection
As a result of the bacteria infection
7. Sepsis
If the bacteria have entered the blood stream
8. Others include
Skin and soft-tissue infection, bone, lung joint infection, etc, depending to the onset of the infection.

B. Causes
1. Random spreading
Most people came to contact the bacteria are at risk of GBS infection but without showing any symptoms. That may the reason that 20% to 40% of pregnant women have the bacteria without knowing.
2. Existence
According to some study, some people can have the bacteria in their body throughout their entire life, while others only harbor the bacteria for a limited period of time.
3. Etc.

C. Diagnosis
Since there is no side effect in healthy women, there is no diagnosis required for general population, unless the women are pregnant. Once you are pregnant, in the 35- 37 weeks of gestation, it is recommended to the test of Vagina and Rectum are swabbed. Vagina and Rectum are swabbed is recommended by the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The result of the test is usually reported within 24 -48 hours, due to the risk of infection to the newborn, women who are suspected of the diseases are given antibiotic through IV.

C. Prevention
Although there is no sure way to prevent the diseases from transmitting to the newborn, healthy diet and moderate exercise should be beneficiary to provide an optimal health and reduce the risk of the GBS.
C.1. The American Pregnancy Association recommends alterations to your diet, including
1. Protein
Protein in your foods positively affects the growth of fetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps your breast and uterine tissue to grow during pregnancy,
a. 75 to 100 grams of protein per day as it can be divided into 2-3 servings of meat (1 serving = approximately 3 ounces/ size of a deck of cards) from chicken lean beef, lamb, pork, nut and tofu (1 serving = approximately ⅓ cup), etc.
b. 2-3 servings of legumes (1 serving = approximately ½ cup) such as red and white kidney beans,black beans, navy beans etc..

2. Calcium Daily requirement of calcium is around 1000 milligrams during pregnancy. Calcium helps your body regulate fluids, and it helps build your baby’s bones and tooth buds, such as milk (1 serving = 1 cup), eggs (1 serving = 1 large egg), yogurt (1 serving = 1cup),pasteurized cheese (1 serving = approximately 1.5 ounces/ or 4 playing dice stacked together), tofu (1 serving = ½ cup), etc.

3. Iron
In combination with sodium, potassium, and water, iron helps increase your blood volume and prevent anemia. A daily intake of 27 milligrams is ideal during pregnancy.
a. 2-3 servings of green leafy vegetables (1 serving = approximately 1 cup)such as collard turnip, spinach, lettuce, etc.
b. 3 servings of whole grains (1 serving = approximately. ½ cup or one slice), such as bread, cornmeal, cereal, oatmeal, etc.

4. Folate/Folic Acid
Folic acid plays a key role in reducing the risk of neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Experts recommend 600 to 800 micrograms (.6 to .8 milligrams) daily.
a. 2 servings of dark green leafy vegetables (1 serving = approximately 1 cup), such as collard, turnip, spinach, lettuce. etc.
b. 2-3 servings of fruit (1 serving = approximately ½ cup), such as orange, strawberry, lemon, mango, tomato, etc.

5. Vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C will help with wound healing, tooth and bone development, and promotes metabolic processes. Experts recommend at least 85 milligrams per day. 3 servings of fruit or vegetables (1 serving = approximately ½ cup), such as orange, strawberry, lemon, mango, tomato, etc. (Source)

6. Etc.

C.2. Antioxidants
Since GBS can cause serious effects as a result of weakened immune system. Intake of antioxidants should be beneficial for anyone to prevent the disease at the beginning, including pregnant women. For more information of the effects of antioxidants to cancers and diseases.

D. Treatments
There is no treatment but antibiotic to protect the newborns, unless the mother is serious sick as a result of the infection.

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