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Group B streptococcus (GBS) infection in newborn babies

Published: 28/06/2013

Group B streptococcus (GBS) is a common bacterium found in the vagina and bowel of about 2 in 10 women in the UK. Being a carrier is not harmful to you, but there is a chance you could pass the infection to your baby.

This information is for you if you’re expecting a baby or planning to become pregnant. It covers:

  • What group B streptococcus (GBS) is and how it is detected
  • What GBS could mean for your baby
  • Risk factors for GBS, and how the risk can be reduced
  • How you will be treated during labour if your baby is at risk
  • Tests and treatments
  • Information about breastfeeding
  • Information about testing for GBS

This patient information leaflet was developed by the RCOG Patient Information Committee. It's based on the RCOG clinical guideline Prevention of Early-onset Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Disease, which includes a full list of the sources of evidence we used.

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