From week 35, your doctor may also check your cervix to see if it’s dilating already and check if you can give natural birth. In addition, the doctor will perform a Strep B Test.
The doctor will swab your vagina and rectum to screen for bacteria called Group B Streptococcus (GBS). Note that this bacteria affects around 25% of all women. For women, it is harmless, but for newborns, it can be harmful.
If a woman tests positive, the chances that it harms her baby is only 1 in 200. Due to the low risk, many hospitals might not offer this as a standard procedure. However, as there is a real risk for the baby, which can be avoided with a simple medication during delivery, women are advised to do the test.
What to expect:
- To check your cervix, the doctor will put his fingers into your vagina and check your bones from inside. It might hurt a little
- Group B strep screening requires taking a vaginal and rectal swab for screening
- You’ll do a urine test and also get your blood pressure and weight checked
- Your doctor will listen to the baby’s heartbeat
- Your doctor will feel and measure your belly
What to ask:
- When will I get the results of the strep test?
- What treatment do I need to take if it’s positive?
- Are there any hospital forms I need to fill out now?
- What are my chances of needing a c-section, and how can I avoid it if I want to have a vaginal birth?
- If I’m having a boy, what are the pros and cons of circumcision?
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat, MD. (28 June 2020)