are bacteria that come and go naturally in the body. Most of the time the bacteria are not harmful, but they can cause serious illness in people of all ages. In fact, group B strep disease is a common cause of severe infection in newborns.
What are the risks of GBS infection in newborns?
Most newborns who become infected with GBS will make a full recovery, but it can cause “life-threatening complications, such as:
- blood poisoning (septicaemia)
- infection of the lung (pneumonia)
- infection of the lining of the brain (meningitis)” (source)
In addition, some babies who are infected will experience problems such as “cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness and serious learning difficulties.” (source)
Strategies for avoiding or eliminating Group B Strep
- Fermented Foods – Consume foods rich in beneficial bacteria such as yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut throughout pregnancy.
- Probiotics – Probiotics support the growth of healthy flora in the gut, which affects the flora that we see in the birth canal. I usually use a this probiotic, but my midwife recommends this one specifically for reducing GBS colonization.
- Raw Garlic Daily – I’d take about 2-4 cloves per day in addition to whatever is cooked with. Simply mince and allow to sit for 10 minutes to activate the anti-microbial compound allicin, then add to a salad, salsa, etc, or swallow it in one go with a glass of water. Personally, I wouldn’t use the capsule form because highly-concentrated doses may have a blood thinning effect. (source) I don’t say this to scare anyone. Even water can be toxic in high enough doses, so this isn’t an indictment of garlic. Just a reminder that whole food forms are often very gentle while still being incredibly beneficial.
- Echinacea and Astragalus Tincture – “Take 1/3 teaspoon of echinacea and astragalus tinctures twice daily. You can get dried astragalus in the herb department of health food stores. Cook two strips into a pot of rice or soup 2-3 times per week. Remove the strips when done cooking and eat the rice or soup. Astragalus is an immune system tonic used in Chinese medicine.” (source)
- Burdock Root and Echinacea Infusion – Emily of Holistic Squid shares how to prepare it here.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Bath – “This method is quite possibly the most effective. Three times a week, take a bath with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar added to the bath. The smell might be less than desirable, but it works. The theory is that the bacteria cannot live in the acidic environment of the vinegar and therefore dies.” (source)
- Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic – Other midwives recommend 2 teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar in water daily during the last trimester to prevent colonization. Raw apple cider vinegar is great for overall digestion and can often help with heartburn as well.
- Daily Vitamin C – I prefer whole food-based versions that contain co-factors for optimal absorption. Unfortunately, about 99% of all vitamin C products on the market today are synthetically made ascorbic acid or something similar, and some studies show that these synthetic versions can actually weaken the mitochondria and possibly cause kidney stones. (source) Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to tell what’s what just by reading labels: https://mommypotamus.com/
Holistic Health: is mindfulness of one’s mind, body, emotions, spirit, environment & social group.