Towcester Mums Working To Save Babies Lives
|Author: Nicola Morrow||Published: 1st June 2012 13:58|
Towcester Mums Working to Save Babies Lives
A team of Towcester mums have been working hard for over 5 years to raise awareness of Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Bacteria which kills 75 newborn British babies a year.
MumStuff Ltd, based at Pury Hill Business Park, Alderton, is run by Towcester mum, Dr. Nicola Morrow and her team of mums. Her website, MumStuff.co.uk is proud to be the only non-medical retailer in the UK to distribute, for free, Group B Testing Kits (not routinely available on the NHS)
Since March 2007, MumStuff have distributed almost 9,000 Group Testing Kits to pregnant women across the country. Statistics from the laboratory show that, in the past year alone, 1233 women have taken the test through MumStuff and of these 265 tested as POSITIVE (21.5% positive findings). These women would then have been able to have intravenous antibiotics during their labour which drastically reduces the likelihood of early-onset GBS infection and potentially saved their baby’s life.
What is Group B Streptococcus (GBS)? GBS is a common bacterium - it does not cause harm and does not require treatment. Approximately 25% of women of childbearing age carry GBS in the vaginal-rectal area at any one time. Newborn babies who develop GBS infection are usually exposed to GBS in the womb although this can happen during labour, birth, or after birth. Many thousands of babies are exposed to GBS with no ill effects - just why some babies are susceptible to the bacteria and develop infection while others don't is not clear. Group B Streptococcus is the commonest cause of bacterial infection in newborn babies in the UK. Most GBS infections can be prevented by giving all women carrying GBS intravenous antibiotics at the onset of labour, as well as to those delivering prematurely or with a history of GBS. This recommended use of intravenous antibiotics reduces the likelihood of early-onset GBS infection developing in a baby born to a woman carrying GBS at the time of delivery from around 1 in 300 to less than 1 in 6000.
Detecting GBS As mentioned, testing pregnant women for GBS is not routinely available on the NHS but a sensitive test is available, via MumStuff, from The Doctors Laboratory (a fully CPA accredited laboratory). Testing for GBS is undertaken in the laboratory by using an enriched culture medium (ECM). Two swabs taken at 35-37 weeks’ gestation best predict colonisation with GBS around the time of delivery.
The GBS Testing Kit
On ordering from MumStuff, your test kit is sent in the post to you. There is NO CHARGE for this sample pack (which includes FREE return postage) and you are under NO obligation to take the test.
Inside this pack are two swabs, instructions for taking the swabs, a sample taking instruction sheet, and a payment form, which you complete and return at the time of sending your swabs to The Doctors Laboratory. The inclusive charge for this service by the laboratory is £35.00. You can ask your midwife/GP to take the samples or if you prefer to take samples yourself, this is fine; many women do this, without difficulty.
At MumStuff.co.uk, pregnant women can find more information about GBS which has been written in conjunction with Group B Strep Support (GBSS).