Most of us have heard of babies being born before they are due. But like many situations, until we’ve had personal experience we can’t fully appreciate its impact. Having a baby before their expected date can come as a real shock to parents who may have not even considered premature birth as a possibility.
One of the many questions expectant parents ask at the first ultrasound is “is it only one baby”? That’s because the possibility of having twins or multiples exists for all of us. Some families however, are more likely than others to have more than one baby at a time. Twins and multiples are more common since fertility drugs and assisted reproduction technology have become such an accepted part of our culture.
Group B Strep (GBS) has been around for a very long time. But like so much in the area of obstetric care, we continue to understand more about it. Most of us carry this bacterium in our gut but in around 15-30% of women, GBS also colonises their vagina. This can create problems during pregnancy because GBS can make microscopic (very small) holes in the amniotic sac and infect the baby through the amniotic fluid. Around 7% of women with GBS develop an infection of the amniotic sac, otherwise known as chorionamnionitis.
We used to believe that once a woman had one baby by caesarean section birth, she would automatically need to have caesareans for all future babies. But for the last few years this theory has been turned on its head. The general advice is for women who are planning to have more than two children to consider a VBAC. This is because of the associated risks with repeated caesarean sections.