Preventing Group B Strep Infection in Pregnancy
This protocol uses a very simple, multifaceted approach to the prevention of Strep B in pregnancy. This common bacterium exists in everyone’s bodies and the purpose of using this protocol is to be sure that your body is well able to control the amount of Strep B within your vagina.
Please note that this simple protocol is designed for prevention, not treatment. If you have been diagnosed with a vaginal strep B infection in pregnancy please seek medical advice from your primary care provider (midwife, OB or GP) and a Naturopathic Doctor who will suggest to you an appropriate protocol and monitor it’s effectiveness.
The most effective way to approach prevention of Group B strep in pregnancy is twofold:
1) Increase the functionality of your own immune system to keep any overgrowth of any unhealthy bacteria in check
2) Locally make available antibiotic herbs to kill any overgrowth of Strep B.
After working with and treating pregnant patients for Strep B prevention as a perinatal naturopathic doctor since 1997 here are some of my recommendations:
1. Supplement with healthy bacteria. Lactobacillus capsules and lactobacillus vaginal suppositories are available in health food stores. Take two capsules with each meal and use a vaginal suppository every night for 14 nights before your Group B test.
2. Boost Vitamin C in your diet e.g. eat 2 grapefruits a day. Other good sources of Vit C: red peppers, oranges, kiwi fruit. Consider supplementing 3000mg of vitamin C a day.
3. Drink a cup of Echinacea tea each day. Alternatively 30 drops 3 times a day of Echinacea tincture could be taken
4. Get extra sleep before midnight. The hours before midnight count as double! Slow down your schedule and reduce your stress. Sleep and stress reduction are key to healthy immunity.
5. Supplement with Bee Propolis (available at health food stores – dose as directed on label)
6. Get a 1 hour walk every single day. This invigorates the immune system and gets your lymphatic system activated. Your lymphatic system is vital in healthy immune function.
7. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises are good to perform morning and evening, again, to oxygenate the blood, and invigorate the immune system.
8. Visualize. Researchers at Harvard have shown that individuals who visualize their immune system as strong and their white blood cells as big and healthy actually can prevent and reverse infection.
9. Perform a perineal daily wash with diluted tea tree oil 2-3 x daily with a peri bottle. Place 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in a peri bottle, fill the bottle with water and use this solution to externally wash the vulvar area from labia to rectum.
10. Get your liver working better by eating all of your meals before 5:00pm. After 5:00 pm drink only fluids and if needed eat very lightly. Your largest meal of the day should be a hearty breakfast followed by a hearty lunch. Dinner ideally would fall at 4:30 or 5:00 and would consist of things we normally associate with lunch foods – sandwiches, soup and salads.
11. Local Vaginal Garlic suppositories can be used 2x a week for 8 hours. Garlic is highly antibacterial and antifungal. Applied locally it will greatly reduce the amount of bacterial growth in the vagina. To do a garlic suppository, wrap a single large clove (skin off, but don’t nick the garlic itself), in gauze and make a kind of tampon out of it – insert vaginally, if needed use olive oil to help with insertion. Remove after 6-8 hours by pulling on the gauze.
All of these simple techniques will help to boost immunity. They seem simple but they are very effective.
If you have a past history of chronic vaginal yeast infections, chronic antibiotic usage for acne or other bacterial infections, gonorrhoea, cervical dysplasia or genital herpes I have found clinically that you may be more susceptible to an overgrowth of Strep B because the normal flora in your vaginal canal is probably depleted and disrupted creating an imbalance in normal healthy bacteria. If you fit into this category you want to pay special attention to doing this protocol in its entirety. You may also want to seek Naturopathic advice from a Naturopathic Doctor around a more in depth and individualized program of Prevention Plus Treatment for healthy vaginal flora.
If you have a past history of a previous diagnosis of Strep B or if you have just been diagnosed in this pregnancy as Strep B positive and you wish to avoid antibiotic use in labour then I highly suggest that you incorporate the above suggestions immediately and seek Naturopathic advice to be put on an appropriate treatment plan for Strep B. Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (ND’s with special training and experience) are able to put you on a program that will be monitored closely and will be stronger in effect than the simple suggestions above as the program would involve stronger acting herbs, perhaps some acupuncture and an appropriate homeopathic remedy.
I am happy to answer any questions you may have about this protocol. You can reach me at:
Dr. Lisa Doran N.D.
Barefoot Health Naturopathic Clinic
375 Finley Ave. Suite 201