Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Our new baby, installment #19

OK. So that was not so brief a pause after all. Whoo.
But I am moving on here, perhaps to even more controversial territory in this serialized tale about a journey back to the future, with a home VBAC.

One of the bigger questions I was facing was: What to do about having a Strep B test? Did I need it? Did I want it? Is it necessary? What were the homeopathic options and were they effective?

I knew that testing positive for Strep B COULD prove fatal to a newborn, which might pick up the bacteria on its way down the birth canal.

These were some of the homeopathtic options up for consideration -- things one might do prophylactically, in place of being tested.

500-1000 mg Vitamin C with bioflavinoids, twice per day.
Vitamin C is water soluble and extra is excreted by the kidneys.

Eat cranberries and garlic daily; or take cranberry capsules and garlic pearls three times per day.

Plenty of live culture yogurt; or Acidophilus capsules daily.

Bee propolus; or tincture.

Echinacea is very Strep specific, according to one source. As a preventative, use 10-15 drops of tincture in a glass of water twice a day for a minimum of five days. [As a curative, use two cups of E. infusion daily for five days followed by one cup daily for another five days. Continue for a full ten days. If only the tincture is available, use 1 drop per two pound of body weight. (ie.. 150 pound Mama = 75 drops.) Repeat the dose three to four times a day until fever abates, then two times a day for an additional week.]

Estragalus tincture ½ tsp or one dropper full 2 times a day. Can use equal parts with Echinacea tincture.

Note: Tinctures can be purchased in either a glycerine or alcohol base. Might have to special order glycerine based tinctures.

Do not douche in pregnancy. Rinse. Go easy. Separate labia and spray externally. Rinse anal area also. Remember to treat your partner.

1. Thyme, Rosemary, Calendula, Yarrow: Mix equal parts of herbs in a bowl.
Take 6 tablespoons of mixture and add 1 quart of boiling water. Infuse in covered
container 4 hours. Strain into a clean jar. Discard herbs.
Use 1 ½-2 cups per time as a rinse.
Optional: Add ¼ cup sea salt, 10 drops of lavender oil, 1 oz Echinacea tincture.

2. Echinacea infusion.

3. After 37 weeks, use Golden Seal gel capsules, deep in the vagina, if possible up
behind the cervix (not in cervix). Can cause uterine contractions.You can use these infusions for Sitz baths too.

4. Some practitioners recommend a very dilute solution of Hibiclens (an over-the-counter product which has in it an antimicrobial skin cleaner), Hydrogen Peroxide (food grade), or a very dilute solution of bleach: one teaspoon in a quart of water as a genital area rinse.

Place 1 cup Echinacea agustifolia root, cut; 1 cup Usnea lichen, cut; and 1 cup Calendula flowers in a quart jar.
Melt 8 oz. cocoa butter with 16 oz. coconut oil; pour over herbs.
Heat-infuse by placing the covered jar in a crockpot; add water to immerse the jar three-quarters of the way; set on low and cook 12-24 hours. Cool and strain.
To 1 cup of the infused oil add 1 tablespoon of these herbs: Slippery Elm Bark, Comfry Root, and Marshmallow Root.
Add 20 drops of these essential oils: Lavender, Rosemary and Tea Tree.
Chill slightly in an ice cube tray. When blocks are solid, cut them into quarters.
Insert one small cube into vagina before bed.

Use cotton underpants.
Use vinegar or baking soda in the rinse cycle of washing machine when washing your
Change your underpants (or panty liner) if damp. Best to go without - to air out!
Use warm water wash from squeeze bottle after pooping, then pat yourself dry.
Beta strep can be more prevalent in conjunction with urinary track infection. Urine should be checked for B-strep in this case.
Yeast infection conditions can give rise to increased Beta strep population.

So...what to do? Sit in a bucket of bleach????


Karen said...

It's wonderful to do so much research, but I'd also be careful about being so focused on the data. I think this often takes women away from going with their gut instincts. The gut always knows.

chris said...

Seems like a lot of work. Why not just test for Gbs? If you are negative, you don't have to treat it. If you are positive, pop in an IV and get some antibiotics.

Julie said...

I fully support the natural methods. But if you were to test positive and decided to go with the antibiotics, is the home birth midwife able to get the antibiotics in IV form for you to use as needed at home?
And, if you don't mind sharing, are you using a CPM or CNM?

Tina Cassidy said...

Chris, you're right. It did seemlike a lot of work to find the right remedy. However, the prospect of opting out of my midwife's care - by going to a medical office, getting tested, and then perhaps having to check into the hospital for an IV of antibiotics just before the baby was born - seemed counter to the entire approach. TO be honest, I thought that if I went to the hospital, I would never get out. And if I did, it would not be without a whole dose of fear, which I did not want.

Tina Cassidy said...

Julie, in Massachusetts, certified nurse midwives, or CNMs, cannot assist in home births. They are legally barred from that. So no,I did not have a CNM; my midwife could not prescribe antibiotics.

Anonymous said...

from my understanding it's all a toss up with the testing anyway. you could test positive one week, and negative the next.

i have a cnm and was prescribed antibiotic *so i had a heplock for our home birth* i'm still deciding what to do this time around... taking the swab test tomorrow.

mom said...

Tina - no wonder your blood pressure was elevated! I always knew you were an information junkie, but how do you even evaluate all of these options? Sometimes I think my way is better. Go to the doctor, get the test, and treat appropriately if necessary. And I've learned recently that you can say NO to a doctor! So, what did you do?

Natalie said...

"And I've learned recently that you can say NO to a doctor!"

me too, mom! what a great thing.

I hope that you didn't have as hard a lesson as I did with that

Julie said...

I am shocked that CNMs are banned from home births in your state!! How is a woman who chooses a home birth to get medications, like the antibiotics, if her CPM cannot prescribe them? Have 2 providers, in 2 different locations? How ridiculous! So, should it be that CNMs can attend home births or that CPMs should be allowed to prescribe some meds- I vote both. I am outraged by this limiting of a woman's choice in home birth providers, the CPMs "inability" to get you the meds, and by the CNMs not "allowed" to practice where she chooses. I'll say it again- ridiculous!

starparticle said...

I always like to look at the numbers before I worry about the risk:

25% of women are GBS+
1% of babies born to infected Mom's get it
15% of babies with the infecting die


If you don't know your GBS status you have a 0.0375% of having an issue.

If you are GBS+ (without abx) then you have a 0.15% of having your baby die from infection

Not that these numbers really mean anything when it comes to something happening or not, but seeing those teeny tiny percentages always make me feel a little better when I'm weighing a decision!

There is a GBS relevent article here:


Has lots of good stats, even if they are a bit biased towards these things :)

info said...

Julie, CNMs cannot attend homebirths in California either...

Mama V said...

Also, tea tree oil wipes and/or vaginal suppositories for a week.

The IV would have required 2 rounds of (usually) penicillin (about 30-45 min. each, from what I understand), which can sometimes get in the way of a freely laboring woman. I don't think you would have been able to submerge your arm with the IV in water, which might have been limiting. I also hear that injecting penicillin antibiotics can be uncomfortable. Plus who wants to start off a baby's life with antibiotics pumping through their system?

I tested GBS+ with my second pregnancy and was grateful to my midwife for giving me several chances to use the remedies you listed here until I tested negative.

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