Foxx in the NICU. Image: supplied.
Foxx in the NICU. Image: supplied.

Grieving mum: 'please ask your doctors more about GBS'

ANYBODY who has been pregnant after a miscarriage will know it can be an extremely harrowing time for even the strongest expectant mother.

Mikhailla Glossat, 22, from Darwin knows all too well the weight that comes along with a pregnancy after miscarriage.

Mikhailla and her fiance, Teddy Fitzgerald, 30, fell pregnant for the first time at the beginning of 2016. The couple experienced the pain of a missed miscarriage in March at 12 weeks gestation and then an early miscarriage again in May of the same year.

The third time seemed like a charm for the happy couple.

"At first I didn't register that I was pregnant. I didn't get any symptoms until about ten weeks," Mikhailla told Kidspot.

Mikhailla bravely described how everything seemed to be going so well throughout the entire pregnancy. Being coeliac, the expectant mother made sure that she maintained high iron levels and led a healthy life.

"It was a textbook perfect pregnancy," she said, adding that she still purchased a doppler so that she could listen to her baby's heartbeat for reassurance but slowly began to let her guard down as she progressed further along in the pregnancy.

Mikhailla went into labour and 38 weeks and five days. She laboured at home for approximately ten hours and headed to the hospital when the time came.

Mikhailla and Teddy. Image: supplied.
Mikhailla and Teddy. Image: supplied.

The couple arrived at hospital around 11am and they welcomed their much anticipated and extremely loved baby boy, Foxx into the world at around 6pm.

"They had to resuscitate him at first, but then he was crying so I didn't think anything of it," Mikhailla said.

Mikhailla said the nurses showed her how to breastfeed and then she had a shower. Foxx coughed a few times but the midwives assured her that it was normal for newborn babies to sometimes bring up some mucous.

Around five hours after his birth, Foxx started coughing again.

"At first he was coughing up mucous but then there was blood with the mucous," she said.

The paediatrician checked Foxx over and instantly diagnosed him with Group Strep B infection, a common organism that lives in the gut, bladder and vagina. According to Better Health it is estimated that 12 to 15 percent of Australian pregnant women are carriers, however, in most cases it is asymptomatic. Only one to four out of every 1000 newborns will contract GBS from their mothers during birth. Foxx was one of the unlucky few and he was transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where he was given antibiotics.

After fighting as hard as he could with his parents by his side at least 15 hours a day, the beautiful baby boy passed away on the 29th of March at just three days old.

Group B Strep (GBS) can cause complications for newborn babies. Such complications include bacterial infection of the bloodstream (septicaemia), pneumonia and meningitis.

Most women are given a swab test in their third trimester and if it comes back positive they are given an antibiotic drip during labour to prevent the transmission from mother to baby. Better Health reports that "there is no standard screening procedure for GBS in Australia and the protocols vary from hospital to hospital".

In Mikhailla's case, swabs taken at 37 weeks returned a negative result despite the new mother being told that Foxx was "highly infected" prior to his birth.

A small scale study completed by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine found that the accuracy of swab tests varied greatly depending on when they were performed. In their research they estimated the swabs done in the third trimester correctly predicted GBS positivity at the time of labor only 69 percent of the time whereas the  newer rapid swab test done at the beginning of labour had a 91 percent accuracy rate.

By sharing her story, Mikhailla hopes to raise awareness for this seemingly common ailment even if it helps save just one other baby.

"May we always remember Foxx, and may there be more awareness about GBS during pregnancy, labour and post birth," she posted to Facebook earlier this week.

This article originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished here with permission.

News Corp Australia

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