Know the Symptoms of Group B Strep

July is International Group B Strep Throat Awareness Month. Approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women carries GBS, the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns (CDC). GBS can also infect babies during pregnancy and the first few months of life.

Not all babies exposed become infected but, for those who do, the results can be devastating. It can cause miscarriage, stillborn, premature birth, extreme illness, lifelong handicaps, or death. Even babies born to mothers testing negative can become infected by Group B Strep. Continue reading “Know the Symptoms of Group B Strep” »

Should I Get My Flu Shot While Pregnant?

As a provider of flu shots in the Kansas City area, Test Smartly Labs of Overland Park frequently hears a lot of questions about the flu vaccine. Among them: “How effective is the flu shot?” “When should I get my flu shot?” “What strains of flu are covered under this year’s flu shot?” and sometimes, “Should I get my flu shot while pregnant?” The last question is especially relevant this year, with the H1N1 flu strain running rampant.

Recently, an unvaccinated pregnant Kansas City woman made the news for for falling severely ill with H1N1, to the point where doctors at Overland Park Regional Medical Center had to place her in a medically-induced coma. Two days after she entered the hospital, she actually gave birth to her child — while still in a coma. Both mother and son are doing well, and after missing his delivery and the first two weeks of his life, she swears she will always get a flu shot from now on.

Despite this story, there are still many skeptical of the flu shot and its importance for pregnant women. If you still have doubts about whether you should get a flu shot during pregnancy, here is some information that should help.

Continue reading “Should I Get My Flu Shot While Pregnant?” »