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Group B streptococcus in pregnancy: intrapartum care choices for women

Author: Nina Whittle, Penny Champion

Duration: 2 hours Last updated: 2019 Quality Assurance: Peer-reviewed Level: Qualified nurses Language: English

Course description

The aim of this module is to provide an insight into the issues faced by childbearing families and their healthcare providers when the mother is identified as being colonised with group B streptococcus (GBS) bacteria in pregnancy. The module will provide an understanding of the current recommended intrapartum care in the UK and potential risks to the baby associated with maternal GBS colonisation.

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Learning aims and intended outcomes

  • State how colonisation of pregnant women and babies with GBS occurs
  • Summarise the prevalence of GBS colonisation and of any risks to mother and baby
  • List the risk factors that may contribute to sepsis in the baby due to GBS colonisation
  • State current recommended maternal intrapartum antibiotic treatment for GBS
  • List potential short and long-term risks of antibiotic therapy to the mother and neonate
  • Summarise intrapartum options for women with GBS colonisation with no other risk factors


  • Introduction
  • Early onset GBS disease
  • Recognising sepsis in the neonate
  • Monitoring the baby
  • Antenatal screening for GBS
  • Treatment recommendations
  • Labour choices
  • Conclusions


Nina Whittle
Senior lecturer in maternity, community and child nursing, Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford, Essex.
Penny Champion
Case loading midwife, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.


Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to


  • Introduction
  • Early onset GBS disease
  • Recognising sepsis in the neonate
  • Monitoring the baby
  • Antenatal screening for GBS
  • Treatment recommendations
  • Labour choices
  • Conclusions

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