At your 36-week prenatal appointment, I will do your last set of lab tests to make sure you and the baby are both healthy. One of the labs we need to do is called the GBS test. It is a vaginal swab test that will detect what types of bacteria are growing in your birth canal. The goal is to determine if a particular strep bacteria is growing in the birth canal that the baby could come in contact with.
The standard of care is to test for Group B Strep at your 36-week appointment. The results usually come back within the week. So, at the 37-week appointment, we will discuss your results. If you happen to have Group B Strep growing, we will discuss the recommendations for treating you to protect the baby.
Evidence-Based Birth has a really good handout with all the information for you to review as you make the decision. You don’t have to decide now — in fact; you really can’t until we know your GBS status. But this handout is a good place to start learning what your options would be should you need to make a decision.
Oh! The Hard Decisions
One of the most commonly performed surgeries in America is circumcision. There is a growing conversation about whether circumcision is a practice that has a place in the modern world. This article by Evidence-Based Birth discusses all sides of the conversation. If you are expecting a son, please seriously evaluate whether this is a procedure you want to have done to your son. We would love to answer your questions in an upcoming prenatal appointment. If you decide this is something you need resources for, I do have an excellent practitioner I can refer you to.
Nudging Your Body to Birth
Many women begin asking what they can do to help get labor started. The first thing I want you to know is that your body is NOT broken. Your baby is the decider of when he or she is ready to be born. But, for people who really need to “do something” so they feel proactive, I can share a few ideas. We’ll go into more detail at your next appointment. But, if you know you are someone who’s going to want to have a plan for trying to get labor going sooner rather than later, there are some safe and easy supplements you can buy and strategies that may help.
There is some evidence that eating dates every day starting at 36-weeks may help you go into labor before your due date. You can read more about it in this Evidence-Based Birth article about Eating Dates.
The Homeopathic Trio:
There are 3 homeopathic remedies that seem to work together to help women get into labor. Oddly - they really work. The Trio is Cimicifuga, Caulophyllum, and Arnica homeopathic.
It’s an excellent idea to support your immune system as you get closer to birthing your baby, so you may want to consider taking additional immune support. We recommend taking high-quality Vitamin C and D3 supplements.