An Australian mother shared the pain of losing her unborn daughter after a common bacteria crept into her placenta and killed her infant. Now, the mom pushed to educate pregnant women in completing swab tests to prevent untoward incidents that the bacteria can cause.
Allison Balding was supposed to have her second child after successfully veering away from artificial conception methods. The mom wrote in a Babyology piece that she and her husband called their unborn child "a natural baby" as their first was conceived through IVF.
No symptoms occurred during the earlier course of her pregnancy. The mom shared that she was even a happy pregnant woman as she felt nothing wrong with her pregnancy and just claimed to be tired for taking care of a toddler.
At 18 weeks, after the Balding couple spent their anniversary together, the mom suddenly felt cramps and had spotting. She said she was not that alarmed because she used to get spotting in her first pregnancy. Still, she went to her midwife for a check.
Balding received a prescription of antibiotics the morning after. Her unborn child, Ebony, was still kicking then and the next day, ultrasound scan cleared Ebony of any problems. She was perfect, told the sonologist.
The bleeding kept going stronger and stronger, however. On December 10, 2013, Baldwin critically gave birth to Ebony who was under 18 weeks. The infant died eventually as her lungs were not fully developed to function.
Six weeks after she gave birth, it was found out that Ebony's life has been taken away by a common bacteria that can be prevented by taking antibiotics. The bacteria found was Group B Strep (GBS), which is found in male and female reproductive tracts and is typically unharmful for adults. However, GBS could be fatal for unborn babies as it can induce infection, stillbirth and premature labor.
Balding said that GBS does not usually have symptoms but in some cases, it gives unusual vaginal discharge, or burning irritation often mistaken as yeast infection. Experts said if GBS is suspected, a course of antibiotics should be taken and it can even be prevented while at labor, by taking a dose four hours before childbirth.
Twenty five percent of mothers carry the bacteria in their vagina or rectum, said American Pregnancy Association. In Australia, where a GBS scan is not a part of the maternal check routine, GBS occurs in 1 out of 1000 pregnancies. Meanwhile, in the United States, it occurs in 1 out of 2000.