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International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month

February 1, 2021 February 28, 2021 CST

International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, observed in February and sponsored by Group B Strep International, provides information on simple steps one can take to protect a fetus or newborn from infections that cause serious health problems.

International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month, sponsored by Group B Strep International, highlights that about one in four women in the United States carries the bacteria that causes Group B Strep infection. If one is pregnant and tests positive for Group B Strep, doctors can give an antibiotic during labor that prevents the bacteria from spreading to the baby. For pregnant women, a common way they are exposed to CMV is through contact with saliva and urine of children with CMV infection. Regular hand washing, particularly after changing diapers, is a commonly recommended step to decrease the spread of infections and may reduce exposures to CMV.

Unfortunately, babies can be infected by GBS before birth and up to about 6 months of age due to their underdeveloped immune systems. GBS most commonly causes infection in the blood (sepsis), the fluid and lining of the brain (meningitis), and lungs (pneumonia). Some GBS survivors experience handicaps such as blindness, deafness, and mental challenges, and/or cerebral palsy. Only a few babies who are exposed to GBS become infected, but GBS can cause babies to be miscarried, stillborn, or become very ill and sometimes die after birth.

There are three types of perinatal GBS disease, each with their own prevention challenges:

Prenatal-onset GBS disease (before birth)

Early-onset GBS disease (birth through the first 6 days of life)

Late-onset GBS disease (7 days of age through usually 3 months of age, but also less commonly up to 6 months of age)

Group B Strep International sponsors three health observance months to help promote healthy babies. Please click on each month for more info on how you can help!

February is International Prenatal Infection Prevention Month

July is International Group B Strep Awareness Month

October is Prenatal-onset GBS Disease Awareness Month



February 1, 2021
February 28, 2021