Posted by Abigail Ringer, Associate
Group B Strep Awareness Month – what you need to know about this year’s event
The 1st July 2020 marks the beginning of Group B Strep Support Awareness Month and this blog looks at how we can all get involved in saving babies’ lives.
Group B Strep (GBS) is a type of bacteria, and one that is very common. In fact, most people will carry it without knowing it or experiencing any problems.
However, Group B Strep has the potential to cause devastating consequences when the bacteria infects young babies and can result in sepsis, meningitis and death.
Group B Strep Support
Group B Strep Support (GBSS) is a UK charity that exists to try and eradicate GBS infection in babies. The charity provides up to date information to expectant parents and supports families affected by GBS infection.
The charity was set up by Jane and Robert Plumb in 1996 after their son, Theo, died from Group B Strep:
“Following our middle child’s group B Strep infection in 1996, Robert and I found few answers to the questions we had. Luckily, we very quickly made contact with an expert in the field and, after he explained how preventable most group B Strep infection in newborn babies is – and how so few health professionals at the time were aware of good prevention measures – we decided to set up a charity.”
Group B Strep Support Awareness Month
The month of July marks Group B Strep Support Awareness Month. One of the charity’s aims is for every pregnant woman to be fully informed about GBS and awareness month 2020 has a particular focus of raising awareness of the GBS Information Leaflet. Every single pregnant woman in the UK should receive one.
The GBS Information Leaflet
The GBS Information Leaflet covers everything an expectant parent needs to know about GBS. It provides details of how to reduce the risk of infection to your baby; your options for where to have your baby; and how GBS should be managed if you are found to be carrying it.
Download your copy at: www.gbss.org.uk/jointleaflet
How can we get involved?
The Group B Strep Support website is packed full of ideas of how we can all get involved.
Anyone can order a free GBS Awareness Pack which provides a huge amount of information on GBS in pregnancy and babies. We can all order GBS awareness posters and leaflets and put them up in our schools, workplaces, shops and GP surgeries.
It costs £35,000 to print enough leaflets for every pregnant woman in the UK, so we need to put our thinking caps on and think of Covid-19 safe ways to raise money. Perhaps ask friends and family to sponsor you to do something ghastly like shave your head or take part in a sponsored silence.
Plug the charity on social media
A Tweet or Facebook post can go a long way. Use the hashtag #StrepB2020 to spread awareness so that pregnant women know to ask their health professionals for a copy of the information leaflet. Share Strep B Support videos and posts and share your experiences of GBS on your social media channels.
Whilst Group B Strep Support works all year round to support families affected by GBS, Group B Strep Awareness Month provides an opportunity for everyone to pull together, to raise awareness of group B Strep and to help to save more babies’ lives. So look out for #StrepB2020 on your social media!
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