While routine screening for group B streptococcus is not recommended in the UK, women are sometimes coincidentally found to be carrying these bacteria during investigations of symptoms in pregnancy. If such women decide to decline intravenous antibiotics for themselves in labour, they can seek support from midwives in appropriate roles. But once the woman’s baby is born, the situation changes somewhat, as the legal context changes and the issue of safeguarding may be raised.
The article that I am sharing today, thanks to The Practising Midwife, is called Who safeguards mothers? In it, I consider the issues that arise in such scenarios and raise questions about who is there to support women who experience pressure to consent to their healthy newborn baby having prophylactic intravenous antibiotics.