Group B streptococcus (strep) is a bacterium often carried in the intestines or lower genital tract. While usually harmless in adults, group B strep can cause serious illness in newborns.
Not all babies exposed to group B strep become infected, but for those who do, the results can be devastating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, group B strep is the leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns.
Group B strep is present in approximately 1 in 4 pregnant women. It can cause miscarriages or stillborn or premature births. If you're pregnant, get a group B strep screening during your third trimester. If you have group B strep, antibiotic treatment during labor can protect your baby.