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37 weeks pregnant and possible whooping cough in DD1

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi Mamas,

I'm trying not to be over-alarmist, but DD came down with a cough last Thurs. (pretty wet sounding, worse at night) and it has gotten progressively worse over the past few days. Now my husband and I are both coughing.

I wouldn't be that concerned, except fo the fact that I'm 37 weeks pregnant and I've read that the contagious period of WC can last until coughing subsides (which in the case of whooping cough can be months).

What do I do for the new baby? The coughing hasn't been confirmed as whopping cough yet, mainly 'cause I don't want to take her to the ped. who will just get on our case AGAIN for not vaxing her. I don't want to hear "I told you so."

I'm just getting really worried. Coudl this just be a regular cold? She has no other symptoms, except for a slight, clear runny nose. Anyone else experienced this?

TIA!
post #2 of 14
You choose not to vaccinate, and unfortunately, this is one of the ramifcations of that choice. You're just going to have to put up with the lecture. It's not right put your child's health at risk just because you don't want to hear it from the doctor. Take the kid in, smile and nod if the doctor lectures you.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Wow...maybe I wasn't clear in my original post. I am posting to look for alternative ways to help my daughter get healthy before this baby is born and if there is anything I can do to boost a newborn's immune system if the coughing doesn't subside by the time I give birth. It's my feeling that treatment doesn't have to include a trip to the hospital, the 3rd degree from the ped. and a round of antibiotics. Like I said, I'm not even sure if it IS whooping cough. Which is why I asked about the wet sounding cough and her having no other symptoms. Guess I just didn't interpret this as putting my daughters health at risk. I'm looking for support, or other mamas who have BTDT, not judgement.
post #4 of 14
A child with a cough that is getting worse should see a doctor. A woman that is 37 weeks pregnant should confirm whether or not she's been exposed to a potentially dangerous disease (not saying it's always horrible, I'm pretty sure my whole family got whooping cough last winter and we survived, and yes, we did see the doctor, and no, we did not take antibiotics).

I said nothing about the course of action you should take. As a side note, afaik, antibiotics are not given for a virus. But they would be given to a child with, say, pneumonia, and it's a good idea to rule that out, as you mentioned the cough sounds wet.

ALL I said was that it's not right to use "I don't want to hear a lecture" as a reason not to take your child to the doctor when they need to go.

There is no way anyone on here can tell you over the internet if this is just a regular cold, and it's against MDC's policy to tell you directly what alternative course of action you should take. In fact, the sticky at the top of this forum reads, in part,

"In an effort to avoid giving the appearance of offering medical advice, we ask that members attempt to respond to health-related questions with general information regarding conditions, alternative approaches and/or evidence-based research rather than offering specific personal instruction."
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiscesMama24 View Post
Hi Mamas,

I'm trying not to be over-alarmist, but DD came down with a cough last Thurs. (pretty wet sounding, worse at night) and it has gotten progressively worse over the past few days. Now my husband and I are both coughing.

I wouldn't be that concerned, except fo the fact that I'm 37 weeks pregnant and I've read that the contagious period of WC can last until coughing subsides (which in the case of whooping cough can be months).

What do I do for the new baby? The coughing hasn't been confirmed as whopping cough yet, mainly 'cause I don't want to take her to the ped. who will just get on our case AGAIN for not vaxing her. I don't want to hear "I told you so."

I'm just getting really worried. Coudl this just be a regular cold? She has no other symptoms, except for a slight, clear runny nose. Anyone else experienced this?

TIA!
You might already know all this and already be quarantined, but I've seen so many people not understand that whooping cough is a quarantinable disease. So if you are already doing all this, feel free to skip this post.

If you even THINK you or your child has whooping cough, please do not go out anywhere. Not even a quick run to the store to pick something up, you must stay at home. It is highly contagious and can spread very easily. Antibiotics can lessen the contagious period to around seven days. Without antibiotics it can be up to 12 weeks. Quarantine yourself at home for the period that you and your child is coughing.

My dd caught whooping cough from someone who didn't want to bother staying at home with their child the whole time. They didn't think it was that big of a deal. She had a pretty mild version and we did do antibiotics, but it has been four months and she still can't run very hard without collasping into coughing fits. Granted she is a former preemie, so she has weaker lungs then most.

Most people have forgotten that in the days that these types of diseases were common, it was also common for people to be quarantined in their home for months at a time.
post #6 of 14
As regards the baby i would imagine IF it is WC and IF you also have it there will, by the birth, be antibodies in your milk which should afford the baby decent protection.

However if it was me i would still go to the doctor to make sure of what it is (might not be WC, could be something actually very dangerous like pneumonia - my friend had that with NO wet cough, just a mild rattling cough and shortness of breath for a week and then collapsed and nearly died, so a worsening cough definitely warrants a trip to the doctor for us) and see if there's any treatment they CAN offer which you WOULD like (my GP last time i went with DD coughing told me to boil an onion in milk and have her drink the milk - gross but she loved it AND it really helped - that wasn't for a WC type cough though).
post #7 of 14
I also wanted to add that you really need to let your birth attendents know that you suspect your whole family has whooping cough. That way they can take extra precautions to ensure that they don't contract it themselves and pass it on to other expecting women and newborns. And please, please keep all sick people at home until you A) test negative for WC or B)are no longer coughing and contagious.

If I were you I would at least go to the dr and see what you have, that way you don't have to quarantine yourself for months without knowing for sure that it is really WC. Tell your dr that plenty of vaccinated children get whooping cough, my dd was one of them. Vaccines are not 100%, and whooping cough seems to be the one that lots of vaccinated children still get. Good luck.
post #8 of 14
Is there something specific that makes you think it's whooping cough this early in the illness? Because so far, nothing you described distinguishes it as anything different than a regular virus. The classic "worsening cough" of whooping cough happens a couple of weeks after the initial onset of cold-like symptoms, not a couple of days.

I totally understand you wanting to be prepared in the "just in case" scenario, and you being extra sensitive and concerned because you're close to giving birth. I agree with pp who said that if you're really concerned, you should take her in and brave the lecture. It can't ever hurt to get her tested, and being proactive is nothing to be ashamed of. If it is WC, it would certainly help to know early. But also, there's nothing negative to be said right now about you NOT taking her in, unless you're of the opinion that all coughs should always be tested.

To answer your specific questions, in my experience my kids' wet coughs have a couple of times been pretty bad for a few days before they got better. I've also seen my kids have a cough that got slowly better, but lasted for a couple of weeks. That was what happened to us with the flu. In fact, a cough, runny nose, and fever are classic flu symptoms, as opposed to a cold.

Do you have Sodium Ascorbate?
post #9 of 14
There was just an outbreak of WC at my daughter's school and they were advising anyone exposed to it to take 5 days of antibiotics (z-pak or something). Our ped (who has dealt with tons of WC) said that kids were no longer contiagious after 48 hours on antibiotics. I am usually very anti-antibiotics, but would definitely consider it to protect a young infant from exposure, as WC is very dangerous for those under 6 months.

Incidentally, a pediatrician told one parent of a non vax child exhibiting some symptoms, to NOT get tested, just to take the antibiotics and stay home, so to avoid a call from CPS. Most of the kids who got WC were fully vaccinated (FWIW). However it's something you may want to know for sure, regardless of the consequences (It is not illegal to not vaccinate!) but just wanted to throw the option of going ahead with anti-biotics to protect the soon to be newborn out there if your children were exposed and are showing symptoms.

Also there is supposed to be a really good homeopathic remedy for it. (pertussin maybe?)

Good luck with everything!
post #10 of 14
I absolutely would not risk a newborn with whooping cough. It can be deadly very very fast for them.
post #11 of 14
It must be difficult to be at the end of pg and then have illnesses in your house regardless if it pertussis or not. Another poster was correct in the progression of pertussis, cold symptoms that go away and then a cough sets in a couple weeks later. Coughs can sound VERY nasty and not be pertussis.

My DD2 was exposed at birth to pertussis, DH had it and we didn't know at the time. We found out when she was 4 days old. It was not pleasant, there is no way to sugar coat it. She was O2 dependent until she was 7 months old, it was very taxing on all us, she was in and out of the hospital. We don't vax, I had no qualms about continuing not to vax after that, the next baby wasn't vaxed either BUT I would never in a billion years wish pertussis on a newborn. So my advice would be to also to go in and get your DD tested if you are concerned. If you truly want to avoid the pedi then maybe an urgent care might be another choice. The same wise poster also said that not all coughs are pertussis, very true. Since we have had pertussis, we've had some bad coughs that while they were quite nasty, were not pertussis. A cough doesn't aways mean having to go in and get tested, but I totally understand about being cautious towards the end of pg, and I would be as well. Good luck in your decision.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mamas, for your support. I have an appt. with my OB this afternoon and I'm going to request that I be cultured, and see what she thinks about giving me antibiotics just to be sure. Normally I try to avoid antibiotics, but in this case, I think it may be necessary. Has anyone taken antibiotics while pregnant? I'm sure in this case the benefits of NOT staying contagious outweigh the risks of taking them while pregnant, but I just want to be informed.

I also e-mailed DD's pedi. to see if he had any advice even though he's been pretty adament about getting DD1 vaxed. I'm hoping he'll give us the best advice possible so help us stay healthy and not play the blame game. If he thinks I need to bring her in, I will, I'm just hoping it won't be too late if we wait for the culture to come back, to have the antibiotics kick in.

Thanks again for your support and advice. And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is just a regular virus!
post #13 of 14
My guess is that it probably is not pertussis. But I'm not a doctor, so who knows. I'm glad you're taking her in.

I took antibiotics once in pregnancy for severe bronchitis that was turning towards pneumonia, and it was fine.
post #14 of 14
I had full blown IV antibiotics at 24wks for a severe kidney infection with my dd3, and she was just fine. As a matter of fact, she is my healthiest child and quite freaking smart as well.
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