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Had the flu, now FREAKING OUT

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, my entire family and I went through H1N1 back in early March. I was 20 weeks. Didn't even know we had it till it was nearly over for most of us. Last night, I ran across this article, http://www.news.wisc.edu/17565 and now I am freaking out. To sum up, a study done on monkeys showed that the mother's exposure to flu during pregnancy caused brain damage in the offspring. I have been googling this like crazy. There is apparently an increased risk of schizophrenia and autism, no guarantee that your child would be born with either of these, of course, but from all I've been finding regardless of the type of damage, the brain is damaged in some way. I keep looking trying to find a study that says, some infants were affected, and SOME WERE NOT. Studies on humans born after a flu epidemic show lower IQ scores and other problems. I want some reassurance. I told my OB about the flu right after I had it. She said it would not affect the baby, but that's not what I'm reading.

So here I am, crying out to the darkness saying somebody, somewhere, show me something that says my baby can come through unaffected.
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here's a little bit of reassurance that I just found http://www.babycenter.com/204_prenat...sk_10315548.bc for myself and any other mamas who have battled the flu. The rhesus monkey study seemed to reveal problems in all subjects. This article says that some children CAN make it through unharmed.
post #3 of 13
I think freaking out about it now is probably doing more harm than the flu would, kwim? You got it in your 2nd tri, which is better time than the 1st. Just being pg makes me anxious, so I can understand your concern. And the truth is, even if you weren't exposed to the flu (or something else) there is no guarantees. I know this isn't terribly comforting, but it's better to face it than ignore it. Reassure yourself that you are doing the best you can (good/plenty food, rest, enough water, etc.) and that's all you can do. Put your energy/thoughts into hope. I hope you find some peace about it soon.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the perspective check on worrying. I am a person of faith, and this is no way for me to respond. Jesus Christ, in whom I believe told us specifically, "Do not worry...who can add an hour to his life by worry." (I've certainly lost hours of my life to worry!) I know that I can have an audience with the master of the universe through prayer, and I know that he has heard and that he loves me and my baby. I know that is no guarantee for things to go perfectly. Jesus also said, "In the world you WILL have trouble." Health problems happen to people every day. But I believe that a loving God hears my prayers. He is creating this baby, and even if struggles come, I know he is in control, and he is love. Fears and problems are just the time I need to trust.
post #5 of 13
I am sorry you have this to worry about!! I would count on your faith.
post #6 of 13
9 months is a VERY long time to go with out being exposed to a flu virus. Many, MANY women willingly take a flu shot (exposure) while pregnant, and I would guess that MOST women are exposed to the flu at some point in pregnancy (whether or not they show discernable symptoms) A lot of pregnant women will have flu and not really notice, or have it so mildly that it is unreported.
It seems to me, if this was truly a major risk we would see far more problems with autism and schizophrenia in the general populace. Viruses are just TOO common for this to be a truly concerning risk,
An immune response is an immune response. Be it exposure through a vaccination or direct exposure and possible varying degrees of illness, your body creates antibodies against that 'thing'. I can see high fever (associated with illness/flu) being a possible associated causitive factor for stunted brain development. But even then I think the risk/ratio would be VERY small.
post #7 of 13
Yes, indeed, fear is not of the Lord. Don't give space to it. Your little one is in His hands and HE is the one who will provide for you and your baby. You're going to be fine!
post #8 of 13
I had a bad flu with my first pregnancy, high fever ect...(I heard horror stories from having high fevers) so I was really worried, calling the nurse every couple of hours, I felt the worst I had ever felt, I was 7 months pregnant at the time. However, after nearly a week I was better, and 2 months later gave birth to a healthy girl, she is now 2.5 and still healthy, smart and normal.

I feared the worst too. But sometimes we can face the fear and neutralize it, it worked for me, dealing with every detail of the event confined within our mind allows all our darkest fears to play themselves out. It has nothing to do with actual reality and the destiny of your child. It is so far from being constructive and healthy for our hormones, that we really ought to see the truth ie: That our fears will use any excuse to show their heads and cause us grief until they go back into their corner once we realise it wasn't real, and only wait again to come out, but if we face them, and say "yeh, I'm ok with it actually" (it takes a lot of courage), they lose all form and substance. Accepting the thoughts as they arise instead of fearing them changes our whole perspective on reality. Its like eating ham and worrying about listeria, it's like having alcohol before knowing you are pregnant and worrying about FAS, you know in your heart of hearts whether you and your baby are ok, and you also know how your baby is going to turn out albiet unconsciously, the mind is very male, and the heart is very feminine, we live in a male, left-brain, oriented world, and unfortunately by listening to all these thoughts we can spiral into mental fear based behavior, rather ask what your heart has to say, has it been heard yet? How do we know we are listening to our heart? The heart speaks through feeling and sensation, put your hand on uterus, feel your baby, and you will feel the reality of what the baby is experiencing in that moment, that is the etheric function of the heart, it can dissolve fears. I hope I am not coming accross too abstract, as it is quite the opposite, and I just speak as things come to me. Hope that helps, if it is understood.
post #9 of 13
I too had a very bad flu when I was pregnant with my now 10 year old dd. It included a very high fever for a week. I took tylenol as often as possible to help keep the fever down, but it was still pretty much steadily elevated during that whole week of pregnancy (at about 20 weeks) I also ended up with a bad sinus infection from it and had to take an antibiotic for that.

She was/is fine. Very bright girl.

I know it's hard not too worry, but that will do you no good at this point. Have faith that all will be well.
post #10 of 13
My thought is that if this were true (that the flu virus caused mental retardation, IQ loss, schizophrenia, etc.) that would be the vaccine industry and the doctors main sell for getting vaccinated to pregnant women. With the H1N1 they focused on the increased death rate and breathing complications. This alone has me thinking there is no concrete connection. Yes, an increased fever can be trouble for a baby. I am sure your baby is fine though, as you knew you had it and treated it appropriately (I too had H1N1 this pregnancy, but I was about 6 weeks along).
post #11 of 13


I'm sorry you have this worry. I had the flu around 17 weeks with my son, and my doctor was totally unconcerned. He said I should take Tylenol just so I didn't feel too horrible, but that it shouldn't affect the baby. Almost three years later, he is a very healthy little guy.
post #12 of 13
I had the flu last month. I am 4 months pregnant. This post is really scaring me now.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the words of encouragement. I was hoping to find some reassurance out there and have.
To the previous poster, I am sorry to have caused you any worry. My goal is to get some info so that we don't have too. Last night I found the DETAILED results of the study mentioned in the babycenter article. It was done on human subjects and tested influenza strains A and B both confirmed by serum testing on mothers.
Influenza A had absolutely no effect on the babies whatsoever. H1N1 is type A. Good news for anyone who has gone through the swine flu! For the group b children there were more cases of schizophrenia than in controls, but the researchers admitted in the conclusion that the increase was not great enough to definitely declare a link. Furthermore, all children were repeatedly IQ tested, and there was only IQ decline in the schizophrenic children. Even with type B infection, the overwhelming majority of children were unaffected. In fact, in the non-schizophrenic group, the children of flu exposed mothers scored slightly better on IQ tests than controls. I wish I had saved and posted the link so anyone concerned could read it for themselves.
On another note, I read elsewhere that 11% of pregnant women experience flu during pregnancy. I am fairly certain 11% of the population is not schizophrenic. Don't let U Wisc.'s monkeys scare you like they did me!
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