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Vaccines during pregnancy?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

We're going down to visit family in Washington and Oregon at the end of July and my mom is worried and thinks I should talk to my provider about a whooping cough vaccine (probably just a booster) because there is an epidemic happening down there right now. 

 

Have any of you had that vaccine during pregnancy, or other vaccines?  What is the general feeling about this?  

 

I'm not one who usually ever get the flu vaccines so I'm kind of wary about doing it in general...

post #2 of 16

We do not do pertussis (whooping cough) vaccines at all because DH had a classic adverse reaction as a child.  This is a fun argument with the kids' doctors - a family member's adverse reaction is not a 'valid' reason not to give a vaccine according to the medical establishment - you have to have actually gotten hurt by a vaccine YOURSELF.  wild.gif

 

And I believe I would be leary of any vaccine while pregnant, myself.

 

However, the question I ask myself about vaccines in general is, if I or my child got this disease, would I most likely feel more like, "oh, well - this sucks and is inconvenient" or more like, "oh, sh*t - this is really, really scary"?  I feel like "oh, sh*t" about tetanus, diptheria, and polio, out of the standard childhood vaccines.  So those are the ones we give.  I don't know what my answer would be for pertussis while pregnant - but I'd probably not do it anyway because of DH's history.  But that's me.  Good luck figuring out what would be right for you!  (And have a good trip when you go!)

post #3 of 16
You may already be immune; you could have titers done if you're terribly uncomfortable to check. I know whooping cough goes through this area just about every year and am *pretty* sure I get exposed to it every year without much effect.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskAnne View Post

We're going down to visit family in Washington and Oregon at the end of July and my mom is worried and thinks I should talk to my provider about a whooping cough vaccine (probably just a booster) because there is an epidemic happening down there right now. 

 

Have any of you had that vaccine during pregnancy, or other vaccines?  What is the general feeling about this?  

 

I'm not one who usually ever get the flu vaccines so I'm kind of wary about doing it in general...

I think the answer to this question is research, research, research. For starters, I would find out how many people are really sick from this "epidemic". Sometimes the media can cause a lot of hype over something minimal. They have found pertussis to be cyclical and there seems to be outbreaks every 3-4 years despite the numbers of people vaxed or not.

Secondly, I don't believe you can any longer get just the pertussis booster alone. I believe they are all in combo shots meaning you (and your LO) would also be getting the diphtheria and/or tetanus in your booster. Last I looked there was not an option for that.
 

Third, please look up the package insert for this vaccine and read it....all of it. Take a look at the ingredients and what effects they would have on your body and that of an unborn baby. Formaldehyde, for example, is contained in most vaccines among numerous other questionable ingredients.

Lastly, on the package insert for the DTaP vaccine for children it actually lists Sudden Infant Death as a side effect. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that. It took my breath away and made me angry. How many of us really read the fine print on these inserts? These drug companies know that and are getting away with this!

I would never tell someone that they should or should not vaccinate themselves or their child. I just ask everyone I talk to about vaccines to PLEASE just do their research and get ALL the information and then if they feel comfortable and feel the benefits outweigh the risks then go for it!

 

Let me know if you can't track down the package insert and I will see if I can find it.

post #5 of 16

I've not had a pertussis vaccine during pregnancy, no. March of Dimes says you can only get the Tdap vaccine after 20 weeks. So if you decide you don't want it, maybe just tell your mom you can't get it ;-) I have heard discussion about getting it in the 3rd trimester as a way to boost baby's immunity; babies being at much greater risk than adults. Something else to think about.

 

Just this morning I spoke with my midwife about a couple of other vaccines during pregnancy...

 

Every fall I get a flu vaccine due to being high-risk for flu complications (I have asthma); and also I used to work in a hospital where 1) I'd be exposed to the virus and 2) I wouldn't want to give the flu to anyone who was immunocompromized. So I've had the flu shot during pregnancy and will again this year. There are two kinds of flu vaccines. Pregnant women (and high risk folks) can't have the "live" one so I'll get the other one again. If my circumstances were different I'm not sure if I'd get a flu shot or not, I'd want to do some research. Tropicana raised some great points about reading fine print and doing our homework before getting any vaccine.

 

Rubella is the other vaccine that came up in conversation this morning. My blood work came back showing that I do not have antibodies against rubella. This was kind of surprising since I've been vaccinated for it. And that's a vaccine that you can't get during pregnancy, and it's not an illness you want to get while you're pregnant either. That kind of freaked me out for a minute but turns out there were only 12 cases in England/Wales in 2010 (the latest data I've seen), so I'm not going to worry about it. Mamabeakly put it so well:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamabeakley View Post

However, the question I ask myself about vaccines in general is, if I or my child got this disease, would I most likely feel more like, "oh, well - this sucks and is inconvenient" or more like, "oh, sh*t - this is really, really scary"?

 

That is one of the best, most clear thoughts I've ever read on vaccine decision making. I'm totally borrowing that line to use in the future.

 

Good luck whatever yuo decide and a have a great trip to OR/WA. July is such a nice time to go there!

post #6 of 16

I totally agree with the above :)yeahthat.gif  I can say (living in Seattle) that there was an epidemic recently, as my DH was working in a microbiology lab and the numbers were quite elevated.  But I haven't heard any updates, nor have I heard of any new cases lately, so I'm not sure of the current scene.  I had the vaccine last April because DD2 was a section baby and they gave it to me in the hospital when I was still on the pain meds.  I think DH might have been pretty upset if I had refused, so what's done is done.  I also have had the second vaccine in the HepB series while pregnant because I work in health care.  No side effects on either for me.

Anyhoo, this is about you!  I hope you're able to come to a happy decision and have a WONDERFUL trip!!  If you need any recommendations of places to go, I'd be happy to help.

post #7 of 16

I think you received good advice above.  Research, research, research.  What is the risk of catching the illness, and what is the vaccine risk?  Personally, I did a lot of research on the flu vaccine during my last pregnancy, and my OB really pushed it.  However, I did not feel comfortable with its safety during pregnancy, and I chose not to get it.  I have not researched DTaP during pregnancy, and I wonder how much research has actually been done.

post #8 of 16

.....

 


Edited by nhklh - 11/14/13 at 3:54am
post #9 of 16

We live in Southern California and there have been many cases. It is a serious risk where we live and there are a lot of unvaccinated-by-choose and recent immigrants. I had a booster during my last pregnancy and I am glad I did.

post #10 of 16

I agree on the 'research!' comments. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it is unethical to do actual research on pregnant women  - meaning there are no actual studies of effects of vaccines during pregnancy, for example (or the effects of certain drugs during pregnancy). There is very little information out there that could say with any true certainty that anything is safe while pregnant. there is some anectdotal evidence collected on some things, but if you watch TV you will see commercials every day for lawsuits "did you take XXX while pregnant & your child has birth defects." that sort of thing. Because they can't actually run real tests to check for safety.

post #11 of 16

AlakAnne, I just had one more thought on the subject that I didn't mention in my first post.
Reports in the last several months have said that the new strain of whooping cough that is being seen is resistant to the vaccine. They feel this is the reason that the virus is still spreading even in the population that has already been vaccinated for it....
http://www.topnews.net.nz/content/221799-new-vaccine-resistant-strain-whooping-cough-working-wonders

post #12 of 16

That is disturbing.  So, it's unethical to perform studies involving pregnant women, but okay to inject these pharmaceuticals into countless pregnant women without adequate studies?  

post #13 of 16

Lizzie, it is really no different than the vaccines for our children. Everytime they come out with a new vaccine our children become the guinea pigs to try out their new product. greensad.gif
Only after the damage has been done do they quietly  say "oops" and replace the vaccine with another one.

post #14 of 16

Tropicana, totally derailing from OT, but did you find out you're having a girl for sure?

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamabeakley View Post

Tropicana, totally derailing from OT, but did you find out you're having a girl for sure?

Nope, just a sense I have had since I saw two lines. (I am actually hoping I am wrong...DS desperately needs a playmate that is not female)! winky.gif

post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks EVERYONE for all of the comments and perspectives.  I'm going to talk with my MW about it when I see her next week.

 

esp - We're going to be in southcentral/west Washington for a wedding.  I grew up in Washington near Olympia where my parents still live and lived in Seattle for undergrad and Eugene, OR for grad school.  I LOVE the northwest.  However, I'm thinking that visits to wineries won't be near as much fun while pregnant.  Bummer.  

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