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My mother scaring me into a flu shot- thoughts?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Today my mom asked if I was getting a flu shot, I said no, she said I really should. I told her that I've never gotten one in my life before, why would I get one now? And with a very alarming tone in her voice she explained how "oh, well a study came out directly linking autism in children to the mother having a flu, not a cold but the flu, and this Dr. on the radio said that TTC or pregnant women shouldn't walk to to get the shot they should RUN. They say they shot isn't harmful at all to the fetus and that it's safe so Rebecca, you really should get it." She also told me how this was a very conservative Dr.


So I said well if he's a very conservative Dr. I'm sure he wouldn't support HB either (which is my plan) and she didn't have much of a response. I also said that epidurals and pitocin havent been around long enough to really know the long term effects even though it's said theyre harmless to the baby. Again, no response.


So anyway. Are you getting a flu shot? Should I really be that scared? I've never had a flu shot before and the idea of it is so yukky to me. TIA for feedback! :)

post #2 of 20

While I will say that its a personal choice and don't think badly of those who do get the flu shot, I personally won't get it.


There is NO proof that the flu shot, or any other vaccine is harmless to the developing baby. I've also never heard anyone link having a bout of flu to autism before and would be very suspicious of those findings/statements. Also the flu shot now includes the H1N1 part as standard, and it hasn't NOT been fully tested for safety on anyone, and the govt. has given the H1N1 manufacturers immunity from law suits, so even if it proves to be dangerous you won't be able to sue. That kind of protection against suits would definitely make me think they are hiding something. The vaccines also contain chemicals that are known to be potentially harmful by themselves, so why take the risk.


I also don't understand why people get vaccines that don't actually stop you from getting ill. You can still get the flu after getting the vaccine. I prefer to focus on building a good strong immune system, and vaccines strain the immune system making it less effective, not more effective. Where my DH works a lot of his colleagues get the flu vaccine every year, and a consider number of them will then get ill within a few days of their vaccine, while DH who doesn't vaccinate stays healthy. So it would appear that their flu shot is actually making them more likely to be ill rather than preventing it.


I would say, that regardless of what anyone says on either side, don't make your decision on hearsay (mine or your mother's), but rather do your own research on the vaccines (and not just from the CDC website) and make up your own mind from there. Either way the best decision for you is an informed decision based on facts (and your intuition) rather than scare tactics or other people's opinions.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

Getting sick within a few days of getting the flu shot is a common effect. Most people get flu-like symptoms afterwards.


Yeah I dont like the idea of getting it based out of fear of what if I get the flu. I'll do some research and also ask my MW her opinion when I see her in a couple weeks.

post #4 of 20

Pretty much everything Lynann said.  I don't/won't get it.  Each person should research it and make their own choice. 

post #5 of 20

I just got one at my last doctor's appointment.  I liked the idea of the baby getting the antibodies since they can't get a flu shot before 6 months old.  I've never gotten one before and got some version of the flu last year but it was only a 24 hr bug.   I also work at a university where college kids get it all the time and my DH has a ton of contact with these students.  After getting a simple cold that laid me out for 3 weeks I figured the flu was the last thing I wanted to deal with while pregnant and I'd rather not deal with a flu baby.  My midwives seemed to think it was a good idea as well.  I figure the likelihood that it'll hurt is minimal so why not.  No ill effects so far although I have been a bit sluggish in the two days since then.  


I will admit to only a cursory google before making the decision.

post #6 of 20
post #7 of 20

I got one (from my midwife), asked DH to get one, and while I agree that it's a personal decision and respect others' choices, think it is generally the prudent thing to do. Not, however, for the possible autism link ... but because the flu can be quite serious in general and especially during pregnancy. After mine, I was very tired and a little sluggish for the rest of the day, but had no lingering effects.


Of course, as a nearly-there MPH, I have a general appreciation for vaccines :)

post #8 of 20

my matron is trying to make me get the flujab at the same time as my b12 topup.. but i really dont want to, i've had it before, got ill and STILL got the flu/been laid up for 3 months following it.. i really really dont think its safe (and  this was 10 years ago) but then they say how dangerous the flu is to preg women, and i have severe asthma too and other probs.. i just dont know whats best for the baby.. i would prob if i thought it was generally important for the baby go thru with it dispite my hatred of it, however if theres potentital for harm that outweighs the potential gain... then i wouldnt want to  take it..

post #9 of 20
I don't get vaccines while pregnant because there is just no evidence either way of the effects on the fetus, but I do like to get the flu shot so I made sure to get it before I got pregnant. Last time when I was pregnant with DD, I did not get the flu shot that year. For me, they do reduce the effects or sometimes completely prevent me from getting the flu. DH, DD & I all got it last year, but DD & I who had been vaccinated had it only for a couple days and fairly mild while DH was sick for a week and some. I also always make sure to get the shot with the dead virus, the live virus nasal and whatnot I stay away from, no thanks!

But I completely respect whatever decision others make on vaccines. There is a lot to research about them and you have to be comfortable with your decision! If you do decide to get it, just make sure they know you are pregnant to give you the mercury-free one.
post #10 of 20

I did get the vaccine when I was pregnant with DS.  This was the year that H1N1 was a big risk, and particularly dangerous to pregnant women and the fetus.  A friend of mine had a friend that actually went into a coma after getting H1N1 and she lost her pregnancy as well.  Because there hasn't been such a pandemic or particularly dangerous virus predicted this year, I plan to forgo the flu shot.


Each year they try to predict the "most likely" flu strains, and also the most severe.  So, even if you get the flu shot you can stil get the flu, but it won't be one of the strains in the vaccine.  They often focus on strains that are more likely to have severe respritory symptoms and this is why they recommend people with asthma to get the shot every year, and the elderly who are more susceptible to respritory illness.

post #11 of 20

My MIl tried the whole fear-the-flu thing last night. I told her I had faith in my immune system. 


I'm glad I saw the article; it doesn't seem the evidence is very strong.

post #12 of 20

In this study:  http://www.springerlink.com/content/x7602q07w228t313?MUD=MP


"To increase the accuracy of the definition of exposure and minimize misclassification, e.g., of the common cold, we defined influenza during pregnancy as maternal self reported influenza infection accompanied by fever."


In other words, fever from something reported as flu was linked to increase risk, which does not necessarily mean causality.  Since fever is a possible side effect of the vaccine and no research has been done on the vaccine's safety...


The following Cochrane review puts the flu shot efficacy in perspective:




Note that a little more than half the U.S. flu vaccine reserves are preserved with the ethylmercury compound, thimerosal.  "Main stream" media reports no link found in some research as proof of none, but the existing literature actually favors a link:

(PDF) http://www.ane.pl/linkout.php?pii=7021


"To summarize, of the 58 empirical reports on autism and heavy metal toxins, 43 suggest some link may be present, while 13 reports found no link. Even with the tendency for null results not to be reported, it cannot be said there is no evidence for a link between heavy metal toxins and autism: although the question may still be open-in sum, the evidence favors a link."

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 

Yea I dunno. I've never gotten the flu shot before so I don't see myself doing it now. Although I guess the fact that I ride the subway often concerns me a little. People coughing without covering their mouths, crowded cars where you're squishes up against other people, etc etc. I did get a really bad cold in my first trimester that lasted a week, I just still don't love the idea of the shot....


Of course if I wind up getting the flu I'll kick myself (although many have reported you can still get it even if you get the shot)

post #14 of 20
I won't be getting one and I can guarantee my midwife won't suggest it.

My mother was partially paralyzed for six months after her one and only flu shot. Her doctor said she'd get over it in time and that it was a side effect he was familiar with. She did ultimately completely recover, but I have never known of anyone to have that much problem with the flu. I know people die from it every year, I just have never known any. Anecdotal, I know.

The other major reason I won't be getting one pregnant or not is the knowing ingestion of heavy metals never sounds like a good idea. Especially after all the trouble I went to chelate after the careful removal of my mercury fillings.
post #15 of 20

No shot here, I'm in the same boat as Lyn & CBM. I've never had it, and have only had the flu about 3 times ever (if that, can only really remember one). I am more comfortable with the risks of getting the flu than the risks of the vax. Not to mention the fact that there is no guarantee that you won't get the flu if you do get the vax. I am pretty sure my mw would advise against getting the shot, but it was never a consideration for me anyway.

post #16 of 20

That study linked UNTREATED fever associated with influenza. If you get a fever, treat it and that risk diminishes on its own. I'm a nurse and I'm personally not comforable with getting the vaccine while pregnant. While I know i doesn't cause the flu, it can (and usually does!) give you flu like symptoms (including the ever-dreaded fever). I have been giving it much thought though and may encourage my family living at home with me to get it, and in the mean time try to naturally boost my own immunity.

post #17 of 20

Huh, wasn't there also a study that just came out linking the flu with an increased risk of schizophrenia? I am always a bit skeptical when studies like this come out, especially when they are in pairs or groups.  When I tried to look at the link just now, it didn't work, but in the article linking getting the flu to schizophrenia, it wasn't the flu itself that caused the increase in incidence, it was an increase in a particular immune factor that they theorized was causing stress on the mother's system.  And the increase was only found in people who were genetically disposed to schizophrenia in the first place. 


I would venture a guess that there was a study published that said basically what we already know - stress is bad.  When we are sick, it stresses our system.  And then some doctors extrapolated information to come up with a nifty headline...it wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened, and judging from the fact that the only links I've seen to these articles have been things like msnbc or other news stations or websites rather than the actual study, that's what I'm passing it off as.  shrug.gif  That's just my two cents.


I'm not getting it this time around.  I did get it with my first, and I never felt right about it, so it's something that has always haunted me.  Especially given some of the issues my DS has.  But that's just me, i think everyone has to figure out their level of risk and make a choice that they are comfortable with.  Because if you aren't comfortable with your choice, then it's going to cause you stress, which can lead to......blah, blah, blah.  So for or against it, make the choice that's right for YOU. 

post #18 of 20

After all the research I've done, you couldn't pay me enough to talk me into the flu shot, IMO it is one of the least necessary and most controversial/dangerous shots out there.  The Cochrane review on it's lack of efficacy is compelling-not to mention since this last huge flu shot push, deaths from the flu have gone up, not down. My wonderful, high risk maternal/fetal medicine OB (that unfortunately moved) didn't recommend it in pregnancy... however, my subsequent OB really pushed for it, so I learned as much as I could about the pros and cons to discuss it with him.


When you get the flu shot, you are actually more vulnerable to other strains of the flu that aren't covered in the shot-in the year that H1N1/swine flu passed around, people who received the seasonal flu vaccine were much more likely to catch the flu than unvaccinated people-because it weakens the response to other varieties of flu. My SIL got a flu shot during her pregnancy last year and caught the flu when her baby was a couple months old.  No one else caught it, not in her immediate family or the baby. (No one else got the vaccine, either).  They tested it, and the strain she caught was the exact one she was vaccinated against, several months earlier, Type A. 


My biggest problem with the flu shot is that even if you can find a thimerosol free version (which is hard to do) it STILL has more mercury in it than 30 tuna steaks, which you are supposed to avoid in pregnancy.  If you get the full-thimerosol preserved kind, you are getting injected with much more than the EPA's limit of mercury, which readily crosses the placenta and is extremely toxic to the fetal brain.  The flu shot has not been tested in pregnant women (just read the insert-it says so and goes so far as to specify to only be used in pregnancy in clear need).  Tell your mom that it is still experimental (it is) and that it has been shown to have negative effects in animals (it has). 



post #19 of 20

Oh, one more thing, there is compelling evidence to indicate an increased risk of miscarriage after receiving the flu shot.

If you just google "miscarriage after flu shot" you will find hundreds, if not thousands of reports.  That is often attributed to coincidence, however, in 2009-2010 when TWO flu shots (seasonal and the new H1N1 were given), reports of miscarriage after the shot per 10,000 births jumped from a number that has been steady at 6-12 to 77 per 10,000... and then the following year, when the shots were combined, it went back down to 13 per 10,000 (and this is just the reports that make it to VAERS, completely optional and very underreported).  There is no explanation for the spike in reported miscarriages/abortions immediately after a shot other than that pregnant women were receiving double shots that year.  I can find the study on pubmed if you need it.  Here is a news article about it: http://www.guerillahealthreport.com/post.php?id=417


Also, inexplicably, hundreds of children in Finland and Sweden developed sudden narcolepsy after the H1N1 vax (kids who received it themselves, not in utero).  It is just much too new and experimental for me to be comfortable with it.

post #20 of 20

I just knew I didn't want to take it. I have always been anti-flu shot though. I just don't trust it! lol

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