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will you be getting the flu vaccine while you're pg?

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
So the CDC & ACOG recommend that all women who will be pg during flu season receive the influenza vaccine. What are y'all planning on doing w/ that? (we are talking about true influenza here, w/ high fevers & the lot for a week or so, not the "stomach flu")

I have very mixed feelings about vaccines, I did not get the flu vax when I was pg w/ dd, declined Rhogam, & selectively vaccinated her. But I do feel that some vaccines have their place (I work in a hospital & am thankful to have the Hep B vax, my mom's a pediatric nurse & has watched the rate of pediatric meningitis plummet over her 20-year career (80's - today) due to the introduction of the HIB vaccine.

The flu vax is a crap-shot as to whether or not "they" get the right strains of the flu in the vaccine for a particular year. I know some people say they've gotten the flu from the vaccine, but I have had the flu in the past & have never had a bad reaction.

So now here I am, I will be working in a hospital through the winter, I have a germy toddler, & my last baby was a 22-week loss. Maternal infection & fever is a significant risk to the fetus & I'm thinking the risk of influenza outweighs the risk of the vaccine to me & my fetus.

What do y'all think? Please be kind & respectful
post #2 of 64
I have been wondering about this too, since something I read recommended it for women pregnant between October and April. I don't normally get it (nor have I ever gotten the flu). I asked my midwife at the first appointment and she just said that pregnant women are encouraged to get it, and that her practice will be offering it. On the one hand, I'm concerned about the adverse effects of the flu if this is the one unlucky year I get it. (In particular, the link between schizophrenia and flu in early pregnancy has me worried.) On the other hand, I'm concerned about the vaccine itself, especially as my body has never "tested" it or anything like it. But I ride trains and subways and therefore get exposed to a variety of germies, so it's risky! If I decide to get it, I will try to get the one doctor in the family to order me a preservative-free one, which are usually offered in limited quantities.
post #3 of 64
Not in your DDC but spent the day figuring this out. I did decide to get it as well as the whole family but the big thing to me was to make sure that I (and my 5 year old) was getting a single-dose vial flu vax. All of the multi-dose vials have thermisol so if you do decide to get the vax make sure you can get the single-dose otherwise I would definitely consider skipping the vax and risking the flu.
post #4 of 64
I don't get the flu vacc when I'm not pregnant, but I did get the vac (single dose) with DD. I agree, in certain cases, the possible risks of the flu (or just darn inconvenience when you've got a high-needs toddler, grad work, and DH working 70+hrs a week plus 1.5hr commute) outweigh the possible risks of the vaccine.
post #5 of 64
I was wondering the same thing. I've never gotten one and don't like the idea of getting one now. I'm so torn.

Jenmidwife: Can I ask you a question, why did you not get the Rhogam shot? I thought that was important if you're a negative and your DH is positive. Can't it cause future losses if you don't get it? I hope it does not come off like I'm questioning your choice, it's just that I know little about it and thought it was mandatory if you had conflicting blood types. I'd really like to know more about it. Thank you!
post #6 of 64
No Way! would I do it personally...but I don't work in a hospital.

I am a non-vaxer and am very skeptical when it comes to vaccines. My main concern w/ the vaccine are the chemicals that aid the vaccine in co-mingling with your bodily fluids...the aluminum, metals, and toxic ingredients. Perhaps you could request a "safer" or more chemical free vaccine.

I understand your predicament. I would do some serious research and way out the pros and cons.

Perhaps you can look into really proactive types of herbal/holistic rememdies that might deflect the flu. I know that Young's Theives Oil is extremely effective (used in a diffuser) for keeping the home environment free from sickness. Perhaps, it can be used more extensively. I'm really not even sure that Theives would be safe to use during pregnancy...just a suggestion...something to research!
post #7 of 64
I work in an elementary school and have received the flu shot every year for the past few years (including during my last pregnancy). I plan to do it again. I don't have any reactions to it, but when I get the flu I typically get high fevers and they last a long time. I feel like there is more risk in the fevers than in the shot (in my case!).
post #8 of 64
Not a consideration at all. I was working in a hospital as an RN while I was pg with DD1 and did get it. I also did the 28 wk Rhogam, and DD1 received a couple two month vaxs where she suffered a vax reaction. She is now a SN child, and my mind always goes back to the vaxs that she got and I got while I was pg with her. I don't know what she would of been like without any vaxs, but I do know, that as sensitive as a child she is (she reacts to everything), they didn't help her. I haven't had influenza while pg but did get it with a newborn along with pertussis that same winter. Wanna talk about one LONG winter! I also have choosen not to receive Rhogam again. For the poster that was asking, it is not mandatory. Read Sara Wickham's "Anti-D in Midwifery" for more info.

Jen, I'm sorry for your loss. I can imagine that after what you have been through, you want to do everything possible to protect this baby, and often our mind runs straight to diseases and vaxs. I do understand, while I didn't lose DD2, I spent months fighting with her to even just thrive. She contracted pertussis at 2 wks old, I could of lost her so easily. She was O2 dependent until she was 7 months old, and almost 2 years later, still has lingering effects. I will admit that the thought of having a newborn again terrifies me, I never ever want to go through anything resembling that again. But then I have to get rational and go through my family's history and my beliefs, and know that there is nothing magical I can do to prevent that, which sucks sometimes!

Good luck with your decision, these ones are never easy.
post #9 of 64
I haven't decided yet, but when I actually got the flu a few years ago, I was incredibly sick--temps hovering around 102-103, utter physical weakness, and inability to do much of anything for at least a week. I went back to work after a week because I was out of sick time and didn't want to lose my job, but I should have been off for at least another week. So remembering that experience is making me lean towards getting it, and I have to believe that being that sick would not be good for my baby. But I'm still nervous about vaccines during pregnancy, so I'm not sure...
post #10 of 64
I won't be getting the flu vaccine. I didn't with my other two pregnancies either. I haven't come across a pressing need for any of us to be vaccinated for anything. My mind is open the the possibility of vaxing for something at some point if there seems to be a true need, but right now there isn't. And I've had the flu and it sucks.
post #11 of 64
I'm thinking about it because DD is in Montessori pre-K now, exposed to A LOT of germs. I am pretty anti-vax overall but if I can find the single dose, we will both probably get it this year. Maybe.
post #12 of 64
No Way! My dh is one of those the gets the flu from the vaccine *every*single*time!!! Now I know they say that doesn't happen he would have gotten it anyway but I'm a little skeptical as last year was year 10 in a row that he came down with it within 24 hrs of recieving it. It was the worst of the 10 AND it doesn't keep him from getting it later. So no go for me or my kids.

He had to get it in the military and he is now an RN and will be declining it in the future.
post #13 of 64
I will not be getting the vaccine and neither will my kids. I feel that the risks of the chemicals and toxins in the vaccine outweigh any potiential benefit.
post #14 of 64
we don't vax....
post #15 of 64
I am curious - are pregnant women more susceptible to contracting the flu? I have never gotten the vaccine (since I was little maybe? I don't know if I got it then either) and have never really felt a reason to. I'm normally an overall healthy person (knock on wood) and usually come down with a cold in late fall/early winter and maybe another one in early spring but that's usually it and I know that the vaccine doesn't protect against colds. I'm not opposed to all vaccines by any means, but I just don't know if I need to introduce it for the first time now when I'm pregnant. Anyone know if we are more susceptible? I mean I know overall we are more susceptible to things while pregnant since our bodies are nourishing a little one, but is there a correlation with the contracting the flu while being pregnant that I don't know about? I am also scared that I will be one of those people who will get the vaccine and it will cause me to get sick as PP's DH.
post #16 of 64
Originally Posted by mamato2boys View Post
I will not be getting the vaccine and neither will my kids. I feel that the risks of the chemicals and toxins in the vaccine outweigh any potiential benefit.
Same here!
post #17 of 64
I'm boosting my immune system as much as I can, now that I'm pg... but I don't get the flu vax when I'm not pg, and I won't get it now. And I don't vax the kids for anything at all.
post #18 of 64
Originally Posted by michanders4 View Post
I am curious - are pregnant women more susceptible to contracting the flu?

hmmm I thought it was because of the possibilty for complications? Anyone know?

I won't be getting it though. Another non-vax'ing family here
post #19 of 64
I actually do vaccinate and my dd has had all her shots on schedule, but I have never gotten the flu shot and neither has anyone else in my family. If you cannot get the single-dose flu shot that is thimerisol free I would not even consider getting the shot while pregnant. If you do have access to a preservative-free shot, then I would still not get it, but I can see where you might decide to get it because your situation is different from mine. Here are the reasons why I would not get it.

1. I almost never get the flu.
2. When I do get the flu, I virtually never have a temperature above 101.
3. Getting the shot does not even guarantee I won't get the flu anyway because of the guessing which viruses to include that someone else mentioned.
4. They used to only recommend the flu shot for the elderly and the immune-suppressed. Now they recommend it for everyone and it is not like the cases of flu have increased in severity or frequency, so I assume the new recommendations are based on financial reasons rather than health reasons. Consequently, I don't trust the recommendations for the flu shot as much as some of the other vaccination recommendations.
5. While I don't have bad reactions to vaccines (at least so far), I have no way of knowing how it is going to affect the baby inside me.

Because of 1, 2 and 5, for me the risks from the shot clearly outweigh the risks of getting the flu. If 1 and 2 do not apply to you, then the balance of risks might work out differently for you.
post #20 of 64
If I can slip under the radar, I won't. If we are marched to the clinic and told to roll up our sleeves under order, I will request the shot. I refuse the flumist, though.
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