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#1 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Everywhere I go there are banners about getting the flu shot!
I have never had one in my entire life but sometimes I get overwhelmed and paranoid that I maybe need one so I don't get sick during my pregnancy and hurt the baby, but then I research the shot and I get more paranoid about the shot then the flu! The shot can also hurt my baby!

 

At my OBGYN office it also says they recommend Flu Shots for pregnant woman!

How do you feel about that?

 

Has any of you ever had a flu shot while pregnant??

 

Just curious.


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#2 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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I don't normally get a flu shot, but I absolutely wouldn't while pregnant.  Like most things, it boils down to personal preference.  The flu sucks, and the flu while pregnant would be miserable...but for me, I'd still take that over subjecting myself or my unborn baby to the stuff in a flu shot. 

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#3 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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I read that they recommend flu shots for pregnant women, too. I've never had a flu shot before, so that's where I'm coming from...

 

My son's birthday is in January, and when he was born I was very concerned about him being tiny in the middle of flu season. He didn't even get the sniffles... in fact, he wasn't sick at all until he was 10 months old, when he made up for lost time by getting pneumonia. My first time ever dealing with a sick baby, and he required x-rays, antibiotics and a nebulizer! Sheesh, that sure broke me in good!

 

I think I'd be more inclined to have the shot if I was going to have to be separated from my baby at any time during it's first 6 months, or if I wasn't 100% sure this baby will be nursing. I'm a SAHM so there'll be virtually no opportunity for him/her to be exposed to something that I'm not, and I'll pass on the antibodies he/she needs. My plan is to stay well hydrated, try my best to be well rested and be diligent about hand washing. 


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#4 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am planning on staying with my baby until 6 months or longer before looking for work!

My DS was born in October and he only got sick around 10 months aswell!


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#5 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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It's not something I've really thought about yet.  I tend to get the shot if it's convenient (like when the nurses set up tables on campus and basically jab you as you walk by, lol), but don't stress out about it.  I've never had the flu, so I don't know how bad it can be and am probably more blase about it than I would be if I'd had it in the past.  I've also never had a negative reaction to a vaccine, so I prefer the shot over the risk of disease.  

 

Pregnant (and nursing?) women are immunocompromised and are more likely to get the flu than other women, so I think that's where they're coming from.  The fetus isn't at much risk (of infection or of associated problems).  A newborn is considered high risk for getting the flu (like 4-5 cases/1000 children, I think?) and high risk for needing to be hospitalized if they get it.  Antibodies passed on during BF won't help in this case because you don't make them until you have been exposed and it will take you just as long as your baby to make them in sufficient quantity.  (Not trying to change anybody's mind, just pointing that out.)

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#6 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 02:03 PM
 
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I was pregnant with my DD when the H1N1 virus was all the rage and I had to commute in trains cramped full with people sneezing and coughing in your face (for lack of available space to do it in), but my OB/GYN was adamant that there was no way he was going to let me get a live virus shot, especially in my first trimester.

 

when the baby was born and a bit older, we were asked by the pedi if we wanted to give her the flu shot, but seeing as she was at home with me and did not come in much contact with other people (we had recently moved to a new place) we opted out. Neither of us, nor the DH has had the flu yet.

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#7 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 02:52 PM
 
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No flu shot here.  I'm not a big fan of the flu shot anyway, let alone when I'm pregnant.  


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#8 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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I've never had a flu shot, and I rarely get sick.  I don't care for the risks associated with vaccines.  I do tend to wash hands frequently with regular soap and water, and serve healthy food to my family.  We all tend to fight off illness efficiently.  Oscillococcinum  has worked well for us when flu symptoms are a problem.

 

  I did get the flu while I was pregnant with #2, in the heat of July.  It was 48 hrs of occasional vomiting and lying in bed.  I drank coconut water to rehydrate.  Aurelia and I were both fine when it was over.  She was born a healthy 10lb 2oz babe 3 months later. 


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#9 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 05:09 PM
 
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I need to do some research and ask a few questions, but I'm actually considering flu shots for the entire family this year.

 

We'll have ds1 in elementary school, ds2 possibly still in childcare at least part time, myself who works in a high school, and the new baby who likely has a serious heart defect.

 

I'm weighing the disadvantages of having the flu shot with the potential that it might protect us from at least some illness, and considering the fact that no one in our family has had a reaction to a flu shot in the past, it might just be worth it if it offers at least some measure of extra protection for the baby.

 

But I am waiting for our next echocardiogram and a chance to talk with a cardiologist (about that and a lot of things)...

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#10 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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I don't, and I do think that I had the flu when I was pregnant with my 2nd, it was miserable, but I didn't die or get gullian barre, so i'm good


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#11 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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ack!  what are the arguments against having a flu shot while pregnant?  i have type-1 diabetes, so i fall in that category of “high-risk” individuals who are highly susceptible-to and negatively impacted-by contracting the flu.  so, i have one every year.

 

honestly, it’s been such a part of my “medical care” plan, that it never occurred to me that it’s not a good idea while pregnant… silly me.


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#12 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melissarana View Post

ack!  what are the arguments against having a flu shot while pregnant?  i have type-1 diabetes, so i fall in that category of “high-risk” individuals who are highly susceptible-to and negatively impacted-by contracting the flu.  so, i have one every year.

 

honestly, it’s been such a part of my “medical care” plan, that it never occurred to me that it’s not a good idea while pregnant… silly me.


If I was high-risk I would look at the flu vaccine completely different.  I think it is something that should be taken seriously.  I don't get the flu vaccine because 1. I'm not high risk, 2. I stay at home and so will my baby 3. It's a live virus and that scares me 4. Some of the flu vaccines contain thimerosal 5. The CDC guesses each year what strain of flu will hit the hardest that year and that is the strain they vaccinate you for....no guarantee against not contracting another strain.  

 

Please let me know if I am wrong about any of the above points and I will research it more.  I'm not a fan of it, but if I was high-risk or my child was in daycare and/or not breastfed, I would have to reconsider my feelings on this vaccine.   

 


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#13 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 07:12 PM
 
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It probably depends how "high risk" you and any loved ones are..

 

My whole family gets them every year pregnant or not because my 4yo has asthma and we want to try as hard as we can to keep him from getting flu - he gets very sick even just from a cold. If it weren't for him we might not bother...

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#14 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendizbaby View Post




If I was high-risk I would look at the flu vaccine completely different.  I think it is something that should be taken seriously.  I don't get the flu vaccine because 1. I'm not high risk, 2. I stay at home and so will my baby 3. It's a live virus and that scares me 4. Some of the flu vaccines contain thimerosal 5. The CDC guesses each year what strain of flu will hit the hardest that year and that is the strain they vaccinate you for....no guarantee against not contracting another strain.  

 

Please let me know if I am wrong about any of the above points and I will research it more.  I'm not a fan of it, but if I was high-risk or my child was in daycare and/or not breastfed, I would have to reconsider my feelings on this vaccine.   

 


Well said. We each need to make the decision based on our families individual circumstances. I initially declined the chicken pox vaccine for DD, but then looked into it further and decided it was in her best interest because she has eczema and would be more likely to have a severe case. 


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#15 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My only concern is...my son goes to school and he does bring home stuff from time to time. The baby will be born in December during flu season. If I get the flu shot, isn't it true that the baby is also protected when he is born for up to 6 months???


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#16 of 39 Old 08-31-2011, 11:11 PM
 
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Pretty much what Wendi said, for all the same reasons. It has to be a personal choice, and in some cases, I do think it's a smart thing, but for me/baby, it's a no. 

 

That said, DH is a paramedic, though not currently working as one (does that make sense?) If he does get another medic job before the baby is born or in the first few months, he will probably get the shot, since he will be encountering such a higher number of people.  

 

But for myself, I grew up with an old fashioned sweat-through-it kind of mother, and as a result I have a fantastic immune system. I'd rather fight the flu, even pregnant, than have the vaccine since a/ i'm pretty terrified of needles, and b/ I used to react pretty bad when I was little- I would come home after a shot, eat a bowl of soup, and then sleep for the rest of the day, and usually all through the night before waking up. Eventually my mom stopped having me get them. They don't seem to be as bad now that I'm an adult, but I don't see a need to risk it now that I'm pregnant!


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#17 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 05:40 AM
 
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I agree with other posters that individual circumstances should be considered when making any health decision!  thumb.gif


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#18 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by wendizbaby View Post

If I was high-risk I would look at the flu vaccine completely different. 

 


I think the argument, though, is that just being pregnant makes you high-risk because your body is investing all of its energy into making your baby and very little into protecting you against disease.  I'm pretty sure that nursing also takes energy away from your immune system, but I'm not positive (I know lactation is associated with a decrease in immune function in other mammals, but don't know a ton about human immunity.)  And again, you can't pass on antibodies that you don't have so breastfeeding only helps in the sense that you're giving your child the best nutrition possible - you can't protect him against the flu if you haven't had it yourself.

 

Also, only the nasal spray uses a (attenuated) live virus (but no thimerosal).  The shot uses a killed virus (and may or may not have thimerosal - if you request a single-shot, you can avoid it).  I'm not sure if they offer one or the other in particular for pregnant women...

 


Quote:


My only concern is...my son goes to school and he does bring home stuff from time to time. The baby will be born in December during flu season. If I get the flu shot, isn't it true that the baby is also protected when he is born for up to 6 months???

 

 

 

This is a good question.  The shot causes you to produce antibodies against the strains that they include in the vaccine so in theory you should be passing those antibodies onto your baby when you breastfeed.  ... in theory.  If anybody knows more about the effectiveness of passing on antibodies produced in response to a vaccine, I'd be interested in seeing some links.  You are protecting him in the sense that you are less likely to get the flu.  I'm not sure about the CDC, but WHO actually recommends the entire family of an infant be vaccinated - because obviously your son or husband could get infected at work and bring it home - and infants are highly susceptible and are highly likely to need hospitalization if they get it.

 

But you also have to think about one of the points that wendizbaby brought up - the CDC is just guessing which strains will be the most prevalent.  The vaccine is very, very good at protecting against those strains.  But there are always other strains out there.  Overall, I think the vaccine reduces influenza prevalence by 25%.  That's not that great.  Is it better than nothing?  That's where the personal decision making comes in.  My personal opinion is that the risk of this vaccine is very, very low and the protection is moderate.  I'll probably get it.  But if you're afraid of the risks, you're probably not losing a ton of protection.

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#19 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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I read that the vaccine gives the baby antibodies too, but it was just in a magazine article.

 

 


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#20 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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I read that the vaccine gives the baby antibodies too, but it was just in a magazine article.

 

 


I looked a little bit and it looks like the vaccine should give the baby antibodies.  In general, I think you'll produce more antibodies in response to actually getting the flu because you get a bigger dose of the virus and because it will spend some time replicating before your body actually does anything about it.  So you'll have more antibodies to pass on and the baby will have a higher titer.  But whatever you produce in response to the vaccine will also be passed on, which makes sense, I just wanted to be sure.  :)

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#21 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by melissarana View Post

ack!  what are the arguments against having a flu shot while pregnant?  i have type-1 diabetes, so i fall in that category of “high-risk” individuals who are highly susceptible-to and negatively impacted-by contracting the flu.  so, i have one every year.

 

honestly, it’s been such a part of my “medical care” plan, that it never occurred to me that it’s not a good idea while pregnant… silly me.



Why does having type 1 diabetes makes you high risk?

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#22 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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Quote:
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Why does having type 1 diabetes makes you high risk?


for a type-1 diabetic, having the flu can cause severe blood sugar swings: high highs and low lows. uncontrolled blood sugar compromises the body’s ability to heal/recover, which significantly increases the risk of complications from the flu.  so while getting the flu is awful for anyone, for someone with diabetes (any kind, i think) it’s something that can/will progress into something much worse.  does that make sense?

 


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#23 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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Quote:
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for a type-1 diabetic, having the flu can cause severe blood sugar swings: high highs and low lows. uncontrolled blood sugar compromises the body’s ability to heal/recover, which significantly increases the risk of complications from the flu.  so while getting the flu is awful for anyone, for someone with diabetes (any kind, i think) it’s something that can/will progress into something much worse.  does that make sense?

 


Yes, thank you!  My husband was diagnosed with LADA a couple years ago so diabetes is fairly new to both of us.  We've definitely noticed that his blood sugar is all over the place when he is ill.

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#24 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I know that a friend of ours has diabetes and the flu always turns into pneumonia with her and she always ends up in the hospital without her flu shot, with flu shot, she still gets sick, but not near as bad!


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#25 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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I am anti-vaccine period. My family rarely gets sick, I keep our immune systems up all year. I don't recall if it was H1N1 or regular, I think H1N1 - but it has been linked to many many miscarriages. I was pregnant when H1N1 started  and again shortly there after (3 months between birth and conception) so I had researched it pretty heavily back then. I know for sure H1N1 can be very dangerous, I don't recall about the regular flu - I am not worried about it at all.

 

please - whatever you decide - research it HEAVILY yourself - make an educated decision do not rely on your medical doctor - medical doctors typically receive very little vaccine training past "convince everyone to get one"

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#26 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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I don't recall if it was H1N1 or regular, I think H1N1 - but it has been linked to many many miscarriages.


This actually isn't the case.  The original paper reported that 400 women in 1 million (0.04%) that get the shot will have a miscarriage within 24 hours.  That's not significantly different from daily background miscarriage rates (397 women in 1 million (0.04%)).  http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/49017/title/Science_%2B_the_Public__H1N1_vaccine_Counting_side_effects

 

Sunshine, I don't know if you're interested, but march of dimes has some good information on the flu vaccine (why it's recommended for pregnant ladies and what the risks are) here:  http://newsmomsneed.marchofdimes.com/?tag=h1n1-vaccine  

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#27 of 39 Old 09-01-2011, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you. :)

I will read it for sure. :)
 

Quote:
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Sunshine, I don't know if you're interested, but march of dimes has some good information on the flu vaccine (why it's recommended for pregnant ladies and what the risks are) here:  http://newsmomsneed.marchofdimes.com/?tag=h1n1-vaccine  



 


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#28 of 39 Old 09-02-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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This actually isn't the case.  The original paper reported that 400 women in 1 million (0.04%) that get the shot will have a miscarriage within 24 hours.  That's not significantly different from daily background miscarriage rates (397 women in 1 million (0.04%)).  http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/49017/title/Science_%2B_the_Public__H1N1_vaccine_Counting_side_effects

 

Sunshine, I don't know if you're interested, but march of dimes has some good information on the flu vaccine (why it's recommended for pregnant ladies and what the risks are) here:  http://newsmomsneed.marchofdimes.com/?tag=h1n1-vaccine  


I was reading story after story of women misscarrying within a week after the shot - I do not have the links, it was over 2 years ago.I just want people to do research - LOOKING for the good and the bad, not just accepting a positive article and calling it good

 

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#29 of 39 Old 09-02-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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I just want people to do research - LOOKING for the good and the bad, not just accepting a positive article and calling it good

 


I think we're on the same page.  :)

 

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#30 of 39 Old 09-02-2011, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wasn't the flu shot with the H1N1 banned from Australia??

 


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