swine flu and pregnancy - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-30-2009, 04:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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obviously trying to avoid any sickness, flu or otherwise. does anyone know if we can take any special precautions or if there are any other concerns re: this illness, and being pregnant?

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Old 04-30-2009, 09:55 AM
 
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From Sky News

Q: Does swine flu pose a more serious threat to pregnant women?
A: All viruses are potentially dangerous to pregnant women as their immune systems are under extra strain - but they should be fine if they eat well and keep up essential minerals.

nicole, wife & very blessed mom of 2 fun boys '03 & '05 & sweet girl '10. 2ndtri.gifDue 1-6-13 hbac.gifwaterbirth.jpg

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Old 04-30-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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There is a discussion about this in the November DDC.

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Old 04-30-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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During the 1918 flu outbreak, an odd thing was noticed. Workers at cinnamon factories never caught the Spanish flu. Natural cinnamon dust blocked the flu virus from entering the body. To be technical, cinnamon might not prevent you from catching this particular flu, since it is a hybrid, but it will help to reduce the hemorrhagic edema from the bird flu component, which is the actual cause of death.

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Old 04-30-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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It's important to avoid any flu if possible during the first trimester. Women who contract the flu during the first trimester are 7 times more likely to have a child who develops schizophrenia when they are in their 20's. After reading this I have been wondering if it's okay to boost ones immune system with astralgus root or reishi mushrooms. I don't know if they are safe to take during pregnancy. I think the number one precaution is wash your hands and try to avoid being around sick people. Obviously one is easier to do than the other.

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Old 04-30-2009, 12:42 PM
 
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As the virus spreads, it will become less virulent (it has to in order to get around). So if you were to get it at this point, you'd likely have regular flu-like symptoms, which don't generally pose a major threat to pregnant women or their fetuses. Since there's no vaccine anyway, your best bet is to practice good hygiene and avoid areas with known outbreaks.

I should probably be doing something else right now.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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As the virus spreads, it will become less virulent (it has to in order to get around). So if you were to get it at this point, you'd likely have regular flu-like symptoms, which don't generally pose a major threat to pregnant women or their fetuses. Since there's no vaccine anyway, your best bet is to practice good hygiene and avoid areas with known outbreaks.
It is not true that a virus must become less virulent in order to achieve a high rate of transmission, but I agree with others that there's no big cause for alarm and the best measures to take are stated above.

In past flu pandemics, healthy young people were hit the hardest (highest mortality) due to their healthy immune systems- the over-reaction of the immune system was actually the driving cause of the fatal pathology. So if that were the case with this particular virus, pregnant women would be less susceptible to the virulence. I am not implying this is the case, as there is not enough known about the H1N1 that is currently in question.

btw- I am a pathogen biologist (spent most of my education/career working with viral pathogens), so I am not pulling this out of my *ss.

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Old 04-30-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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It's important to avoid any flu if possible during the first trimester. Women who contract the flu during the first trimester are 7 times more likely to have a child who develops schizophrenia when they are in their 20's.
Do you have a source on this? I'd like to learn more

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It is not true that a virus must become less virulent in order to achieve a high rate of transmission, but I agree with others that there's no big cause for alarm and the best measures to take are stated above.

In past flu pandemics, healthy young people were hit the hardest (highest mortality) due to their healthy immune systems- the over-reaction of the immune system was actually the driving cause of the fatal pathology. So if that were the case with this particular virus, pregnant women would be less susceptible to the virulence. I am not implying this is the case, as there is not enough known about the H1N1 that is currently in question.

btw- I am a pathogen biologist (spent most of my education/career working with viral pathogens), so I am not pulling this out of my *ss.
This particular flu has been mostly affecting healthy people, correct? I think I heard that somewhere? Are pregnant women who are generally healthy more or less likely to get it? I normally have a stellar immune system, but have gotten sick several times this pregnancy.

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Old 04-30-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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LizzyQ there is an article in this month's Psychology Today p.82 it's a prenatal stress and mentions the effect of the flu during the first trimester. Researchers think it has to do with the bodies immune response.

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Old 04-30-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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This particular flu has been mostly affecting healthy people, correct? I think I heard that somewhere? Are pregnant women who are generally healthy more or less likely to get it? I normally have a stellar immune system, but have gotten sick several times this pregnancy.
I'm not sure if it is healthy people or the fact that it hasn't really been affecting elderly people... which is typically the norm. I think they are chalking that one up to the fact that a lot of older people lived through the swine flu that was around in the 50's and so they have a better immunity to it. I know this strain is a little different, but that is what I heard this morning.

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Old 04-30-2009, 05:43 PM
 
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This particular flu has been mostly affecting healthy people, correct? I think I heard that somewhere? Are pregnant women who are generally healthy more or less likely to get it? I normally have a stellar immune system, but have gotten sick several times this pregnancy.
I wish we knew the answer to this. At this point you must consider that more people die from the seasonal flu every year than this swine flu. If this flu was particularly virulent, it would be probable that most of the Mexican cases would have ended in death. Fortunately this is not the case and many people are recovering quickly, hopefully we continue to observe this trend.

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Old 04-30-2009, 09:45 PM
 
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http://www.smh.com.au/world/only-7-s...0429-aml1.html

This may put your mind at ease, the WHO says only 7 people have died from the swine flu not 152.

I am not sure how/why there is this huge discrepancy in the information, but I thought I'd share it.

But then there is this: http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/30...eak/index.html

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Old 04-30-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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It's important to avoid any flu if possible during the first trimester. Women who contract the flu during the first trimester are 7 times more likely to have a child who develops schizophrenia when they are in their 20's.
This is scary to me bc I ended up with the flu at back to back during the 1st few wks preggo with DS2 since it was major flu season then.

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Old 04-30-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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This is scary to me bc I ended up with the flu at back to back during the 1st few wks preggo with DS2 since it was major flu season then.
FWIW, my mom had the flu pretty badly when she was pregnant with me and I don't have it. I'd like to see a source on this before worrying too much.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:27 AM
 
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This may put your mind at ease, the WHO says only 7 people have died from the swine flu not 152.

I am not sure how/why there is this huge discrepancy in the information, but I thought I'd share it.
I think the media is pretty alarmist, and report selectively for the most interesting news. I think the health organizations are starting to differentiate between deaths actually caused by the flu and deaths that were caused by other illnesses in people who also had the flu (but that the flu wasn't actually the cause of death.

I'm totally not an expert...

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Old 05-01-2009, 05:42 AM
 
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FWIW, my mom had the flu pretty badly when she was pregnant with me and I don't have it. I'd like to see a source on this before worrying too much.
It's in the June 2009 issue of Psychology Today, I just looked and it is not available online yet. The article by Emily Laber-Warren says "If a woman gets the flu during her first trimester, her child is seven times as likely to develop schizophfrenia as a teenager or young adult. It may not be the fluitself that causes the malfunction, but rather the immunological reaction. Cytokines-protiens the mother's body produces in response to the flu-get transmitted tot he fetus and harm its brain." It also mentions a study in mice given a specific cytokine, interleukin-6 gave birth to offspring that not only displayed schizophrenic-like behaviors but also behaviors analgous to those seen in autistic humans.

This all being said I would not worry too much if you did have the flu while in your first trimester, first there really isn't anything you can do about it and FWIW the lifetime prevalence of Sz is usually estimated to be between .5%-1%. First degree biological relatives of individuals with Sz have a risk 10X's greater than the general population. Therefore, as long as your child does not have a first-degree relative with Sz. his chance of developing Sz. is only .5-1% normally or 3.5-7% if you have had the flu. Still a pretty low prevalence rate.

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Old 05-01-2009, 12:38 PM
 
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Here's a blog post referencing another study linking flu during pregnancy and schizophrenia in offspring:

http://newfoundlandnews.blogspot.com...s-risk-of.html

It does note "According to Brown's research, the overall risk of schizophrenia from flu is small — 97% of children born to women who got the flu while pregnant will not develop schizophrenia", so I don't think there's any reason to be too worried about it, especially if you don't have any known genetic tendencies. It's interesting though!
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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It is interesting! The first thing it made me think of vaccinating pregnant women with the flu...now correct me if I'm wrong, but if the immune response by the mom is what they believe may be the problem, it seems like vaccinating for the flu would be a bad, bad idea.

Of course, I'm a little freaked out. I didn't have influenza per se this pregnancy but I did have a tummy bug I got from my toddler. It passed in about 12 hours and was a lot of puking. That's not the same thing as regular influenza, right? When I read what the flu is (what they vax you for), it's a respiratory disease.

My first pregnancy I didn't get sick at all. But I find it very hard to stay completely healthy with a 2.5 year old, I don't know about anyone else!
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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After reading this I have been wondering if it's okay to boost ones immune system with astralgus root or reishi mushrooms. I don't know if they are safe to take during pregnancy.
Yes it is safe to take astragalus and/or reishi. Just NOT golden seal!
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Old 05-01-2009, 06:08 PM
 
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It's important to avoid any flu if possible during the first trimester. Women who contract the flu during the first trimester are 7 times more likely to have a child who develops schizophrenia when they are in their 20's.

I belive this whole heartedly my Aunt caught one of the outbreaks in the 70's I do not remember what flu it was??? But she was in her first trimester with my cousin and he has schizphrenia OCD and asburgers (spelling is off sorry)


In the 50's outbreak my bestfriends grandmother caught the flu and her son has a terrible case of schizophrenia poor guy has spent most of his life in hospitals

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Old 05-01-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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Probiotics are something that is safe to take in pregnancy & can help your immune system, since gut flora are what make up most of our immune system anyway.

I don't know much about what people up thread are saying about those w/ very strong immune systems being the ones hit the hardest. That is interesting & I've not heard anything like that about any illness before.

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Old 05-01-2009, 09:01 PM
 
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There is some great info in the Health and Healing forum too for those who want more to think about.
Apparently healthy young adults were the ones who were dying in the 1918 flu epidemic because their immune systems overreacted, cytokine storm?? They were actually dying within a day sometimes.
Some in H&H have suggested that getting vit. D levels up to par can help strengthen your immune system but also discourage the cytokine storm reaction (I am not at all well versed in this stuff so please forgive misinformation!)
Upping vit. D levels is a good idea anyway. Take cod liver oil, eat butter and get a healthy dose of sunshine. I think you can take the actual supplement too. My impression is that it is a fat soluble vitamin so make sure you're getting plenty of healthy fats.

At this point I'm a little worried about having a newborn if this thing does gain pandemic proportions. It's weird though because I think it was SARS with my first and I didn't feel very concerned at all. And obviously it didn't really get very far.
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