Any non-vax'ing mothers of preemies? Did you make any exceptions b/c you had a preemie? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-28-2012, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted something similar on the preemies board but thought I'd ask here as well, in case there are any mothers of former preemies here.

 

DH and I have been committed to not vaccinating our children (we've been trying for years for a baby and, after six miscarriages, finally got our survivor... who was born 11 days ago at 29 weeks because of severe pre-eclampsia). In a lot of ways, having a preemie has changed everything... e.g., my OB went against my wishes and did not delay cord clamping (I'm still livid/sick to my stomach about that one, since a preemie needs all his own blood even moreso than a full-term baby). 

 

The vaccine thing, we're still 90% sure we want to decline/delay vaccinations, but on the various preemie forums (not here!), you're treated as though you're a mass murderer for even considering it. The general claim is that illnesses that would be a minor inconvenience to a full-term baby, could be deadly for a preemie. Of course, I consider that to be true of the toxins in the vaccines!

 

If you had a preemie at any point, did you vaccinate at all? Were there a few things that you chose were worth the risk (e.g., RSV) and others that weren't, or did you decline them all? 

 

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts... I hate being in this spot, because no matter which choice I make, if something went wrong with my baby because of it, I would never forgive myself!

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#2 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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Congrats on your baby!

 

I am not a former preemie mom. But there's no way in heck I, personally, would vaccinate a preemie on normal schedule. I think Hep B is ridiculous for any newborn (unless mom was hep b positive). 

 

All the vax studies are done on completely healthy, age appropriate babies, so no one really knows about preemies. They just assume benefits outweigh risks. Personally, I think giving a preemie born at 29 weeks the general 2 month vaccines, 2 months after she is born, would essentially be like  vaccinating a fullterm baby in utero at 8 months. 

 

 

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#3 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much... and yes, I can't imagine doing that to a baby who is still supposed to be a fetus! (I even declined the 28-week Rhogam shot even though I'm Rh- and my husband is Rh+... turned out, our baby is Rh- so I'm very glad I fought that battle!) The one thing we agreed to was vitamin K, knowing that our baby wouldn't be getting large amounts of my breast milk right away and knowing that brain bleeds are common in preemies. But we said "absolutely not" to the hep B vaccine.

 

I also spoke with the neonatologist today and expressed our wishes for not having any vaccinations given, and she told me our son will likely be home by the 2-month mark anyway, but that she would note it in our chart that we are declining all vaccines. *whew* Glad I don't have to pitch a fit about that one!!

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#4 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 06:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgia_Julia View Post

Thanks so much... and yes, I can't imagine doing that to a baby who is still supposed to be a fetus! (I even declined the 28-week Rhogam shot even though I'm Rh- and my husband is Rh+... turned out, our baby is Rh- so I'm very glad I fought that battle!) The one thing we agreed to was vitamin K, knowing that our baby wouldn't be getting large amounts of my breast milk right away and knowing that brain bleeds are common in preemies. But we said "absolutely not" to the hep B vaccine.

 

I also spoke with the neonatologist today and expressed our wishes for not having any vaccinations given, and she told me our son will likely be home by the 2-month mark anyway, but that she would note it in our chart that we are declining all vaccines. *whew* Glad I don't have to pitch a fit about that one!!



In the future, you don't need to say anything about your vaccinating plans.  It's none of their business what you do once your baby is released from the NICU.  

 

And I agree with the PP that it would be completely inappropriate to vaccinate a NICU baby, as they are tested on and designed for healthy, full-term infants.  To give them to a tiny preemie would be risky and reckless.

 

My babies were 32 and 34 weeks, and vaccines were never mentioned in the NICU, even once.


A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
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#5 of 10 Old 02-29-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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That's great! It would be a lot easier to avoid/decide about 2 month vax issues after you are at home I would imagine.

 

I didn't intend to get vit K for my DD either... or Hep B, or a lot of other things... I uc'ed and everything was as good as can be expected. But then the circumstances of getting pedi/birth certificate (in a foreign country) and me totally out of it pp screwed some things up. Long story short, I was irrationally terrified if I didn't do certain things my DD would be interned in hospital against my will. I do regret some of that. 

 

Good luck! 

 

 

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#6 of 10 Old 03-01-2012, 05:30 PM
 
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My oldest was technically full-term (37 weeks) but only 4.5 pounds due to placenta failure because of pre-eclampsia.

I will forever regret that I allowed them to vaccinate him, as he had severe factions.

I would also suggest breast feeding as much as possible. Mothers of premise make a very different milk than mores of full-termed--and it's EXACTLY what the baby needs. Pump every 2 hours if you have to, and don't get discouraged if you don't get a drop for the first few days. It took me 5 days to get a drop, because the magnesium sulfate they give you to prevent seizures from e pre-eclampsia just happens to inhibit milk production.

Even if you didn't try yet, you can still produce milk. Ask to speak with the hospital lactation consultant, ASAP, if you haven't already, and you can also try the La Leche League.

The other thing I'd do is hold your baby as much as possible, especially skin-to-skin. Forget car seat/carriers--use them just in the car. Wear your baby!

Official advice is not to sleep with your baby. I went crazy for the first few months until I slept with him. Then he and I slept WAY WAY WAY better.

I got a bed rail, and put the baby between me and the bed rail, so my hubby wouldn't roll on him.

When he was old enough to roll over, we moved to a futon on the floor.

I'm not saying that you should go against the "experts.". I'm saying that I did, and for me, it was unquestionably the right decision.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-01-2012, 09:38 PM
 
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#8 of 10 Old 03-02-2012, 10:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam View Post

Magnesium sulfate dehydrates you.  Antihistimines do also, so avoid those while you breastfeed.  

 

Lots of fluids and your prenatal vitamins while you breastfeed.  Good luck.  You will need it. 


Yes, good luck, yes, you will need it--BUT YOU CAN DO IT!!

I did, and if I could, anybody can!  Also, if you and baby (once he's discharged from hospital) can get outside in the sun a little bit each day, that would be good--after a complicated pregnancy, it's very common to be vitamin-D-deficient. In 15 minutes in the sun (without sunblock), your skin can make 20,000 IU of vitamin D.  

 

If sun is not an option where you live (like Pacific NorthWest), please make sure you take at least 2000 IU of vitamin D3 (NOT D2!) per day.  (I take 5000.)

 

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#9 of 10 Old 03-03-2012, 12:58 PM
 
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My gut says delay vaccinating until you have things figured out - and I doubt it will be in the NICU.  You can always vax later, you can never undo a vax.  

 

Is rotovirus and or RSV something to look into?

 

In any event, congrats on the baby!!!!

 

 

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#10 of 10 Old 03-04-2012, 11:34 AM
 
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Sounds like you have started with a plan. Congrats on your baby! I just wanted to point out that there is no vaccine for RSV. RSV can be a serious illness in preemies. What they do have is injections of antibodies to RSV for qualified children, it is NOT a vaccine. it has to be given monthly during RSV season, and is quite expensive. 5 years ago it was over 1K a dose, I don't know what the current price is. There is paperwork to be filled out by medical providers and the company makes the ultimate decision on who qualifies or not but generally speaking a 29 weeker would probably qualify next winter since RSV season would be over more then likely by the time the NICU stay is done. There are numerous old thread on this in the NICU forum. Families who qualify can accept or deny. And there are families that do Synagis that do not do any vaccines. Myself included. I have no doubt that DD2 would of had serious issues surviving RSV her first winter. She got Influenza that winter and that set us back 3 months, it was another 3 months of O2 when she had just gotten off that week. She got RSV for the first time at 20 months of age and was once again in the hospital and on O2, same thing again when she got it again at age 4. When my 9 regular month old got it it was just a quick hospital stay for IV fluids, though had I not had all DD2's medical equipment at home that I had been using on him, we would of had to go in sooner. Preemies have different health issues then regular children but choosing not to vaccinate can still be your choice. Best of luck to you and your new baby.


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