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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Received my TDAP booster shot last tuesday. Aside from feeling like someone punched me in the arm for a couple days, everything is well and I feel great. :)

Question: My mom is skeptical of vaccines (just a recent thing due to all the hype) and doesn't want to get the TDAP booster. My midwives posed the information on the TDAP booster shot like anyone who would be around the baby immediately after birth should have AT LEAST the TDAP. What are your thoughts?
 

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This can be really tricky. If she is skeptical of vaccines, she will likely react very negatively to asking to get a vaccine. However, it is of course, your child, and you can require and ask anything you want in regards to the child. The flip side is that some vaccine skeptical parents will require people who have vaccines to avoid their child because of the risk of shedding or other issues.
The big question can be how close the family relationships are and how easily conflict has been handled in the past. My mother was behind on her TDAP boosters and I did ask that she get a booster before my daughter was born when she came to help with my son. I didn't ask when my son was born (he was born in the end of May and there wasn't any outbreaks at the time). She did it without hesitation.
Some of it comes down to how at risk the individual is to being a carrier of Pertussis. This is the big one for me, it is really scary. if someone was coughing in any capacity I personally would not allow them around my newborn regardless of vaccine status (we had RSV which was no picnic either) and I also require handwashing before touching them and limit who has access.
I don't think there is anything wrong with asking her to do it, but I would be prepared for potential backlash. Whether it is something to push really comes down to her exposure to pertussis and also the previous relationship.
 

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I second that ^^
 

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Talking about why you think this is a good idea may be an interesting way to start the conversation. In my experience forcing or demanding people do things is damaging long term, but a conversation about it might help her decide for herself.

The odds that there's much risk of harm from her seeing your infant without it is tiny. It's only on a population level that these recommendations make sense after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses!

My mom works in a call center with MANY people who come to work sick, coughing, sneezing, etc. She, herself, gets various sicknesses from this place all the time. I suppose this is what makes me the most nervous. I do agree though with @prosciencemum , the risk is low but I can't shake the uncomfortable feeling.
@Dakotacakes Our relationship is pretty strong and I feel like I can talk to her about this, but ultimately I think she'd opt to not do the booster and just not come around to see the baby initially which is a rather sad thought for me.

Do you think good hand washing and general "Don't be sick and come over" is safe enough or due to the nature of the place she works I should push for the booster?
 

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I personally would not stop my mother from seeing her grandchildren. Good hygiene will go a long way.

I would keep having that tdap conversation though. In her case it sounds like it might help her. Does she get the flu shot? Complications from flu in older people can be nasty.
 

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I wouldn't stop her from seeing the baby either but I would definitely have that "this is important to me, I wish you would respect my wishes" kind of conversation, as delicately as possible.
 

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Well the potential good news is that if your mom has worked at a job where she is frequently exposed to sick/coughing people for a while and hasn't had a booster in a long time there is a good chance she's already been exposed and immune (for at least 5-20 years, anyway). Does she remember coming down with a bad cough in recent memory? Getting a booster during pregnancy is one of the most important and best things you can to prevent pertussis in your newborn, so that is great that you've already done that. A study came out recently that showed infants whose mother got the vaccine but ended up with pertussis anyway (since no vaccine is 100% effective) had a much milder case and were much less likely to require hospitalization than infants whose mother had not been vaccinated.

I would definitely have a no sick rule (even for people sniffling or coughing from "allergies" no matter who they are). When my daughter was about 2 months old, my mom came to visit. She got in late and the next day started complaining of an itchy throat and runny nose. She was convinced it was seasonal allergies but I told her I was not comfortable bringing the kids around until she was better. Well the next day she started feeling *really* ill with a high fever. I convinced her to go to a doctor and she ended up having strep throat. Our pediatrician told us that it was safe to bring the kids around her once she had been on antibiotics for twenty four hours but thank goodness I stuck with my "no bringing infants around any kind of sick people" rule. Strep throat in a 2 month old would not have been good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well the potential good news is that if your mom has worked at a job where she is frequently exposed to sick/coughing people for a while and hasn't had a booster in a long time there is a good chance she's already been exposed and immune (for at least 5-20 years, anyway). Does she remember coming down with a bad cough in recent memory
She has only worked at this job for approximately 8 months and in that time she has been sick nearly 1 - 2 times a month. The last of the illnesses she had was a really bad cough and congested sinuses, clear snot runny nose over Christmas time.

I live in a very dry climate and strep throat and sore throats/post nasal drip is very very very common. So I will be banning sick people for the first little while, for sure.

Maybe I'll take her out to lunch and just have a loving conversation about her health and if that doesn't work, maybe just ask her to do it for baby and offer to pay any medical bills that result from the booster?

Thanks for all the responses, btw. :) I appreciate having you guys here!!
 
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