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Whooping cough vaccine and some threads on internet about stillbirth as a result

(63 Posts)
Happychick35 Sun 05-Jan-14 09:41:59

I know this topic has been raised quite a few times by now, but I wanted to ask did you do it? I pushed doing it as far as possible in my pregnancy, but now I have to make a decision and I do think the information about vaccine is not complete. Please don't get an impression I am against vaccination, I definitely think that is something what has to be done and thought of my LO getting a WC horrifies me. However NHS says on their website that vaccine is routinely done in France and Germany and since I am lucky enough to have friends in both I checked. In France I even spoke with GP who showed official French guidelines stating that as vaccine was not tested on pregnant women it is not generally recommended to do it during pregnancy. Their suggestion is for women to do it after birth and have the infant family vaccinated. In Germany it is not routinely offered to pregnant women either. So there seems to be the trend in US and UK only and vaccine used in US is different to UK. And now there are a few reports in US which question the efficiency of this approach. There are a few threads on the internet where women report reduced fetal movements after vaccine and even stillbirth incidents. It is hard to prove that it is something related, but such incidents should not be dismissed either. Also when I ask midwifes question would you do it if you were pregnant , I get quite mixed responses, some say yes, but some say actually I might give it a bit of time to see how everybody else is getting on. All my pregnant friends did it and seems to be fine. But there is a thought on the back of my mind if something happens to my pregnancy due to vaccine I will never forgive myself. I do not have much faith in UK health system as I have been let down quite a few times struggling with endometriosis and infertility and I can positively say I am pregnant more despite healthcare system rather than due to it. Just a few thoughts...

meditrina Sun 05-Jan-14 09:47:21

What was the date on the guidelines the French doctor showed you the guidelines?

For in 2012 there was a French publicity campaign for it to be done,a nit should have been offered to every pg woman there (don't know about Germany).

The old formulation WC jab certainly should not have been given during pg, but the new acellular one is widely used.

OwlinaTree Sun 05-Jan-14 09:51:46

It's a tough decision isn't it? I had the jab on Friday, I'm 31 weeks today.

I also had a neonatal loss in 2012. Absolutely nothing can prepare you for the loss of a child. You analyse every decision you made for 9 months.

There are no easy answers. How would you feel if yourbaby caught whooping cough? There are risks attached to everything, but stillbirth and neonatal loss is still, unfortunately, unexplained in many cases.

You are right to question any decision you make which affects you and your unborn child, none of us should follow like sheep, unquestioning.

I often take the view that any action the NHS takes costs money. So there must be a valid reason for them to spend the money vaccinating pg women.

Happychick35 Sun 05-Jan-14 09:56:29

Hi meditrina it was January 2012 and my friend just had a baby in France and was never offered one during pregnancy.

KateG2010 Sun 05-Jan-14 09:58:52

I'm also very interested in responses and have been trying to decide whether to have this jab myself (23+1). I'm also generally very provaccination, but am skeptical about this particular usage of the jab in pregnancy as it seems to be a very knee-jerk reaction to the recent outbreak.

I also have little faith in the NHS system for various reasons, and think that the top-down approach to decision making doesn't really allow for proper discussion with health professionals. Looking at the guidelines the midwives have for talking to patients it sounds like a no-brainer, but the minutes from the original committee meetings where this was discussed show that they really didn't know that this would work but thought it was the best option available at the time. As I understand it this vaccine has never actually been used in pregnant women (the US one is different, I'm not aware about France or Germany) so this is essentially a rather poorly controlled mass clinical trial of efficacy and safety.

If people have had the jab, have you had reduced movements (or other problems) afterwards, or was there no apparent effect on baby?

OwlinaTree Sun 05-Jan-14 10:00:16

All seems fine, baby is moving as before.

NickysMam Sun 05-Jan-14 10:11:31

I had it at 28 weeks pregnant, I'm 30 weeks on Tuesday and baby is fine. in fact, she's moving a lot more, her movements are stronger.

I've never heard about the risk of stillbirth, and my mw, who is very health conscious, had convinced me to get it as I was initially very apprehensive.

Happychick35 Sun 05-Jan-14 10:13:04

OwlinaTree massive hug and fingers crossed for your pregnancy, you are very brave! KateG2010 just one more interesting point I spoke to a few consultants about vaccine and at least one of them on the question would you let your pregnant wife do it said no... However my GP who advised me against the flu jab , actually was quite pro WC. These are very tough decisions.

OwlinaTree Sun 05-Jan-14 10:15:34

Thanks happy. Hope you make the decision you feel comfortable with.

BumgrapesofWrath Sun 05-Jan-14 10:23:41

I know someone who lost their 12 week old to WC so it was a no-brainer for me to have the vaccine.

Happychick35 Sun 05-Jan-14 10:35:20

BumgrapesofWrath that is horrible, but should not have the baby had his/hers 8 weeks vaccination by that point?

CoteDAzur Sun 05-Jan-14 11:14:02

I had 2 babies in France and was not offered any vaccines.

What would be the point of a WC vaccine during pregnancy? Baby has it soon after birth anyway.

Somanychanges Sun 05-Jan-14 11:15:17

I am facing this very decision. I am 33 weeks now and still not made up my mind. So will be watching with interest.

Julietee Sun 05-Jan-14 11:19:06

Same, Somany. I'm not skeptical of inoculations, but I am of the actual efficacy of this one. Plus the fact that it's actually a triple shot, apparently because that's the only brand available that has the pertussis vac in it. Which just makes it more hmmm.

It does seem like they're kind of experimenting on us with this one - it's that it's so new that worries me - we haven't seem any longer term consequences yet. Of which, hopefully, there are none.

OwlinaTree Sun 05-Jan-14 11:30:50

Tbh it was the risk to baby once born that made me go for it. I think they have an 8 week shot but need a booster too. And what if it is exposed before 8 weeks?

CoteDAzur Sun 05-Jan-14 11:55:01

How prevalent do you think WC is?

You can always get WC vaccine yourself soon after the birth and pass the antibodies to baby through your breastmilk.

chocolatemartini Sun 05-Jan-14 12:01:04

It seems clear that it is an experiment, and time will tell whether fewer babies under 2 months old get whooping cough if their mothers have the jab. Fwiw I've refused both flu and whooping cough jabs. I wasn't offered either in my previous pregnancy 2 years ago (both in the UK)

whereisshe Sun 05-Jan-14 12:06:36

I really struggled with whether to get the WC vaccine as well.

In the end I decided to get it, as close to the end of my pregnancy as possible but still with 2 weeks to build up my antibodies before starting to breastfeed (as I understand it that's the main reason to do it while pregnant, as not many antibodies cross the placenta only IgG).

As it's been offered in the UK to pregnant women for a year or two now, and is also a vaccine routinely given to small children, I felt safer having it than the flu vaccine which I didn't have. I also weighed up the risk of not having it, and WC cases are still relatively high in the uk at the moment (although declining from 2012 levels).

Monkeyshuffle Sun 05-Jan-14 12:09:12

I am 25 weeks now and have been looking into this myself. Mid-2011 a whooping cough outbreak began and over the following year, 9 infants died from it before they were old enough to be vaccinated. The vaccination programme is temporary and as a direct result of this outbreak, so would not necessarily apply to the continent. The vaccine ( which includes diphtheria, tetanus, polio) is inactive so cannot cause infection. For me, a potential risk cannot outweigh an actual risk, so have decided to have it. I agree, it is a personal decision for every mother to be to make.

Monkeyshuffle Sun 05-Jan-14 12:12:50

I am 25 weeks now and have been looking into this myself. Mid-2011 a whooping cough outbreak began and over the following year, 9 infants died from it before they were old enough to be vaccinated. The vaccination programme is temporary and as a direct result of this outbreak, so would not necessarily apply to the continent. The vaccine ( which includes diphtheria, tetanus, polio) is inactive so cannot cause infection. For me, a potential risk cannot outweigh an actual risk, so have decided to have it. I agree, it is a personal decision for every mother to be to make.

NorthEasterlyGale Sun 05-Jan-14 12:17:29

I had the WC jab at 27 weeks (I think that's when it was!) and have also had the flu jab earlier (I have that one every year as I'm asthmatic). I'm now 32 weeks and all seems well with baby - measuring a little large apparently (but so did DS1, one was born at a massive 6lb 13oz at 38+3 hmm).

I was mildly cautious about WC jab as I researched it and knew it hadn't been tested in pregnant women, so questioned it with MW who recommended I had it. I had WC as a child but apparently the immunity doesn't pass to baby and the jab is to offer them protection when they are most vulnerable, as a newborn before their own jab.

I have to say, I reacted more to the WC jab than I have to any other I've had ('flu, tetanus, stuff for travel abroad etc) but feel fine now and baby didn't seem bothered. I had the standard sore arm for a couple of days, then the jab site became swollen, red and itchy for several days and took a couple of weeks to calm down fully.

MetellaEstMater Sun 05-Jan-14 14:05:23

I had it at 28 weeks and DD was born this weekend and routine checks all good.

No reaction other than a raised red patch and bruising feeling. I had the flu jab at the same time.

Smithy007 Sun 05-Jan-14 14:12:00

I think I will probably have it.

It's one of those things though because if you did sadly suffer a neonatal death you'd blame the vaccine, but if your baby caught whooping cough and became very ill or passed away you'd live an equal lifetime of regret.

There are no certainties in life, but to be honest I'd rather be safe than sorry. It seems to me the majority of women who have the vaccination have healthy babies without complications.

callamia Sun 05-Jan-14 14:14:36

I had it at 33 weeks. I had no ill effects at all, and experienced no changes in baby movements. I did read everything I could find beforehand, but I decided that the risk/benefit was worth it. My baby is now 12 weeks old. He had a cough and cold and six weeks, and that was tough enough to manage.

adagio Sun 05-Jan-14 14:20:53

Sample size of 1 : I had the WC and Flu vaccines in 2012 at 34 weeks and had a healthy baby girl 20/12/2012, now just over a year old and thriving. For me, I wanted her to be protected for the first few weeks before her shots (2012 was the outbreak year).

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