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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...

I had the jab happily with DS and swine flu with DD.

A baby has 3 sets of jabs at 8 weeks , 12 weeks and 16 weeks so not completely covered from 8 weeks as I understand it.

IMO we are lucky to live somewhere our health care system provides us with vaccinations.

StillaChocoholic Sun 05-Jan-14 14:33:54

I had it and DS is now almost 9 months old. Perfectly healthy, happy baby.

UncleGuber Sun 05-Jan-14 14:34:50

Thank you for this thread - I'd forgotten having the jab was even a option. Noone has mentioned it to me (other than a poster in the GP surgery)

impatienttobemummy Sun 05-Jan-14 14:36:16

I didn't have it as I read that it has been questioned as to whether it affects the efficacy of sunsequent subsequent vaccinations once born. It does seem a little too experimental to me but its s difficult choice and I can honestly say I'm not 100% I've made the right one I made this decision with my husband who was strongly against me having it.
We are having the vaccinations ourselves after birth which I believe is the advice in Australia since they had an outbreak

Felix90 Sun 05-Jan-14 14:41:00

I had this at 30ish weeks (can't remember exact week) and now have a healthy 2 week old dd! I was in two minds about it until I read a post by a mother who went in to great detail about when her baby had WC and she had to keep resuscitating her constantly and it sounded awful, so I went ahead and had it. No problems whatsoever.

Yes I met a mother who's baby had WC who had gone blue 3 times. It's a nasty nasty illness.

A poor mumsnetters DD had it and she was ill for ages.

puddleduck16 Sun 05-Jan-14 16:21:46

I would agree with Whereisshe and Monkeyshuffle. We've had an outbreak which saw levels rise by 100 fold from 2008 to 2012, with several deaths.

Yes these levels are now on the decrease, but would they still be on the decrease if the vaccination programme didn't exist, therefore causing more deaths?

Just playing devils advocate. I've had it, but after doing my research and deciding that I didn't want to risk it.
Most drugs out there aren't tested on pregnant women as it is deemed unethical to include them in trials. That doesn't mean to say that they aren't safe.

KateG2010 Sun 05-Jan-14 16:24:05

It's really interesting to hear that advice is different in other countries. We were also thinking of also having all adults in contact with the baby vaccinated impatienttobemummy - are you in the UK? How do you go about doing that?

impatienttobemummy Sun 05-Jan-14 17:00:20

Yes I'm in the UK you can get it done via your GP practice of can get them from private clinics

redcarrot1 Sun 05-Jan-14 17:24:26

I had it at 33 weeks. So far, so good (38+ at the mo). I had more of a reaction to the flu jab personally with a big raised red bump on my arm.

My partner had WC last summer and it was horrible. He passed out a number of times from the severity of the coughing and hit his head on our furniture while falling over. Imagine the effects on a baby! The posts from people here talking about others who had lost their babies from it was also enough to convince me to have it.

lalouche Sun 05-Jan-14 17:58:48

There was a wc vaccine scare in the mid-70s. My parents didn't get me vaccinated, and I caught whooping cough at 11 months old. I was very poorly indeed, and my parents sorely regretted their decision. A newborn is even more vulnerable than an 11 month old. To me it was a no-brainer- theoretical risk from vaccine (safely used for years in small children) and very real risk from wc for a tiny baby. Fwiw I had jab at 28w, all fine (32w now) other than sore leg.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Jan-14 18:06:54

I had it, DD is now 11 months. Babies were dying of it before they were old enough to have had all their vaccinations, so it was needed to cover them between birth and the final jab. Breastfeeding isn't enough protection.

DH had whooping cough as a baby, my Mil was very keen for me to have the jab. She said it was awful.

The thing that makes me hesitate is that they don't know how effective it is to vaccinate in pregnancy. Only time will tell if wc rates in newborns improve. I am generally very pro vaccination and had the flu jab, but in this case it might not even give that much protection. I would be interested in how many babies that contract wc are breast fed my mothers with antibodies but don't thinknthis info exists? I do feel confident that the vaccine wouldn't be offered if there was a real risk of problems though.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Jan-14 18:41:05

From what I read, the most likely person a baby is going to catch whooping cough from is the mother. So even if the antibodies transferred through the placenta don't offer full protection, the mother being vaccinated knocks out the most likely source. So it's a two pronged approach.

littlecrumb Sun 05-Jan-14 18:47:20

I had the vaccine at 28 weeks and I am now 38 weeks and no problems at all, baby is so active! I think there is more of a risk to not having the jab than having it.

VoodooChimp Sun 05-Jan-14 18:56:17

My niece got WC as a baby and was admitted to hospital. She'd already had her first WC jab, but not the boosters.

lilyaldrin Sun 05-Jan-14 19:04:04

I had it done at 30 weeks - the risk of the baby getting WC before 8 weeks was too much for me.

As it's the same jab babies get, I didn't find it too worrying tbh.

Funnily enough, I did have a period of reduced movements about 4 days after the jab, which lasted for a few days - I had scans and monitoring and the baby looked fine. I hadn't linked the two though.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Sun 05-Jan-14 20:16:21

Like lalouche, I was a 70's baby whose parents declined the WC vaccine because of a scare at the time - I believe it was suspected of causing brain damage in some infants.

I contracted WC at 7yo - 2 months off school, a collapsed lung and the associated twice weekly hospital visits for physio, and my parents having to watch me cough myself blue on several occasions. About 18 months later I was diagnosed with asthma which I believe may well have been triggered by the WC.

My mum and I both had it early last year. It continued on and off for about 3 months and although not as severe for me it was still v. unpleasant. My mum, who is in her seventies, was nearly admitted to f hospital on two or three occasions.

I am no cheerleader for vaccination tbh, and didn't have to make this particular call for DD, although MMR was still an issue and we opted to go private and have separate jabs. However having experience WC as a child and an adult I think I would definitely lean towards have the WC vaccine if I was pregnant at the moment, albeit as late as I could get away with it.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.

wispaxmas Sun 05-Jan-14 20:34:43

What puddleduck said, the reason it seems knee jerk and experimental is because it's a programme enacted in response to an outbreak, but that's exactly what they have to do with pregnant women. You can only do observational studies on pregnant women. This means that researches and doctors have observed that there was a sudden rise of cases of whooping cough in infants. It has been observed that the immunity from the vaccine is passed through breast milk to infants, so to prevent whooping cough pregnant women are now all offered the vaccine. It's not knee jerk, it's a well thought out and weighed response to a public health issue.

The same thing goes for the flu jab. Flu during pregnancy was seen to be on the rise and with swine flu there were unfortunately more still births and premature births due to infection and fever in pregnant women who were more likely to catch the virus in the first place, so pregnant women were added to the list of at-risk people who get the jab annually.

CrimboTango Sun 05-Jan-14 20:49:39

The reason pregnant women are immunised is so that the mum can make the antibodies and pass it on through the placenta to baby, so the baby is 'born protected' if you like. Immunoglobulins passed through the breastmilk are not the same as the ones that cross the placenta and won't offer the same level of protection. It's not treating women as guinea pigs, there is some science behind it.
WC immunity can wane so even if immunised in childhood the mums antibody levels may not be high enough to confer protection in baby, hence a booster for all women in pregnancy.

HomeHypno Sun 05-Jan-14 21:25:07

I also have asthma with a possible link to past whooping cough. Before I got a proper diagnosis and meds I used to cough to the point of vomiting to overcome the attacks. Would not wish something like that on anyone if it was preventable.

When the recommendation to vaccinate pregnant women came I did my research because it sounded appalling, but looking at the actual vaccine it seems impossible it could actually cause any real problems. I had a good chat about this with a midwife who is very much pro natural health and she agrees. That said it is an experiment like someone pointed out and we will only know afterwards whether it was 100% safe. UK however has appalling stillbirth statistics compared to rest of the civilised world and many of those babies would have been saved through better cate from GPs, midwives and obstetricians alike.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sun 05-Jan-14 22:00:38

I am terrified of WC and am in the age group where my childhood vaccination immunity may well be wearing off.
Cap that with the fact that my baby will have health problems anyway, and its a no brainer for me. I will begetting the jab as soon as I can.

tsw Sun 05-Jan-14 22:17:09

Does anyone know about the vaccine in subsequent pregnancies? I had it Jan 2013 but had a stillbirth in March & am now 3rd tri a year on. I'm hesitant to have it as I had WC as a child too....

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Jan-14 22:19:55

Yes, you need to have it each pregnancy because your body needs to be prompted to create the maximum number of antibodies at the right time for them to cross the placenta.

ChaffinchOfDoom Sun 05-Jan-14 22:46:35

I'm going to have it; it's booked for wk 28 day 1. I hate when my dc are ill, and WC is a dreadful illness.

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