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Whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy

(21 Posts)
ovumahead Sat 16-May-15 13:38:06

This is my second pregnancy, last time was 7 ish years ago and I didn't have any vaccinations during the pregnancy as I wasn't offered any. This time they've advised me to have a whooping cough vaccine - does anyone know of any reason why not to have this? And how long it's been around for? Have you had or, or will you, and if so why? If not, why not? Just looking to be more informed...

scaevola Sat 16-May-15 13:45:41

It was introduced in 2012 after 14 babies died from whooping cough whilst they were still too young to have received those baby jabs.

Exposure to whooping cough in PG means the mother will produce antibodies herself, and they cross into the baby. Giving the jab in the later weeks of PG means it's in the window which maximises the chances of effective transfer.

Many countries now offer this routinely to pregnant women.

Electroswing Sat 16-May-15 14:03:07

Yep, what scaevola said. Babies cannot receive the whooping cough vaccine until they are 3 months. Before that they are vulnerable. Giving mum the vaccine in the 3rd tri means the baby receives some antibodies and gives it better (though not full) protection in those first 3 months.

I had it, no side effects, it was fine. There has been no evidence in the last 3 years of any negative effects on babies, though there are always anti-vaccine scare stories knocking about if you look hard enough!

For me, the reason to have it was hearing that whooping cough can be fatal for small babies. I didn't want to run that risk.

FiveExclamations Sat 16-May-15 14:13:43

It wasn't around when I was pregnant 12 years ago, if I was pregnant now I would have it as there is a chance the violent 6 weeks and counting cough I and my DD are suffering from is Whooping cough. Sadly by the time my Doctors were willing to entertain the idea we'd both been through the contagious period (one week for me as I was prescribed antibiotics, three weeks for DD because she didn't get a chest infection with it so didn't get any). It isn't always diagnosed so it's a good idea to protect you and your baby imo.

Christelle2207 Sat 16-May-15 14:37:02

i've had it twice now in the last few weeks of pregnancy. The jab has no known risks to baby or to you though mild side effects are possible I think.
I just got a sore arm!

bonzo77 Sat 16-May-15 14:42:17

<waves at ovumhead. I had it with ds2 (now 2.5) but not offered with ds1 (now 5.2). It's to protect your newborn until they have their own jabs. The cover is not 100% but better than nothing as its a disease that kills. The principle behind the flu jab is similar, but is more intended to cover the mother as pregnancy can make flu very serious. Though this season just gone the forecasters made an error and we were all vaccinated against a strain that was not the predominant one.

AnythingNotEverything Sat 16-May-15 14:48:56

I've had it twice. It's perfectly safe for you and your baby and could save their life. Felt like a no brainer to me.

Steph1502 Sat 16-May-15 14:53:40

This is my 4th pregnancy and also the first time I've been offered this vaccine. I will definitely be taking it. In my opinion it's definitely the right thing to do to protect baby. These things are researched and deemed safe. The benefits of having this vaccine must totally outweigh any possible risk and/or side effects of not having it. xx

Bustherb Sat 16-May-15 15:22:24

I've just had it (last week) apart from a dead arm I don't think there are any side affects. It's recommended by midwifes and doctors these days xx

FirCoat Sat 16-May-15 15:26:13

Please ask to read the package insert. I believe it says not to give to pregnant women. This vaccine in pregnancy is still at an experimental stage and trials are not yet complete.

Christelle2207 Sat 16-May-15 15:40:22

Um I don't think MWs and GPs would be recommending it to all pg women if that were the case?

scaevola Sat 16-May-15 16:04:11

It is not an experimental vaccine, there are no trials awaiting completion.
Its use in pregnancy is being carefully studied (for example www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g4219 ) and the rate of adverse events is not higher than in those who do not opt to have this jab.

FirCoat Sat 16-May-15 16:16:32

Also if you had WC as a child yourself, breastfeeding would confer natural immunity.

scaevola Sat 16-May-15 16:26:25

kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-prep/how_breastmilk_protects_newborns/

You will only produce antibodies in response to whooping cough if you are exposed to the disease. This is also the reason why there is no test for whether you are immune, as they vanish at other times. They are not amongst those that transfer well via breast milk, which is why the jab is recommended in pregnancy, as they do transfer (if response provoked in late pg) via blood.

Teeste Sat 16-May-15 17:12:01

Here's the NHS info on it, which also explains why it's officially not recommended for pregnant women - the same reason so very few medications are recommended for pregnant women, which is because it's incredibly unethical to test on them.

I had mine a couple of weeks ago. Had a sore arm and felt a bit tired for a couple of days, but it was honestly fine. I'd much rather my littlun came out with some protection than none at all.

weelamb123 Sat 16-May-15 18:15:24

Ive got mine on Monday and I dint have any worries. If midwife says u need it then its fine. X

kiwiscantfly Sat 16-May-15 18:22:44

I got mine done last year when pg with DD2, I also got DH to get his done again. Here in NZ they suggest all adults who are going to be in close contact with a newborn get it. This is because most babies who get whooping cough get it from immediate family members.

DH was also told that his whooping cough jab was also the combined one for tetanus which is handy!

youlemming Sat 16-May-15 18:27:43

Had mine yesterday and as others have said all I've noticed is a bit of a sore arm around the jab site like with the flu jab.
Considering that babies are given it when they reach 3 months having it now can only be a good thing if it goes anyway to protect baby up until then.

It is only available mixed with Diphtheria and tetanus but the nurse said the doses are lower than that given at the 3yr booster children get.

ovumahead Sat 16-May-15 18:35:12

Great thanks everyone! Interesting that fathers are also recommended to get it. Will my 7 year old still have immunity from his earlier immunisations I wonder..?

NickyEds Sat 16-May-15 19:58:45

Yes, you're 7 year old will be fine if he's previously been immunised. I probably had it when I was a child but so this one is for the benefit of the baby. I had one with ds who is now 17 months and another with this pregnancy. I had a sore arm and slightly achey joints the day after- well worth it.

Mamabear14 Sat 16-May-15 19:59:27

It has tetanus and something else in it aswell. I couldn't have it as I have had a severe reaction to a tetanus jab, otherwise I would have. It's a no brainer if it's going to protect the baby

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