Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any medical concerns we suggest you consult your GP.

Protecting a 3 week old from whooping cough

(73 Posts)
stargirl1701 Fri 28-Sep-12 12:27:03

Baby is 3 weeks old so still 5 weeks till vaccination for WC. How do I protect her? What symptoms should I be looking out for? Panicky first time mum.

ElaineBenes Fri 28-Sep-12 14:52:48

Get yourself, your husband and anyone else in your household vaccinated.

CatherinaJTV Fri 28-Sep-12 16:57:08

what Elaine says

stargirl1701 Sat 29-Sep-12 00:35:42

Ok. Thank you. Will speak to HV on Mon.

I would talk to your friends with dc and don't let any child near your baby if they haven't been vaccinated or are unwell. Whooping cough starts with minor cold like symptoms - any child who has got 'a little bit of a cold' should be kept away. I think dd1 had whooping cough in the spring. We went to see my baby niece when she was right at the beginning of it. She'd been a little unwell, seemed better, had a bit of a cough. It wasn't till a month later when she was still having really awful bouts of coughing that I clicked. Fortunately my niece escaped unscathed.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 10:25:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 18:31:37

I think you might find, Leonie, that unless you have very small children, the probability of contracting whooping cough today is far greater than when your children were babies. Catherina just blogged about it

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 18:57:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Leonie - you need to watch your dcs really carefully atm. There are A LOT of whopping cough cases about and parental awareness isn't great. As I've said lower down I think dd1 has had this earlier this year and I didn't put things together for some time to realise.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 19:08:42

Well, since you think Catherina has an agenda, here are the figures from the HPA.

322 reported cases of pertussis in 2008 when your little one was born.
1781 reported cases in 2012, to date (still 3 months to go as well).

Your confidence is misplaced and the risk today is greater. Unfortunately for your children, herd immunity isn't as strong as it used to be so they are at much greater risk especially if you have an older child as well. Like Northerner said, you're going to have to be very careful. .

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 19:25:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 19:27:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 19:29:34

Yes, I know your views are faith based rather than factual.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 19:29:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 19:30:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 19:34:27

Yes, yes and umm, yes.

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 19:38:46

I've done a few stories on this at work recently, and Whooping cough is indeed on the rise again. The vaccine's effectiveness wanes over 20 years. I personally would be investigating the vaccine, even if it only protects you against some forms of WC, that's one less strain you have to worry about.

I agree I'd be keeping the baby at home and away from prolonged contact with strangers/people outside immediate family until she's had her first vaccinations.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 19:39:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 19:58:15

Not a scrap of evidence that that is what's going to happen to them. None at all.

Headfairy, have you looked at this at all in terms of older children? Dd is in secondary school and has asthma so we are going to talk to the nurse when dd has her flu jab.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 20:06:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 20:29:13

really? scientific evidence? please share.

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 20:37:50

OYBBK, I think as far as I could tell the main concern was for babies under the age of 8 weeks, ie before they are usually vaccinated, as 9 babies under the age of 8 weeks have died from WC this year. I think if you have been vaccinated within the past 20 years you are still covered to some extent, but the effectiveness of the vaccine wanes after about 20 years, so the problem appears to be adults getting it and passing it on to babies when they are very vulnerable. At least that's how I understand it...

Link to BBC health corr's page about WC

Leonie I'm not going to enter a debate about vaccines, it's up to each parent to decide what they do.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 20:41:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thanks headfairy smile

CatherinaJTV Mon 01-Oct-12 20:56:31

agenda hmm sure...

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 21:04:43

Erm, thanks Leonie - I think you'll find you're the one browbeating me. I have said nothing one way or the other about choices.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 21:06:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 21:08:26

ok... that justthevax blog is pretty much lifted from the BBC website.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 21:33:45

No-one's 'brow-beating' you for the choices you make.

All I'm doing is pointing out that the views you hold are not based in any scientific evidence.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 21:40:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

So if it crosses the placenta, can it be transmitted through breastmilk?

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 21:53:14

Do you mean immunity from having the vaccine Starlight? Or do you mean Whooping cough?

If a mother of a 5 week old were to have the vaccine, would the 5 week old benefit if the mother bf?

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 21:56:10


Much as I would love to take credit for inventing the scientific method, I think you may find it's according to Galileo, Descartes, Newton and others.

I did ask you to share the plenty of scientific evidence that you say you have. I note that you haven't.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 22:00:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 22:01:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

headfairy Mon 01-Oct-12 22:01:29

From what I understand Starlight I think so. The idea is the mother would develop antibodies and much the same as other antibodies pass through breastmilk, I assume WC antibodies do the same. But I'm not a doctor, I would say speak to your GP.

By the way Leonie - just reading back on this... you know this current campaign is to get pregnant women vaccinated, not babies - though naturally the baby in utero will get some of the effect of the vaccine. The reason why things may be different now to when your 4 year old was born is that this latest upsurge in cases started in 2011. There are surges of outbreaks and we're currently in one. We weren't when your 4 year old was born (still not saying anything about your choice btw - just putting a little background detail in to the current vaccination programme)

CharlieMumma Mon 01-Oct-12 22:02:53

Starlight - ur best off asking ur dr these questions I don't think ur going to get any where on this thread! My educated guess would be some antibodies would travel across but not sure how much.

So one of the things the OP could do was top up her vaccination?

Woukd the baby subsequently overdose on the 2month vaccines then?

We're not just talking WC are we, but the 5in1!?

My doctor doesn't even know you can give birth to back to back babies at home, absolutely no point asking him anything!

stargirl1701 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:07:17

Well. This isn't the thread I started! HV said to limit visitors, ask anyone holding dd to wash hands first and keep strangers from touching her when out in public.

I believe in vaccination - both personally and as a public health issue. I don't want to debate the issue, thanks.

Would you get the vac yourself OP?

ArthurPewty Mon 01-Oct-12 22:08:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 22:08:43

It's OK LD. It's kind of cute. My kids enjoy a similar kind of game. The big one will ask the little one a difficult question. Of course, she hasn't got a clue but she goes 'I know but I'm not telling you'.

And you're quite right, I'm guessing that your 'evidence' wouldn't hold up to critical appraisal. I suspect that you know that too.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 22:10:45

Apologies for the thread hijack stargirl.

Enjoy the time with your newborn!

stargirl1701 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:13:17

I would. Speaking to GP tomorrow. I assume my immunity has worn off. The HV felt I my immune system would be fairly robust as I am a teacher but I would always vax if I can.

scandy Mon 01-Oct-12 22:19:39

Oh my god I can't believe there are still people who don't believe in vaccinating their children. I wish the government would make it mandatory.

EyesDoMoreThanSee Mon 01-Oct-12 22:33:59

You could also check to see if you are in an area which currently has an outbreak? Practice good hand hygiene and ensure that all visitors are well.

FWIW I think you are extremely sensible.

CatherinaJTV Mon 01-Oct-12 22:36:02

say LD, how does the ohsotoxic polysorbate 80, all 50 µg of it, get from the upper arm of the woman into the uterus to the baby? Same for phenoxyethanol?

stargirl1701 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:36:12

HV said today that there are 2 babies in the regional teaching hospital from the area. One is only 5 weeks sad. Just awful.

ElaineBenes Mon 01-Oct-12 22:36:57

I dont know if you can do it in the UK as I'm in the US right now, but here you can walk into a pharmacy and get your pertussis shot privately. It's only about $20. No idea if you've got the same in Boots though (although I remember they offer the flu shot).

I wanted to get a whooping cough booster (am in the UK) as I have a small, premature baby. I was informed that they only give the pertussis vax to children under 5, so I am not permitted to have it. Does anyone know any more about this?

Stargirl I had my vaccine today - I'm 39 weeks pregnant. Part of my thinking was even if I have the baby before the antibodies cross the placenta I'll have some immunity in my breastmilk. Not as effective as the 8 week vaccine - but some protection.

stargirl1701 Mon 01-Oct-12 22:52:51

That's good Josie. I gave up Breastfeeding when I was admitted to hospital with infective mastitis, blood sepsis and a bladder infection - a week after the birth! My milk was unfit for consumption according to the lab sad. Had to use formula.

CatherinaJTV Mon 01-Oct-12 22:56:15

outch (((Stargirl)))

Oh my goodness poor you! You have been through the mill.

I think then the best advice given up thread is to get yourself and your DH/P vaccinated - and to make it clear to grandparents / cousins etc that anyone who is coughing at all will have to stay clear for the next 5 weeks. If they're a bit hmm so be it...

RubyStolenBootyGates Wed 03-Oct-12 09:20:51

This is very interesting don't you think? It's clearly not an issue of vaccinate/don't vaccinate.
Report about American outbreak.

I remember a few years back their was a nasty outbreak amongst an almost entirely vaccinated population ( Observant New York Jews I think?) and it turned out that
a) The vaccine waned more quickly than expected.
b) Some of the outbreak was a different strain of the disease that wouldn't have been protected against by the vaccine.
c) The vaccine wasn't as effective as previously thought/HIgh failure rate
d) Immune people were acting as carriers/spreaders of the disease.
e) recently vaccinated children were also spreading the disease.

It's a very knotty problem.

downindorset Wed 03-Oct-12 11:26:24

A knotty problem is right. I'm of the view that we may have to accept a certain level of disease in society and it may even be good to keep our numbers down (see this interesting article:

However, that doesn't make the issue of looking after our children any less complicated.

The irony is, that were diseases like WC circulating freely in populations, those who are immune who have their immunity boosted (I think that's right?) so eliminating these issues of vaccines wearing off and viruses mutating. It does of course mean that we have to accept the disease...

Rock and a hard place.

ElaineBenes Wed 03-Oct-12 12:51:54


Like the title of the article you linked to says, it's not JUST the fault of parents who don't vaccinate. But it certainly doesn't help.

Vaccines against whooping cough are very good at protecting the individual from severe whooping cough. And vaccinated people are still less likely to get whooping cough, and if they do they are less contagious.

I'm not sure I buy your Malthusian approach. I think I'd prefer contraception as a means to control population size rather than just accepting disease and not trying to control it.

RubyStolenBootyGates Wed 03-Oct-12 12:58:11

And there's another whole can of worms.
Excuse dodgy link, but it seems the basic facts as they stand are chackable.

ElaineBenes Wed 03-Oct-12 13:02:18

Oh for gods sake. Nothing like a good conspiracy theory! At least I know now where you get your 'evidence' from, ruby.

RubyStolenBootyGates Wed 03-Oct-12 13:05:06

As I said. dodgy link. Checkable facts.

downindorset Wed 03-Oct-12 13:20:44

Hmm - I'm not sure contraception or something akin to China's one child policy does not come with it's own set of equally if not more difficult moral and ethical issues.

As I said - it's a tricky subject.

RubyStolenBootyGates Wed 03-Oct-12 13:20:54

I can understand why people might be wary of innoculations if they believe that this is the agenda of those in power. We could leave them to starve, get hideous diseases rely on natural population control, or we could introduce an agent which goes some way to controlling the growth of population.

I was just commenting on the Malthusian versus Conspiracy based version of poulation control.

And of course, many countries populations won't or can't use contraception.

RubyStolenBootyGates Wed 03-Oct-12 13:24:22

Country's even.

ElaineBenes Wed 03-Oct-12 14:29:36

Absoute bollocks. Vaccinations have never been used for population control. That's speculation, conjecture and conspiracy theorising. Total crankosphere.

In fact, vaccinations have the opposite effect. Reducing infant and child mortality has the same effect on population growth as increasing fertility (more girls survive to childbearing age). So vaccination is actually anti-malthusian.

Peopkle should have the right to access modern and effective cotnraception. Coercive family planning programmes are a completely different issue and totally separate from vaccniations.

ArthurPewty Wed 03-Oct-12 16:44:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ElaineBenes Wed 03-Oct-12 16:59:42 is crankosphere par excellence.

They even have a section devoted to homeopathic alternatives and they think the polio vaccine causes AIDS. Sorry if this is your main 'information' source.

ArthurPewty Wed 03-Oct-12 17:17:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bruffin Wed 03-Oct-12 17:24:08

The director of Thinktwice is N Miller who wrote the crap study that was linked to on the other thread where he included babies that didnt even live long enough to be vaccinated in the US to claim that the higher the amount of vaccines the higher the immortality.

CatherinaJTV Wed 03-Oct-12 19:52:44

seconding the "crank" comment of Elaine (but that fits my agenda). And of course vaccines are a measure of population control. If vaccines prevent children from dying in the developing world, the poor women can concentrate on raising most of their kids and need to have fewer to secure their "old age". Anyone who suggest that Bill Gates and Gavi could have meant anything else is a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy nut.

stargirl1701 Mon 15-Oct-12 15:02:34


GP is offering all women who have recently given birth the whooping cough vaccine. The surgery are awaiting delivery of the vaccinations - they think it'll be next week. I've to phone back next Monday to book a vaccination.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now