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Flu Vaccine - to get or not?

(30 Posts)
Fresh01 Thu 22-Sep-11 12:00:23

Got a letter in from GP's this morning advising me that they are running Flu Vaccination Clinics and did I want one, now can't decide if I do want one or not - currently 27 weeks?

I didn't have one when pregnant with DC1 or DC2 but I did have one 2 years ago with DC3 as that was when they were advising the mass flu vaccination for pregnant ladies due to swine flu. As far as I am aware swine flu is not as common any more and they have combined the swine flu vaccine into the normal flu jab anyway.

Just wondered what others were planning to do as I hadn't put any thought into it until I got this letter.

MixedBerries Thu 22-Sep-11 12:05:42

Definitely getting! I'm 38 weeks and have a midwife appointment today so I'm going to ask about when they're doing them in my surgery. I'm asthmatic and should be invited to have one anyway but they never do and I always have to ask! There is some evidence that having the jab in pregnancy gives your baby some immunity for 6 months after birth so I'm desperate to have it before I go into labour. There's no way I'm risking either me or my baby having flu of any kind as far as it's avoidable.

pommedechocolat Thu 22-Sep-11 12:16:04

I am booked in for mid Oct (will be 20 weeks then). Had swine flu jab when pg with dd.

ceebie Thu 22-Sep-11 12:19:37

Definitely getting. What are your reasons for thinking maybe not? Flu can be horrendous, and presumably must carry higher risks for expecting mothers or they would not offer the jab (Must look into this. On the other hand I could do without reading any scare-stuff).

LouisaJF Thu 22-Sep-11 12:26:21

I'm 9 weeks and my midwife yesterday recommended I get it. Swine flu has been a particular problem in the last couple of years for pregnant women, so it is strongly recommended. According to the NHS website there is no risk and it is recommended in any trimester of pregnancy.

spannermary Thu 22-Sep-11 12:31:26

Definitely getting. Remember last year when they said people who died from swine flu often had 'underlying medical conditions'. Well this included all kinds of different conditions, but pregnancy was one of them: which is why a higher proportion of victims were young women.

Don't get me wrong - most pregnant women were absolutely fine - but, we'd be considered higher risk than if we weren't pregnant, due to the effect growing a person has on your immune system.

Woodifer Thu 22-Sep-11 12:58:31

My midwife clinic is at my GP surgery; when I went for my last midwife appointment one of the three sister GPs who run the surgery was loitering in the upstairs (midwife clinic) waiting room, offering the flu jab. I said yes please! (I was meaning to ask about it anyway) - she said last year she didn't have any new mums get it, but one baby did - and though the baby got better it was serious, and she was cross at herself for not having managed to get the mum vaccinated, hence this year her spending her morning off upstairs.

miamama09 Thu 22-Sep-11 13:09:59

I def want it, always catch the flu, and have been ill enough in this pregnancy, I really don't want to rish anything else.

Does anyone know if this counts as an ante-natal appointment? so I can nip out of work and not have to worry about working through my lunch for a week (yes, my employer is a ball-ache, who counts every single little minute of such appointments!)??

figgygal Thu 22-Sep-11 13:13:24

i booked in for mine yesterday after my 28 week appointment. I wouldnt usually have bothered but as it is only a little jab and will give baby protection for first 4-6 months which i think is great i am definitely having it done.

meditrina Thu 22-Sep-11 13:19:13

When the swine flu component is in the seasonal flu jab, it means the experts expect it will be one of the circulating strains this season (separate jab only required when it first appeared out of the usual cycle). So, yes it is likely to be out there, and yes you could get it.

Sandra2011 Thu 22-Sep-11 13:26:30

I haven't heard or read anything about vaccinations in my areas.
Also my MW has never mentioned anything.

"Viral infections such as colds and flu are just as common when you're pregnant as when you're not, so many women end up worrying about whether a minor illness could harm their unborn child.

In general, there's probably very little to worry about - and your baby is unlikely to suffer any ill effects as a result."

by Dr Trisha Macnair

CBear6 Thu 22-Sep-11 13:28:41

If you qualify for the jab due to being pregnant then it counts as an ante-natal appointment because the appointment is a result of you being pregnant (up all night with a newborn so that might not make sense!).

I had one at the beginning of my most recent pregnancy and I was fine, I was a little bit shivery that night but nothing major and my arm wasn't sore or anything. DD hasn't been affected by it at all, only one head and no superpowers apparent so far. The risks of catching flu are far greater to yourself than to the baby, because your immune system is weakened by pregnancy you have a much higher risk of developing complications requiring hospitalisation.

Catsycat Thu 22-Sep-11 13:49:43

Definitely getting one. I have one every year anyway as I have very mild asthma (it only seems to flare up when pg now). When pg with DD2, I got a chest infection, started coughing up blood (completely traumatising DD1!!!) and had to have a chest xray at about 7 months pg, a course of antibiotics, and inhalers until a few weeks after the birth. That was just from a cold type bug, so I wouldn't want to risk flu.

excitedLJ Thu 22-Sep-11 13:55:33

Definitely getting it. A friend of mine ended up seriously ill last year with flu while she was pregnant and was in hospital in a pretty bad way. Ended up in the local paper to encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated. Lesson learnt here, I'm off for mine in mid-October.

Nevercan Thu 22-Sep-11 13:57:48

I got mine in march whilst pregnant with dd2 and I have had far less colds and viruses than the rest of my family and friends smile

Mitsouko Thu 22-Sep-11 15:42:54

Yes, I'll be getting one for certain. My husband and I both caught the flu last Christmas while visiting his parents and it was dreadful. Felt like death for 10 days and had a raging fever. Wouldn't want to chance that in pregnancy as complications for both mother and baby can be very serious.

Fresh01 Thu 22-Sep-11 20:30:16

Thanks for all the replies.

ceebie, no real reason for not getting it apart from I have only ever got the flu jab once in my life and that was when pregnant with DS and it was continually mentioned at all appointments and letters as swine flu was peaking back then. It was more the letter today came out of the blue today and I thought do I need this or not this time round.

However, been thinking this afternoon and am going to get it. With 3 other kids under 6 and being pregnant I have enough to deal with without a dose of the flu, had it once in my early twenties and it knocks you for six. Also even though I breastfeed the bit of extra immunity it will give the baby will be good given the contact the baby will have with its siblings and the number of germs that go round schools and preschools over winter.

ginaribena Thu 22-Sep-11 20:37:47

That has just reminded me - I was wondering the same thing about any reasons not to have it! As it appears a good thing I'm going to book mine first thing!

harassedandherbug Thu 22-Sep-11 20:47:07

Definitely get it!

I got flu between Christmas and New Year. Thought all was ok, but on the 14th Jan a scan showed baby had died at 7wks, when I should have been 10wks. That was when I had the flu....... I can't categorically say it was due to the flu, but it does fit time-wise and I struggled to keep my temp down with just paracetamol.

I'm now 27wks, and will def be getting it.

Oeisha Thu 22-Sep-11 21:09:46

Thought you might like to see this recent thread on the same topic.
It talks about the different vaccines available and the advantages.
I'll be asking my GP about celvapan...

banana87 Thu 22-Sep-11 21:19:14

I'm getting it (currently 31 weeks and not wanting to take any risks!).

harrytrotter Thu 22-Sep-11 21:43:01

I never got the flu jab with ds maybe wrongly as I felt that it had been pushed to quickly and hadn't been tested properly.

i watched a programme the other day about a mum who caught swine flu, went into a coma and had a c section, baby was very prem. Died 3 days after birth. All was attributed to mum catching swine flu. Was heart wrenching. Will be getting the jab this time without a doubt

Fresh01 Thu 22-Sep-11 22:11:54

Oeisha, I remember a debate when I was getting the swine flu vaccine 2 years ago when pregnant with DS regarding the mercury in the vaccine. From what I found out then the levels of mercury were nominal and generally the medical profession were of the opinion it was much safer for pregnant people to have the vaccine. I spoke with a friend who is an OB at the time and she was treating expectant mothers in hospital with swine flu and she just said if you do end up in hospital with flu/swine flu the amount of medication that you will be given to save your (and the babies) life will be significantly more than is contained in one vaccine. And a lot of the medications you would be given will not have been tested on pregnant woman but when you reach hospitalisation stage they have to do what they can to save your life.

harrytrotter Thu 22-Sep-11 22:20:25

have a look on AIBU, can't do link but it's about swine flu jabs an narcolsepy (sp)

sunnyday123 Thu 22-Sep-11 22:32:28

i wouldnt worry about the swine flu part as the swine flu element of the vaccine lasts you for life so you are still protected. They only say you need it every year when they refer to the annual flu vaccine which changes every year, as the flu virus mutates (not the swine flu part). The swine flu strain is one strain that hasn't changed so once you have had it you have immunity. There is a lot of confusion since they put it in the annual vaccine but you only need that every year to protect from normal flu (it just so happens the swine flu is added every year but its the same strain iyswim) - this was according to my consultant.

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