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Whooping cough jab during pregnancy, help! Any Dr's or HCP's thoughts...

(11 Posts)
lucy101 Tue 04-Mar-14 13:09:12

Hi there, I am 35 weeks so it is the last week it is really worth having it as apparently you really need it 4 weeks before you give birth... but I am very anxious about it as I have had a very traumatic stillborn before and there have been some anecdotal (I know, I know I shouldn't have read them....) reports that the jab has been implicated in some stillborns.

I am not anti-vaccination, I had the flu jab after researching it thoroughly (I have other health problems, one neurological condition and also mild asthma so I would be high risk if I did get flu)... but the difference is there is some good research data on the safety of the flu jab in pregnancy now as it has been used much more extensively in the US for instance. The whooping cough jab for pregnant women is so new...

I just wanted to ask if anyone knew whether....

- the actual whooping cough rates are low or high at the moment (I am west london) and whether it goes down in the spring anyway?

- if anyone did know of any emerging research looking at the safety of the jab in pregnancy (there is a study going on in Canada but I don't think it is finished yet...)?

I have also been given conflicting advice from my (lovely) GP (to have it) and my midwife (maybe not)....

Any thoughts would be really appreciated as I am struggling with what to do (I can't help but be very anxious about it...)

rootypig Tue 04-Mar-14 13:17:57

I am not a healthcare person but had the jab at 40 weeks 18 months ago, in London. It was so late because the advice changed during my pregnancy - whooping cough was on the rise and the NHS decided to recommend for all pregnant women. In the US all pregnant women (and their families) get DTaP, so seriously is the risk taken. I'm surprised there aren't safety studies from there.

tsw Tue 04-Mar-14 14:30:47

Hi Lucy

Wanted to reply as I had a stillbirth at term last year & am term again atm so understand your trepidation. I did not hesitate having the vaccination again as a newborn with whooping cough was too much of a risk for me after losing my son.

But I understand your concern! My consultant is a stillbirth specialist & advocated taking it.

I think part of the issue stems from there being no research on pregnant women (unsound ethically to test pregnant women) & that so many stillbirths are without a cause due to general lack of research in that field resulting in people coming to conclusions without reason.

Is there a risk your baby could end up in NICU if delivered early? I'd be more inclined to cover risks with respiratory issues like this if that is a factor too.

Roseandmabelshouse Tue 04-Mar-14 14:41:24

I'm a midwife (and pregnant), I will be having the whopping cough vaccination and have no problems with recommending it to all the pregnant women I care for.

Rootvegetables Tue 04-Mar-14 15:18:27

I'm in south east London and have heard of a couple of cases of whooping cough in the last 8 months or so, I have been told it's on the increase in my area by my midwife. I'm sorry for your previous loss.

gasbird Tue 04-Mar-14 19:20:34

Am a doctor in London (and also currently pregnant) whooping cough more prevalent according to paediatric colleagues so I've opted to have the vaccination.

All the best with your decision making

greentshirt Tue 04-Mar-14 19:36:48

There may be safety studies from the US but it's a different jab that's given there I think?

HelenHen Tue 04-Mar-14 20:20:06

I wouldn't worry about what they do in the US. Some drugs that are routine there are not sanctioned elsewhere and the fda are not exactly a symbol of trust.

It's a horrible dilemma to be in... And only you can decide unfortunately. It's tough to find completely unbiased research online!

Emberlina76 Tue 04-Mar-14 21:41:19

I had mine today.
I almost died of whooping cough when I was a baby, I was in hospital for 6 months.
The midwife told me today that we all would have had the jab at pre school age anyway and that the baby will have it again at her first jabs at 8 weeks ish and that this should cover her until then. I'll be honest, I tend to just trust what medical professionals tell me as I am not a dr and would like to think that they know best. I also had the flu jab and had no problems after that. Xx

Missingcaffeine Tue 04-Mar-14 22:01:26

I'm sorry to hear about your loss and understand your fear. I am a nurse and I will be having it. Whooping cough is a big risk to babies and there has been a huge surge in the number of cases over the last few years. My sister is a GP and had whopping cough earlier this year - caught from a patient. It was a cough for 100 days which was pretty nasty in the early stages to the point her husband nearly called an ambulance a few times as she was coughing so much she couldn't breathe, but in babies it is very dangerous. Vaccines these days are extremely safe - the only ones to be cautious with are live vaccines - like yellow fever - but that's only given when travelling to exotic places.

lucy101 Wed 05-Mar-14 09:14:39

Hi everyone, I just wanted to thank you all for your thoughts, it's very helpful (and so sorry for your loss too tsp). I am still wavering but it's reassuring to hear what others think. I know this is also about my anxiety getting muddled up with everything else.

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