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Pregnant MNers - The Guardian wants your swine-flu thoughts

(45 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 19-Jul-09 14:34:22


We're having a leetle techy problem with our Media Requests Topic at the moment, so I'm posting this Media Request from The Guardian's Caroline Davies below...

"I am looking to talk to pregnant Mumsnet members about the latest NHS guidance over swine flu for pregnant women. i.e avoiding crowds and unnecessary travel.

"Anyone willing to share their thoughts, confusion or alarm, please contact me at with a telephone number and I will call you back. Many thanks."

whomovedmychocolate Sun 19-Jul-09 14:39:42

Tell them to stop printing such alarmist crap will you Helen, there's a dear wink.

fruitshootsandheaves Sun 19-Jul-09 15:09:12

I avoid crowds and unnecessary travel and I'm not pregnant, just unsociable!! grin

AgentCodyBanks Sun 19-Jul-09 15:10:20

I have increased my gestation period to that of an elephant.

o h fgs BORING

StealthPolarBear Sun 19-Jul-09 15:22:35

Well I am confused.
I'd done all the research yesterday and decided the chances of catching it were medium, but the risk to me and the baby were low, so I'm not changing anything.
Today it sounds as though we're being advised effectively to start ML if still working, avoid shopping and generally going out.

pooka Sun 19-Jul-09 15:27:19

And don't forget the gem about restricting your older child's movements in order to stop them catching it and giving it to you.

So how does that tie in with the schools still being open for business and the "no need to quarantine siblings" line? hmm

Avoid crowded places?

Well that's going to be fun when term ends and I'm stuck at home like a hippo with a 3 year old and a 6 year old!

Best advice is to stop this alarmist and hysterical reporting - my most immediate plan is to stop buying newspapers and watching the news.

Upwind Sun 19-Jul-09 15:32:38

I am wondering how long this confinement will be (pun intended)?

I suppose it will be at least for the rest of the Summer, Autumn and Winter? If I am anxious, will my baby's entire infancy have to be spent indoors? shock

pooka Sun 19-Jul-09 15:37:24

I wondered that too Upwind! The baby is due in September. Are we then supposed to live in the cellar (away from germy existing children and dh) until a vaccine is available for the baby? What about rickets?

Am being flippant really. I am worried, but am finding that the hysterical media coverage and the drip drip drip dissemination of guidance from dept of health is just fuelling the uncertainty and concern.

Noonki Sun 19-Jul-09 15:42:39

It's neither practical or realistic for the majority of pregnant women to fulfill these guidelines. if you work in a city do you stop going in (try asking my boss!), If you have older children do you keep them away from school.

I've got eight more months of pregancy to go, so thanks to these guidlines I am now going to spend the next 8 months feeling guilty everytime I go on the bus, to the supermarket, to the city centre, to work. Just one more thing to add to my mothering guilt list. Cheers.

xfingerscrossedx Sun 19-Jul-09 15:50:14

Being a secondary school teacher, I have been freaking out a little and feel that I have more of a chance of catching swine flu at work than anywhere else! However, being only 11 weeks I can hardly start maternity leave from September! I wish someone would make up their mind and let us know (realistically) what is going on. To wake up to BBC news running their top story on risks to pregnant women was actually very disturbing and adding hugely to my anxiety! Someone needs to give us some practical advice!

Also, if it is going to get worse in Autumn/Winter (when I will still be at work) what am I going to do? Also, many of the swine flu symptoms - headaches, nausea, tiredness etc... are also extremely common pregnancy symptoms! I wonder how many people acutally have swine flu compared to the number of people diagnosed over the phone?!?

SpawnChorus Sun 19-Jul-09 15:55:29

I think the information we've been given so far is utterly unhelpful. I'm 32 weeks pg with a 2 and a 4 year old, and I live in a city. Am I seriously meant to stay at home for the duration of the summer? What exactly is meant by "crowds" and "unnecessary travel"? Should I avoid wandering through busy streets? Is a 15 minute bus journey to see friends an unnecessary hazard?

It might be more helpful to know what the estimated percentage is for pregnant women to develop serious complications or die from swine flu. Also, what is meant by "underlying health conditions". I have a bowel condition - does that put me at greater risk?

LaDiDaDi Sun 19-Jul-09 15:59:48

I a hospital doctor and I've recieved no guidance from my trust about contact with patients with swine flu. So far I've been able to avoid these patients and deal with other cases but this will not be sustainable, especially as another doctor and two nurses in my department are also pregnant.

I'm awaiting a response from HR, though tbh I'm probable more likely to die from swine flu than to get any meaningful thoughts from them.

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jul-09 16:17:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FattipuffsandThinnifers Sun 19-Jul-09 16:32:15

Clearer journalism is vital. Guardian headline yesterday: 'Pregnant woman and young children most at risk.'

At risk of what? Catching it or developing complications?

Ditto clarity of reporting about "underlying health conditions". Does pregnancy in itself count as this?

Pinkjenny Sun 19-Jul-09 17:08:25

I am incensed by the coverage. What a load of ridiculous suggestions, stay inside? Start mat leave earlier? Avoid large crowds? What are we supposed to do with our husbands and other children?! Do they enter confinement as well?

It makes me so cross. We need clear, sensible, realistic advice.

Flgihtattendant Sun 19-Jul-09 17:13:13

I like the way we are a thinktank.

However it does become worrying when the govt seems so totally reliant on public consultation in order to come up with anything sensible/useful.

Flgihtattendant Sun 19-Jul-09 17:14:50

<tapes up windows>

Flgihtattendant Sun 19-Jul-09 17:17:42

Oh whoops I thought it said government, not guardian blush


not that the govt seems to have a handle on it either...

MrsBadger Sun 19-Jul-09 17:29:15

I am going to continue to go to work and go shopping, but I may do so in a biohazard suit with an independent air supply

oh the advantages of working in science

I was at PIL's this weekend when I read this and FIL (public health physician and adviser to parts of the Govt), MIL (HV and research nurse) and I (biological scientist) were appalled by teh coverage

where is Ben Goldacre when he is most needed, eh?

LeninGrad Sun 19-Jul-09 17:38:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mellifluouscauliflower Sun 19-Jul-09 17:53:25

The advice to stay away from "crowds" is laughable.

We live in a crowded island. The hospitals and surgeries where they invite us to come for the good of our babies health are crowded. The schools where we are obliged to take our other offspring are crowded. Our supermarkets are crowded. The trains that take us to work are crowded. Even work is crowded.

I take it that the "unnecessary travel" blurb is now suggesting we cancel our holidays. I can't see many people taking much notice of that.

The worst estimate I have seen is 65 000 deaths. There are 61m people living in the UK. So we can surmise that 99%+ of the population will be OK. Why don't they say this instead?

HeinzSight Sun 19-Jul-09 20:20:00

What Leningrad said.

I know it's patient confidentiality but I wish we could be told what other underlying conditions these pregnant women had. It's all very vague and information is so varied.

I also was slightly taken aback by the Guardian's title yesterday.

I normally am v laid back about these things but someone DH has been sitting next to at work has been signed off with swine flu! We're just waiting out the incubation period and keeping our fingers crossed. I've been SO hyper aware of any symptoms this weekend I think I've given myself a chronic headache hmm!

I've just read this 'swine flu latest' info on the NHS website...

The way in which the antiviral medicines Tamiflu and Relenza are used and distributed will also change:

* The medicines will continue to be offered to all those who show symptoms of swine flu at their doctor's discretion.
* They will no longer be given to completely healthy people simply to slow the spread of swine flu.
* They will be used for prevention (prophylaxis) only on the advice of a doctor in high-risk groups. These include people with long-term conditions, those over 65, children under five and pregnant women.
* Individuals who require antivirals will be given a voucher reference entitling them to pick up the medication at a local collection point.

So, despite my GP saying they're only giving Tamiflu/Relenza to those showing symptoms, does point 3 above mean that I should now be given it as, being 36 weeks pregnant, I come under a high risk group??

policywonk Sun 19-Jul-09 20:25:32

The article is up on the site now: here

Guardian site seems to have fallen over at the moment so give it a few minutes...

Flgihtattendant Sun 19-Jul-09 20:50:32

Thanks PW.

I'm just wondering what the situation is like now in Mexico - does anyone know? Have they ahd their 'peak' - I mean are fewer people getting it there now? Did the economy collapse, such as it is, when they shut the schools for 2 weeks?

It would be interesting to compare.

<drinks more soluble paracetamol>

Blocka Sun 19-Jul-09 20:57:16

Arghhh!! So much bl**dy conflicting advice. Just watched 2 lots of news on two different channels, one is saying the advice is not to travel and went on to talk about how about dozen pregnant women are in intensive care in Australia, then another channel said the advice was to get on with your daily life.

Well, my daily life does not usually involve travelling on tubes etc, but I have to go to London tomorrow so I will be. Am I more at risk???

I could just as easily catch it from my neighbour - but now I am so worried I a considering not travelling on the tube. Neurotic or sensible?

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