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Whooping cough vaccine and some threads on internet about stillbirth as a result

(63 Posts)
Happychick35 Sun 05-Jan-14 09:41:59

I know this topic has been raised quite a few times by now, but I wanted to ask did you do it? I pushed doing it as far as possible in my pregnancy, but now I have to make a decision and I do think the information about vaccine is not complete. Please don't get an impression I am against vaccination, I definitely think that is something what has to be done and thought of my LO getting a WC horrifies me. However NHS says on their website that vaccine is routinely done in France and Germany and since I am lucky enough to have friends in both I checked. In France I even spoke with GP who showed official French guidelines stating that as vaccine was not tested on pregnant women it is not generally recommended to do it during pregnancy. Their suggestion is for women to do it after birth and have the infant family vaccinated. In Germany it is not routinely offered to pregnant women either. So there seems to be the trend in US and UK only and vaccine used in US is different to UK. And now there are a few reports in US which question the efficiency of this approach. There are a few threads on the internet where women report reduced fetal movements after vaccine and even stillbirth incidents. It is hard to prove that it is something related, but such incidents should not be dismissed either. Also when I ask midwifes question would you do it if you were pregnant , I get quite mixed responses, some say yes, but some say actually I might give it a bit of time to see how everybody else is getting on. All my pregnant friends did it and seems to be fine. But there is a thought on the back of my mind if something happens to my pregnancy due to vaccine I will never forgive myself. I do not have much faith in UK health system as I have been let down quite a few times struggling with endometriosis and infertility and I can positively say I am pregnant more despite healthcare system rather than due to it. Just a few thoughts...

noblegiraffe Mon 06-Jan-14 17:24:52

Stopgap, you need a jab at the right point in each and every pregnancy to maximise antibody transfer through the placenta at the right time.

rallytog1 Mon 06-Jan-14 15:51:32

Happychick the important thing to remember is that NOTHING drug or vaccine-wise had been confirmed safe for pregnant women, as it would be completely unethical to run full-scale medical trials on pregnant women (not to mention the fact that you'd struggle to find volunteers!). So any judgements about what is and isn't safe have to be based on very limited data sets.

stopgap Mon 06-Jan-14 15:37:20

I had my booster two years ago after DS1, but have chosen not to do it during this pregnancy as I'm dealing with other health issues. But I believe the booster from two years ago should still be effective. Or does anyone know if WC booster ought to be annual?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 06-Jan-14 11:08:39

I've just booked my jab. Putting aside what I already said, I currently have a bad cold and feel horrendous enough! Given that WC has been in my area I don't want to feel any worse than this! I've already coughed myself into pieces!

Happychick35 Mon 06-Jan-14 10:51:01

Gosh, I did not expect such a big response, thank you very much everyone. These are hard decisions , what bothers me most is lack of any data which prove efficiency of vaccine for newborn, this has not been completely confirmed and safety in pregnancy. They only say that there was increased number of antibodies in umbilical cord and there is a question whether they do indeed pass to the baby. And in California where there is an epidemic of WC and vaccination compaign they did not notice significant reduction of numbers of incidents, hence questions about vaccine effieciency now as well as whether it decrease effect of vaccine at 8 weeks.

Sunnysummer Mon 06-Jan-14 08:32:28

My friend's baby girl died of wc - she was born perfect and healthy, caught it before her jabs and despite being rushed to hospital, she progressed to pneumonia and then her desperate parents had to watch by the nicu crib while she died of multiple organ failure.

I got the shot. And so did my husband (even though he'd had it years ago, the effect had worn off, apparently), our parents and anyone else who wanted to come near our PFB for long...

HomeHypno Mon 06-Jan-14 08:13:18

The breastfeeding advice is based on scientific findings and unfortunately doesn't protect the baby anywhere near the same way as pregnancy vaccine. More infor in breastfeeding network website.

CoteDAzur Mon 06-Jan-14 07:22:46

And we know this because extensive studies have been done on vaccinating new mums against WC?

noblegiraffe Mon 06-Jan-14 06:34:49

Breastfeeding doesn't offer enough protection.

CoteDAzur Mon 06-Jan-14 00:23:32

If you are so worried, have the vaccine now and pass the antibodies to your baby with your breastmilk.

4athomeand1cooking Sun 05-Jan-14 23:40:33

I had mine booked for 32 weeks then caught several continuous bugs, ended up having baby at 37 weeks with a nasty cold and cough on board so did not have the WC jab.

I am very much aware that I have left my baby exposed, the paranoia is terrible and I have had to step away from google. IMO I have taken a huge gamble and the risk is not worth it. My little bundle is too special!

Jolay100 Sun 05-Jan-14 23:20:06

Ps I think wc vaccine wears off after 7 years or there about. That might just be the primary childhood course though, not sure about adult boosters

Jolay100 Sun 05-Jan-14 23:17:41

It's interesting to read different perspectives - as a health care worker exposed to lots of bugs I am meant to have the flu jab every year but didn't until this year, specifically because I am pregnant and have seen otherwise healthy pregnant women in iTu with flu. I haven't had wc yet but fully intend to when the time comes.

ChaffinchOfDoom Sun 05-Jan-14 22:46:35

I'm going to have it; it's booked for wk 28 day 1. I hate when my dc are ill, and WC is a dreadful illness.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Jan-14 22:19:55

Yes, you need to have it each pregnancy because your body needs to be prompted to create the maximum number of antibodies at the right time for them to cross the placenta.

tsw Sun 05-Jan-14 22:17:09

Does anyone know about the vaccine in subsequent pregnancies? I had it Jan 2013 but had a stillbirth in March & am now 3rd tri a year on. I'm hesitant to have it as I had WC as a child too....

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sun 05-Jan-14 22:00:38

I am terrified of WC and am in the age group where my childhood vaccination immunity may well be wearing off.
Cap that with the fact that my baby will have health problems anyway, and its a no brainer for me. I will begetting the jab as soon as I can.

HomeHypno Sun 05-Jan-14 21:25:07

I also have asthma with a possible link to past whooping cough. Before I got a proper diagnosis and meds I used to cough to the point of vomiting to overcome the attacks. Would not wish something like that on anyone if it was preventable.

When the recommendation to vaccinate pregnant women came I did my research because it sounded appalling, but looking at the actual vaccine it seems impossible it could actually cause any real problems. I had a good chat about this with a midwife who is very much pro natural health and she agrees. That said it is an experiment like someone pointed out and we will only know afterwards whether it was 100% safe. UK however has appalling stillbirth statistics compared to rest of the civilised world and many of those babies would have been saved through better cate from GPs, midwives and obstetricians alike.

CrimboTango Sun 05-Jan-14 20:49:39

The reason pregnant women are immunised is so that the mum can make the antibodies and pass it on through the placenta to baby, so the baby is 'born protected' if you like. Immunoglobulins passed through the breastmilk are not the same as the ones that cross the placenta and won't offer the same level of protection. It's not treating women as guinea pigs, there is some science behind it.
WC immunity can wane so even if immunised in childhood the mums antibody levels may not be high enough to confer protection in baby, hence a booster for all women in pregnancy.

wispaxmas Sun 05-Jan-14 20:34:43

What puddleduck said, the reason it seems knee jerk and experimental is because it's a programme enacted in response to an outbreak, but that's exactly what they have to do with pregnant women. You can only do observational studies on pregnant women. This means that researches and doctors have observed that there was a sudden rise of cases of whooping cough in infants. It has been observed that the immunity from the vaccine is passed through breast milk to infants, so to prevent whooping cough pregnant women are now all offered the vaccine. It's not knee jerk, it's a well thought out and weighed response to a public health issue.

The same thing goes for the flu jab. Flu during pregnancy was seen to be on the rise and with swine flu there were unfortunately more still births and premature births due to infection and fever in pregnant women who were more likely to catch the virus in the first place, so pregnant women were added to the list of at-risk people who get the jab annually.

DumSpiroSperHoHoHo Sun 05-Jan-14 20:16:21

Like lalouche, I was a 70's baby whose parents declined the WC vaccine because of a scare at the time - I believe it was suspected of causing brain damage in some infants.

I contracted WC at 7yo - 2 months off school, a collapsed lung and the associated twice weekly hospital visits for physio, and my parents having to watch me cough myself blue on several occasions. About 18 months later I was diagnosed with asthma which I believe may well have been triggered by the WC.

My mum and I both had it early last year. It continued on and off for about 3 months and although not as severe for me it was still v. unpleasant. My mum, who is in her seventies, was nearly admitted to f hospital on two or three occasions.

I am no cheerleader for vaccination tbh, and didn't have to make this particular call for DD, although MMR was still an issue and we opted to go private and have separate jabs. However having experience WC as a child and an adult I think I would definitely lean towards have the WC vaccine if I was pregnant at the moment, albeit as late as I could get away with it.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.

lilyaldrin Sun 05-Jan-14 19:04:04

I had it done at 30 weeks - the risk of the baby getting WC before 8 weeks was too much for me.

As it's the same jab babies get, I didn't find it too worrying tbh.

Funnily enough, I did have a period of reduced movements about 4 days after the jab, which lasted for a few days - I had scans and monitoring and the baby looked fine. I hadn't linked the two though.

VoodooChimp Sun 05-Jan-14 18:56:17

My niece got WC as a baby and was admitted to hospital. She'd already had her first WC jab, but not the boosters.

littlecrumb Sun 05-Jan-14 18:47:20

I had the vaccine at 28 weeks and I am now 38 weeks and no problems at all, baby is so active! I think there is more of a risk to not having the jab than having it.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-Jan-14 18:41:05

From what I read, the most likely person a baby is going to catch whooping cough from is the mother. So even if the antibodies transferred through the placenta don't offer full protection, the mother being vaccinated knocks out the most likely source. So it's a two pronged approach.

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