Pregnancy and Swine Flu

Updated on October 24, 2009
H.T. asks from Farmington, MI
24 answers

Hi Moms,

I am freaking out and need some advice.....I am a teacher in a school who has AT LEAST 2 confirmed cases of Swine Flu. My issue is I am 7 months pregnant, can't find a vaccine anywhere to save my life, AND...I work in a modular unit with only 4 classrooms, and that is where the kids have it are. So, my work told me about the situation and then left it up to me. The doctor says to take a few days off, which I did. But, now the situation is not getting better...more kids in the modulars are out, and I have no way of knowing if there are anymore confirmed cases. So, I need some advice from nurses or anyone who has knowledge on what I should do. I am very afraid of being exposed for my own safety, my unborn child and my 2 year old son at home. Do I stay home indefinently? Any advice would help...maybe I am overreacting?

Also..I don't need advice on whether or not to get the vaccine, just things to prevent it, and advice on going back to work!

Thanks!

H.

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C.L.

answers from Saginaw on

I wouldn't worry so much about it. I'm in my third trimester now and had swine flu the beginning of my second, thanks to my neighbors son who went to Hawaii and brought it back. The worst of it is basically that you are stuck on tylenol/sudafed and can't use the normal heavy hitters, but I found it no different than regular flu. I never got tamiflu or the pregnant lady substitute, but the neighbors did and it actually took them 2 weeks longer to recover. I was told by my OB/GP both that having had it would just help us develop the antibodies against it and baby is fine. They even told me to skip getting the vaccine.

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A.U.

answers from Detroit on

Hi.. Where do you teach at ? I'm wondering because where my daughter goes (Rogers) has modulars, so this kinda freaks me out that it might be the same school? Shes not in one of the modulars (she has Mrs. Shanks).

And I agree with the others, stay home if you can work it out somehow! Swine flu is very dangerous with pregnancy!
Good Luck

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S.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi H.,

First thing you need to do is relax. If you let yourself get all worked up about it you are going to put your immune system on overdrive and make yourself actually more suceptible to it. Secondly, you are in charge of your classroom. Ask the janitors to do a thourough sanitation of your room and then keep plenty of Clorox wipes on hand to wash down the desks several times a day (doorknobs, too). Have the kids wash or use sanitizer often, have them cough into their arm ("Dracula move" works for my kids)and if anyone has even a slight fever send them out of your room and to the office immediatly followed by sanitation of desks/chairs/ all hard surfaces. I have 2 boys that are just now getting over the H1N1. Myself and my other son DID NOT GET IT!!! The two that did broke their fevers within 24 - 48 hours of starting the Tamaflu and I never had any concerns about them needing to go to the hospital despite the fact they both have asthma and are in a higher risk group. It's main symptoms are a hacking cough, fatigue, achey and high fever (101 or higher). It has nothing to do with throwing up or diarrhea. If two kids are already out with it in your class chances are you have already been exposed and have probably built up some immunities to it already. The best you can do is to keep your own hands clean, keep your room clean and stop worrying. Stress makes you more suceptible like I said before. The office should be keeping you informed of confirmed cases and thouroughly keeping all rooms clean, too. Having some Lysol on hand probably wouldn't hurt either. Spray when the kids are out of the room for a few minutes to let the smell disapate before they get back. Remeber to spray down computer keyboards if you have them in your room and the phone, too. You, your baby and your son will be fine. Remember, too, the H1N1 is blown way out of perportion.

Take care,

S.

1 mom found this helpful

S.S.

answers from Detroit on

I would not get it. I am pregnant too and opted to not to get it. There are not enough studies done to know the effects on a fetus.

Do the usuall to prevent... Wash hands frequently, eat healthy, get lots of rest, try to avoid unnecessary public places, eat lots of oranges and garlic.

If at all possible, quit your job early. Sure, it may be tighter financially for a time but try to shift your focus to time with your children/family and enjoy them while you are healthy and when they are young.

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D.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi H.---Please don't worry yourself too much, as that will actually challenge your immune system.

I would go to www.nvic.org to learn more about the risks, both of the vaccine and not having the vaccine. Unfortunately, I would doubt that these are confirmed cases of swine flu. A doctor friend of mine tells me that the first test can only confirm the flu. To confirm swine flu, samples have to be sent to county health and then to the CDC. The CDC is not accepting samples any longer because they can't possibly test them all. They say to just treat everything the same...and that's another comforting factor. The swine flu is really not any different than a regular flu.

Keep practicing immune supporting habits. Plenty of water, sleep, stress reduction and eat LOTS AND LOTS of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Avoid processed foods and sugar. A can of pop and a candy bar supresses the immune system for up to 6 hours.

I have a list of immune supporting foods, and I am going to have a wellness presentation in my home to talk about how to support a healthy immune system. Contact me for more information. I look forward to talking to you.

Take care, and don't worry. In health, D. ###-###-####

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C.H.

answers from Detroit on

Check with your county's health Department about the vaccine. I read in the newspaper this morning that the Wayne County Health Dept is starting to make appts for the vaccine.

I understand your concern (I too am pregnant and my MIL will not stop bugging me as she is obsessed that I am going to get it!), but it sounds like you MAY have been exposed already since you were around these kids before they were diagnosed. If it were me, I would continue with working, but I would go crazy with Lysol wipes & washing my hands ALL the time.

Good luck, no matter what you decide.

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C.S.

answers from Detroit on

Sorry: what I wrote before was before I read your entire post... so I will post another letter also by a Dr. (not one I know, but who has good credentials) about avoiding swine flu all together.
1. Frequent
hand-washing (well highlighted in all official communications).

2.
"Hands-off-the-face" approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face (unless you want to eat or bathe).

3. Gargle twice a day with warm
salt water (use Listerine if you don't
trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days
after initial infection in the throat/
nasal cavity to proliferate and show
characteristic symptoms. Simple
gargling prevents proliferation. In a
way,gargling with salt water has the
same effect on a healthy individual
that Tamiflu has on an infected one.
Don't underestimate this simple,
inexpensive and powerful preventative method.

4. Similar to 3
above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Not everybody may be good at Jala Neti or Sutra Neti (very good way to
clean nasal cavities), but blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective
in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with
foods that are rich in Vitamin C (Amla
and other citrus fruits). If you
have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets,
make sure that it also has Zinc
to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids (Tea, coffee,
etc) as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction.
They wash off proliferating viruses from the
throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.

Keep in mind that the target population is the younger crowd, so pass this on to your kids and grandkids. We the older population will have
some immunity. However, it doesn't hurt to follow these guidelines!!
=========================================================

The Letter below was written by my friend who is a Dr. She sent it to her child's school. I'm pregnant and will NOT get this or the flu shot!

I read the information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the inactivated H1N1 influenza vaccine .

Under, “Who should get 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine” it listed pregnant women.

The CDC also recommended that people get both the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine.

We are furthermore told that the inactivated vaccine contains “a preservative called thimerosal,” but nowhere does it say that thimerosal is half mercury, the second deadliest element in the world and a known neurotoxin.

The majority of the vaccine available contains this deadly additive. A child from 6 months to age three receiving a flu vaccine gets 12.5 mcg of mercury. This amount of mercury can be processed only by someone weighing 275 pounds according to the EPA. One month later, another 12.5 booster is recommended. Older children receive the adult vaccine with 25 mcg of mercury. That much mercury can only be processed by someone weighing 550 pounds according to the EPA.

We continue to be told that the H1N1 vaccine is made exactly like the seasonal flu shot. The CDC recommends the seasonal vaccine for pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy, but incredibly the manufacturers don't. They state in their published information that accompanies the vaccine that it's never been tested on pregnant women.

SEE: SAFEMINDS ALERT: FLU VACCINES WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOWINFLUENZA VIRUS VACCINE.

FLUARIXT, GLAXOSMITHKLINE reports,
PREGNANCY CATEGORY C: Animal reproduction
studies have not been conducted with Influenza Virus
Vaccine. It is not known whether Influenza Virus
Vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a
pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity.
Influenza Virus Vaccine should be given to a
pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

FLUVIRIN®, Chiron states,
Controlled studies on FLUVIRIN® have not been
conducted to demonstrate safety in pregnant
women. The clinical judgment of the attending
physician should prevail at all times in determining
whether to administer the vaccine to a pregnant
woman (see PRECAUTIONS, Use in Pregnancy).
PREGNANCY CATEGORY C: Animal reproduction
studies have not been conducted with Influenza Virus
Vaccine (FLUVIRIN®). It is also not known whether
Influenza Virus Vaccine (FLUVIRIN®) can cause fetal
harm when administered to a pregnant woman or
can affect reproduction capacity. Influenza Virus
Vaccine (FLUVIRIN®) should be given to a pregnant
woman only if clearly needed.

Most frightening is the fact that thimerosal was never tested or approved by the FDA.

Thimerosal goes back 75 years. It was invented and tested Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical Company in 1930. The one study done on thimerosal was done by Eli Lilly on 22 adult patients suffering from meningitis. There was no chance for follow-up to observe long-term effects, as all of the patients died. Even if follow-up had been possible, damage to the developing brains of very young children would have remained an unknown. Eli Lilly said it was safe and the medical community just accepted it. After the creation of the FDA, its use was simply continued. This unconscionable oversight failure should call any safety claim into question.

It’s incredible to think that the CDC is recommending TWO MERCURY-CONTAINING VACCINES THIS FALL. A growing number of doctors and scientists are doing the research that shows the harmful side effects of mercury exposure from vaccines. Studies link the flu shot to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autism.

The CDC continues to claim that all their studies show no link to neurological damage. It’s not surprising that the agency that runs the vaccine program would have research to back their safety claims. The 14 major studies used by the CDC have all been shown to contain flawed/manipulated findings along with compromising financial ties to the vaccine makers.

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K.M.

answers from Detroit on

First off I think as soon as it is available to you. To get vaccinated anly because one you are pregnant two because you work with children. Which it should be to you right now. Um for the whole flu thing.I really think the new is blowing the whole swine flu out of proportion along with the flu itself. alot of these deaths has nothing to do with the flu nor the swine flu. The people who have died from contracting the certain flu have had other things wrong with them pryor too and there ammunine system has been down thats why they couldn't fight the virus. I seriously think there trippen this whole thing out. I would see if you and your husband can afford it and you feel that strong about staying than do it. I understand the virus is dead that they eject you with for the flu and the swine flu. But I feel very strongly they blow it out of porportion and that why put something into your system that is dead going in but your ammunine system still has to fight it to make sure you don't get it. How does anyone know if there ammunine system won't make it active and they end up with it anyway.

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B.T.

answers from Detroit on

If you are still working, you could wear a mask and use hand sanitizer often. Reiterate to your students to stay home if they have a fever, cough, etc. Avoid close contact with your students. Influenza is transmitted via droplets, so it does not travel very far in the air (so, if a student is say, in the back of the room and coughing, it would be a very low risk to you)
I am an NP and am taking care of lots of kids with documented influenza. So far, I'm not sick. I wear a mask when standing within 3 feet of the sick ones, wash my hands like a crazy woman, and shower and change clothes as soon as I get home. I will also get the H1N1 vaccine for myself and my kids.
I disagree with some of the other posters. H1N1 is certainly a higher risk to pregnanct women and children than the typical flu. I have been nervous also, I think it is normal to be concerned about you and your baby's health!

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M.W.

answers from Grand Rapids on

the swine flu vaccine has MERCURY in it! check out vaclib.org to see what is in vaccines. Just take precautions. Wash your hands frequently, teach children to cough in their elbow (I tell them, let your muscle catch the germs) and keep some anti bac lotion on you. The media is blowing the swine flu thing out of proportion...SO many people a year die from the regular flu too. It is all about staying clean!

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M.P.

answers from Detroit on

Being around children who have any flu and being pregnant is scarry. Being pregnant I am sure you are eating healthy and taking care of yourself. Keep doing that. That is your best prevention against any flu.

I would encourage you to take Vitamin C and Vitamin E for additional immune support. If you are taking a prenatal vitamin or multi vitamin, you still need that additional immune support. A whole food vitamin is the best. Vitamins from CVS, Meijer, Wal Mart, etc are synthetic and do not absorb into the body. If you would like help determining which vitamins are good, call me at ###-###-####.

For facts on the Swine Flu shot go to http://mamabearprod.blogspot.com. There are facts about pregnant women getting the Swine Flu Shot.

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A.A.

answers from Kalamazoo on

I have a friend who is really into herbs and their medicinal purposes. Just recently I've learned that black elderberry is good for preventing and fighting any influenza, including swine flu. Here is an article about it...you can google more.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1690221/black_el...

I have a really easy recipe for elderberry syrup (water, dried elderberries that you can buy on the internet, and honey) and our family is taking a tablespoon everyday. I think you can also buy supplements. Of course, you want to live a healthy life in general, but hopefully this will help.

Just a thought not many people know about. Hope you stay healthy!!

A.

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M.W.

answers from Kalamazoo on

This is what my husband who is a physician says... The swine flu is not any more dangerous then a regular flu. It affects the elderly and very small the hardest. Infants are the children most at risk, and since yours is not born yet you should not be overly concerned. You don't need to take more precautions then you would with any other flu out there.

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N.O.

answers from Detroit on

Wayne county started vaccinating high risk groups on Friday, but it looks like you may live in Oakland county? I read this article yesterday -- I don't know if it will help you or not but thought I'd pass it along:

http://www.clickondetroit.com/health/21317114/detail.html

Have you contacted your OB for advice? Sorry I can't be of more help.

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T.Z.

answers from Detroit on

http://www.cdc.gov/H1N1flu/clinician_pregnant.htm

Hi H.,

I am also pregnant and my husband is a doctor who works in an allergy/asthma clinic as well as in the ICU. There is no doubt in my mind that I am going to be vaccinated for H1N1, as soon as possible. The link to the CDC site above clearly states that pregnant women suffer the most critical symptoms if they have this flu.

Being that you are in a situation where you KNOW that some of the children have the flu, I would put a rush call in to your OB/GYN and ask them for advice. Maybe the doctor will put you off on medical leave, if not, they may have other options available for you. This is a really tough situation to be in, and no matter what other people tell you to do, you have to decide what is right for you, your unborn baby, and your family.

Good luck in your decision making, it is a tough decision to make even if you are not pregnant.

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H.B.

answers from Grand Rapids on

u have an immunity already from being there. wear a mask, have lysol and spray the desks and anything else u can with lysol. use hand sanitizer. keep the lysol bottle and wipes handy, they can clean the flu virus.

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C.P.

answers from Detroit on

H.,

Not sure if this will help or not, but my friend works in the state's labs and says that 25% of the samples coming in are positive for H1N1. (and that was last week, I haven't talked to this person this week) Chances are you are being exposed to it everywhere, not just at school.

C.

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S.M.

answers from Saginaw on

Hello H., If you cannot take the time off until the baby is born, I would suggest buying face masks. Wash your hand often, and use sanitizer in between washes. Don't touch your face with your hands, share pens, or shake hands with anyone. ATM's remote controls, elevator buttons, door handles, and money are going to be things to watch out for. Disposable gloves can be an option too. Remember to wash your hands after removing a face mask, and remove it by the straps around the ears as that will be the least exposed to any viruses that were air born. Hope this helps.

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D.P.

answers from Detroit on

H., while a 9 year old Great-Nephew of mine was at Transplant Camp this past summer there was an outbreak of N1H1. He is one of 6 other children, my Niece (his Mother) being the donor and his father all live in a 2 bedroom home in Edmonton. He was given specific instructions of what to do when he came down with the flu as there was not doubt he would. You see transplant patients have no Immune system left. My niece was also compromised from being the donor just last year.
They both felt comfort in the fact that we all take a natural product that promotes a Healthy Immune system. Tristan did not contract the flu nor did he bring it home to his family. My email is [email protected]____.com if you would like to get more information. This is something our whole family uses and is addressing multiple issues from my Mom at 88 with Alzhiemers to my youngest Granddaughter even before she was born (My daughter ingested it all throughout her pregnancy and continues to use it for Phoebe along with her other 3 children,herself and husband) Again contact me if you would like some information. My name is Deb Pozzo, I am the 54 year old Mother of 3 Grandmother to 11. [email protected]____.com

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C.D.

answers from Detroit on

I saw an ad online that Walgreens has H1N1 vaccines available. The problems is, you've already been exposed. If you have to continue to work and prevent repeated exposure perhaps you could wear a mask and, obviously, wash your hands frequently. If you're that concerned and have the ability to take the rest of your pregnancy off plus your maternity leave, then do it. Good luck!

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C.M.

answers from Detroit on

google Dr. Mercola. This site has alot of good info.

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D.H.

answers from Detroit on

H. ~
One of the biggest problems is that if there are confirmed cases, then you have already been exposed. They are contagious for 5 days before they are sick, so there's no way to know for sure if you've been in close enough contact. Are you able to stay home? will that cut into your maternity leave? It's probably best if you stay home, but it may not be possible. Make sure you and your students follow proper hygiene....cough into their elbow, not hands...wash, wash, wash hands...make sure that all surfaces have been cleaned well...and if you have any signs of illness, call your doctor. Make sure you have lots of fluids, rest, etc.
It's a tough decision....and a tough situation. I don't blame you for being scared. Don't take any herbs or medications without the ok from your obstetrician...many herbs cannot be taken while pregnant.
D. (OB nurse)

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D.T.

answers from Detroit on

Hi H. :)

As a teacher, don't you have a stack of sick days? I only ask that as my dad was a teacher in the farmington (sorry about the spelling but i/and my twin 2's are falling over from crazy virus fever ;( been going on for over 2 weeks!). school district and had over 300+ sick days when he retired.

As a mother of twin boys who turned 2 yesterday (they were delivered at 30 weeks and i the hospital for 6 weeks), I would stay at home!!!! Keep away from the those lovely little bugs you see and keep your 2 year old home and healthy, and YOU NEED TO STAY HOME!!

Enjoying your pregnancy thru your request :) If you need ANY help, let me know, my boys and I are always looking for an adventure :) (i really mean that!!))

XO

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A.H.

answers from Detroit on

EDIT: It is now to the point that I feel this is way out of control with the media, news, etc... Doctors & CDC are pushing this and with this hype comes more fear - of what can happen or not.
Bottom line - use common sense if you, your family or class are ill or contagious to avoid spreading infections to others.

Alternative therapy is HIGHLY effective in helping for many infections as long as you know what you are doing. If not - see someone that does. Investing in your health this way avoids the huge expense of the hospital bill. Many alternative therapies are safe in pregnancy.

Resting, sleeping, nutrition, fitness, hand-washing, avoiding those that are ill and a whole lot of common sense is the biggest key to a healthy body vs. a vaccine that is so new (or linked to causing more illnesses depending on what you read or where.). Positive thinking goes a long way as well. Focus on being / staying healthy~
This is what I always tell my clients and they abide by it and do very, very well. But then, they know what I am all about: Health and Wellness.

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