Pregnancy and Swine Flu Vaccine

Updated on September 30, 2009
H.G. asks from Oceanside, CA
10 answers

Hi Moms,
I'm looking for some opinions here. I'm very early in my second pregnancy (7wks), and am trying to be educated on whether or not to risk getting or not getting the swine flu vaccine. Renee had posted some information on swine flu vaccines that got me thinking. On one hand, reports have shown a decrease in immunoglobulin levels of pregnant women, thus leading to a lesser ability to fight infection. This would suggest that pregnant women should get vaccinated? On the other hand, the H1N1 vaccine is ranked as a pregnant class C drug, meaning that this class of drugs has been shown to do some harm to the fetus.

Now, I have a great immune system. I have never ever been vaccinated for the flu. Not even when I was pregnant with my twins. The swine flu, however, wasn't around. I have read that pregnant women make up for only 6% of all reported cases of H1N1, which isn't much. I'm just paranoid....I don't get vaccinated, and I potentially risk my life. Or I do get it, and I'm potentially doing harm to my unborn child. Scarey either way. I know that virtually no testing has been done to test the short/long term side effects of this vaccine. Although I was watching a clip on CNN, and the doctor they were interviewing was saying that it was essentially the same as any other flu vaccine, just a different strain.

Pregant ladies thoughts on it would be greatly appreciated!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I am still extremely on the fence. I talked to my OB about both vaccines. She felt it would be riskier to get sick, than to get vaccinated. Then I spoke to a holistic practicioner, and he highly advised against getting both vaccines. He wanted me to consider the fact that I'd be injecting myself with a virus that may not even provide me with 100% protection, and themerisol which could potentially harm my baby. In 1970, the swine flu vaccine harmed more than it helped. My holistic guy said to protect myself with higher levels of Vitamin D, vitamins, and some homeopathic drops they sell at the office.

Featured Answers



answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't get it. It has thimersol in it and has not been properly tested. However I have not and will not ever get any type of flu shot or give them to my children. I have an autistic son so this influences my opinion. FWIW

More Answers



answers from Amarillo on

I am sure that you are going to get very differing opinions. I wouldn't get it especially since it is a class c. Most people who get the swine flu will get over it ok. It is hard on the immunocompromised, the very young, old, and those with compromised lungs. If I were pregnant I would do very good hand hygiene, and avoid people who are coughing, sneezing. I would try and avoid going to the stores during their busy hours. I think your best resource on this decision would be your ob doctor. Talk to him/her and I am sure that they could lead you in the best direction for you, your family, and unborn child. Good luck on making the decision that is right for you.



answers from Dallas on

Hi Heather, what you saw on CNN is the same thing I've heard..its not too different from the regular flu vaccine just a different strain. I got the regular flu vaccine when I was pregnant (at 5 months) and didn't have any issues. If it were me, I would get it espcecially since you have little ones that bring lots of germs around you.



answers from Dallas on

Hi Heather, I just now saw your post so my response is a little late. I am 17 weeks pregnant and I spoke to my doc and my 2 year old sons pediatrician and they said to only get the flu shot and not the swine flu shot. They said I should have my son vaccinated for both to protect me and and baby. I had planned on getting the swine flu shot but since they told me to really think about it I have and I will just stick with the regular flu shot. Which I am still nervous about because I only got it once about 12 years ago and got the flu! lol But they say its a dead virus now so I should be ok in that department. I wish you luck! Just try to stay away from sick people and crowds if you can.


answers from Dallas on

I'm not getting it. I'm due in 8 weeks. I don't feel comfortable with the big rush to get it produced and distributed, and not knowing long term effects. I normally get the flu shot every year, but not while pregnant. I know they say it's basically the same as the regular flu shot, but I'm just not sure enough to risk harming my baby. The swine flu is pretty much the same as the seasonal flu, but more contagious b/c it's new and no one has an immunity to it. People die every year from the seasonal flu, just like H1N1. I'm just washing our hands a little more frequently, and staying away from anyone not feeling well.



answers from Dallas on

I'm pregnant, 15 weeks and due to "job description" (lol, i am a teacher at a title I school) I will be getting vax. It is class C, but so are several other drugs that are prescribed to some during pregnancy (a lot of anti-nausea meds, inhalers (corticosteroids found in nasal sprays). However risky the vax may be, what little research they've done on it, I'm at very high risk of getting swine flu and feel that no matter how awesome my immune system is, you can't prevent yourself from getting the flu, getting pnemonea, or suffering from complications of the flu.

The swine flu is just another stran of the flu, as is the vax. I think it depends on your situation- can you "stay away from people" during the flu season (but then i guess swine flu season has been year round ;/ ).
It is a tough decision!!!
Good luck and God bless.



answers from Dallas on

I'm 25 weeks along and still undecided. I'm going to talk with my OB/GYN next week, and hopefully she will give me some good advice. I did get the seasonal flu shot for the first time EVER this week. I've been a teacher for the past eight years, and I've managed to avoid getting the flu without the vaccine. However, this year, we have flu cases, including H1N1 all over the school. I've been sending kids to the nurse left and right with fevers. I decided not to risk it this year.

As far as the H1N1 vaccination is concerned, I'm still unsure. I really don't feel comfortable with how quickly it was rushed to the market. I fear that once widespread vaccination begins, problems might arise. The only reason I'm considering it is to pass immunity to the baby. I wouldn't want my newborn to get the flu, swine or otherwise. Getting the flu shot would offer some protection to him during the first few months, which is especially important with two sisters in preschool in the house.

It's definitely a lot to think about, and I'm glad I have a few more weeks before I have to decide!



answers from Dallas on

hey heather! you know i'm not pregnant, ;) but just wanted to jump in here & suggest a step you can take to help in your decision: ask your healthcare provider to test your IgG2 levels. that will give you a good look to see if you are, indeed, at increased risk of mortality due to the h1n1 virus. not all pregnant women have a deficiency, it's just more common in pregnant women. if your healthcare provider blows you off and just pushes the vaccine, then he or she is not being helpful to you. if that happened to me i would find a healthcare provider that takes my concerns seriously.

and another note on anti-virals. they are class c drugs too, and novel h1n1 has shown *some* resistance to tamiflu. if you catch it, and the strain you have is resistant to tamiflu, from what i understand (?) it could trigger a cytokine storm (bad news). regardless, if i were pregnant and for some reason came down with anything that could remotely be the flu, i'd high-tail it to the doctor's office for some relenza (and possibly some antibiotics to ward off a dangerous secondary infection). (following the course, of course, with the best probiotics i can find!) ;)
EDITED TO ADD THIS FROM A PREGGO MAMA W/ SWINE FLU: "When I had swine flu, they told me that all of the antibiotics that they would use to treat likely lung infections have some risk to the baby, so they didn't want to use them prophylactically. Instead I had 2 chest X-rays (well shielded in the belly) and regular blood cultures to monitor for secondary infections."

you can also do your best to prevent getting the flu. here are some things we try to do:
-wash hands often
-avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
-avoid crowds
-get plenty of sleep
-avoid stress
-get plenty of sunshine (we also take a liquid vitamin d3 supplement; note that d2 doesn't really do any good)
-avoid sugar and white flours (if we didn't get enough calcium otherwise, i'd be wary of cutting out dairy unless we actually came down with symptoms of illness.)
-take probiotics (note when we thought we might have h1n1 flu last week, we *stopped* consuming fermented foods (our typical source for probiotics) like kombucha and kimchee.)
-eat a balanced diet with plenty of foods like raw carrots, raw leafy greens, sweet potatoes, broccoli, legumes, almonds, walnuts, apples, garlic, etc. (we also supplement with garlicin made by nature's way.)




answers from Dallas on

I am 38 weeks along so i dont know if this would apply to you but i asked my doctor about getting the shot and he highly recommmended it since are immune systems are not at there best and if we do come in contact the sympotoms will be much worse.i got mine and i feel fine so i dont think you should worry about it causing any harm to you or your child but again i am more far along then you

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions