New to the board; H1N1 question — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

New to the board; H1N1 question

I've been lurking for a while but thought I should officially say hi.  We are pregnant with our first and haven't told anyone in our lives yet - waiting until the time is right.  I have so many questions and this seems to be a good place to get answers. 

My midwife is encouraging everyone to get the flu and H1N1 shots this fall.  I've never gotten the flu shot before and really do not want to get any vaccinations while pregnant.  I know it's not a live virus but I'm concerned about the mercury in the shots.  I'm fairly healthy and take precautions but I do ride the metro to/from work. What others here in the DC area are doing?  TIA!

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Re: New to the board; H1N1 question

  • My Pedi will not give the regular flu shot in the 1st Trimester.

    We are not doing the H1N1 vac, but did do the regular flu shot. My Pedi is not getting it nor is she giving it to her kids. Though pregnancy is different. I have not done the research or asked the questions. Maybe ask on 1st and 2nd tri boards to see what the general attitude is.

    Do your research, ask lots of questions then decide.

    I work in a school in Potomac, the swine is here and spreading fast. I am sure it will hit before the vac is available anyway.

  • Congrats on your pregnancy. I'm not pregnant now but last fall when I was pregnant, I got the regular flu shot during the first trimester. My doctor told me to ask them to give me one that is Thimerosal free. I didn't have any complications with the shot and I didn't get the flu.

    I would definitely read up on H1N1 and talk to your doctor about what is best for you. There's some good information on the CDC website for pregnant women and here's some Q&A specifically on the vaccine for pregnant women.

    DH and I already got the regular flu shot and we will definitely be getting the H1N1 vaccine since we have a baby that is under 6 months and is therefore not eligible.

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  • Last year, when I was in my first trimester in the fall, I got the seasonal flu shot at my OB's office.  They had the preservative-free version, but if they hadn't had that version, I would have gotten the regular version.  If I were pregnant now, I'd get both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 vaccine.  Personally, I have more concerns about risks of complications from the flu while pregnant than I do about thimerosol.

    Some info. to consider:

    March of Dimes info. on Flu and Pregnancy:  http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/188_10596.asp

    CDC info. on timerosal: http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/ABOUT/QA/thimerosal.htm

    For full disclosure, I am someone who normally gets the flu shot every year anyway.  However, I think it is particularly important for pregnant women to get it as one element of trying to avoid getting the flu.  Of course, the seasonal flu vaccine isn't perfect and won't necessarily protect you against all of the flu strains floating around in a given flu season, so you also still have to take other precautions, like regular hand washing and asking other people to wash their hands before touching you or your baby.

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  • I never get flu shots...had reactions in the past. However, my Internal Med Dr that I see thinks that it might have been a reaction to mercury in the shot. There is a flu vaccine that is mercury-free but it is fairly hard to get a hold of. Most places have very limited supplies of them.

    That being said my Dr is going to special order it for me and I will get the basic flu shot this year. I beleive that you are not supposed to get the vaccine in your 1st trimester..i think they recommend waiting until 13 weeks but check with your Dr.

    I do not plan on doing the H1N1 simply because there is not enough data and I am not willing to risk it. But will be very cautious with my health over the coming months - if I don't feel well i have every intention of going straight to the Dr's office.

    Good luck and CONGRATS on your PG!!!!

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  • Congrats on your pregnancy!  I am still not sure what we are doing about the H1N1 vaccine, but both my husband and I did get the regular flu shot this year.  I used to get it in college... but haven't since I graduated.  My OB recommended I get one this year, so I trusted her advice.  I did get the mercury free shot in my third trimester, if that makes a difference.  Best of luck! 
  • image LMH1209:

    Last year, when I was in my first trimester in the fall, I got the seasonal flu shot at my OB's office.  They had the preservative-free version, but if they hadn't had that version, I would have gotten the regular version.  If I were pregnant now, I'd get both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 vaccine.  Personally, I have more concerns about risks of complications from the flu while pregnant than I do about thimerosol.

    I agree with LMH.  I'm not PG but I'll be getting both regular flu and H1N1 (if it's available).  I would like to get DD vaccinated, but she is allergic to eggs.  Her pedi won't give it to her, but her allergist will test her on the specific batch if they ever get the vaccines in.

  • Congratulations and welcome to the board.

    I'd advise you to get the regular flu shot and discuss the swine flu one w/ your Dr. Last year I had a newborn in Oct and got the flu shot (she got the protection via breastmilk), this year I'm still nursing and got the flu shot and plan to get her vaccinated as well.

    Does anyone know if it's the egg yolk or whites that are in the flu shot?

  • Yes.  I just got the seasonal flu shot today and plan to get the H1N1 vaccine when it is available at my doctor's office in a few weeks.  I had a regular prenatal appt. today and my OB strongly recommended it.  I asked my sister's advice (also an OB) and she is recommending it for all of her OB patients as H1N1 has more severe complications associated w/ pregnant women such as ICU admissions, severe pulmonary associations, etc.

     GL!

  • I've already had my seasonal flu shot and once the H1N1 is available I'll be getting that too.  I just got back from an OB visit and they said they are HIGHLY encouraging all pg ladies to get it because of what a severe case you will get if you get H1N1 being pg.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker TTC #1 Cycle #18 m/c Jan. 9, 2007, chemical pg May 4, 2007, methotrexate shot Oct. 5, 2007--m/c Oct. 9, 2007, IUI Nov. 17, 2007 It worked! beta 11/30 & 12/6 TTC #2 Cycle #5 IUI July 20, 2009 -BFN 8-3-09 Cycle #6 IUI August 17, 2009-BFP! 8-31-09, beta 9-1-09, 9-8-09, saw the H/B 9-22-09 EDD 5-10-10
  • I have never gotten a flu shot in my life, including when I was PG, and I don't intend to get one this year, nor do I intend to get the H1N1 vaccine. DS just got the regular flu shot, I would have preferred that he not get it, but seeing as he is in daycare and exposed to a lot of germs, we decided to do it. After doing some reading and speaking to a few pediatricians, I don't plan to have him get the H1N1. There's just not enough information available yet.
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  • There are preservative (mercury) free versions of the flu shot available.  I just got one.

    I will be getting a preservative-free H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available.  The latest I have read is that at least one company who has been approved to produce it makes it in the same way as the seasonal flu shot.  Basically, the virus in the flu shot changes every year to correspond with what the the strains the experts think are going to be prevelant, but the shot is otherwise the same.  So, at least for this company, the H1N1 shot is just like they shots make every year -- customized to the virus that is prevelant. 

    Zachary, 8.31.2007 * * * Adam, 3.24.2010

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  • H1N1 has been shown to hit pregnant women particularly hard (as in death). For me, the risk of contracting the illness vaccines prevent outweighs the risk that vaccines themselves pose, but if I had to make a choice between seasonal and H1N1, I would skip the regular flu shot before I skipped the H1N1.
  • I'm doing both, as is DD. As my pediatrician said, getting the flu shot even with thimerosol will give less mercury than me having eaten one piece of fish during my pregnancy (in other words, so negligible, it wouldn't matter). The possible side effects of the flu are much worse. I am going to do everything I can to protect myself and DD from getting either seasonal flu or H1N1.
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