Flu shot

One of the challenges that comes with being pregnant is making a lot of medical decisions. Obviously I’ve made medical decisions for myself before, but they carry a whole lot more weight when there’s a baby involved! One that I’ve really agonized over is whether to get a flu shot. I’ve never gotten one before. I think they are way too widely used by people who don’t really need them. There’s a lot of controversy over how effective they are, and anything pushed so hard by the pharma industry makes me nervous. I didn’t even consider getting one during pregnancy, until my midwife brought it up.

It’s still my decision, but she was a bit pushy about it, which made me second guess my prior thoughts. So then I started asking around, talking with friends who’ve recently been pregnant and people who I know share my philosophy of using as few drugs and medical interventions as possible. I got a lot of mixed comments, and frankly, it’s hard to know what research out there to trust. I’ve finally decided to stick with my original instinct and not get one. The biggest factor, for me, is that I’ve never had a flu shot before and have no idea how I would react to it. Also, I work in a small office and am not frequently around children or sick people. I’m generally a pretty healthy person, and while I very likely may get the flu while I’m pregnant, there’s no guarantee a flu shot would’ve prevented it. I’ll do my best to take good care of my body and, if I start to feel sick, get my butt in bed.

Andy and I spent a lot of time before we got pregnant learning about what type of prenatal care and birth we wanted to pursue. I thought that by choosing a free-standing birth center and care by midwives, I could trust them to make recommendations that fit my philosophy of equipping my body to heal and defend itself. As it turns out, it looks like I’ll still have to make these decisions for myself, but I think that’s for the best. I’m learning that as a parent, you have to do your research, make choices that are the best for your family, and not get too caught up in everyone else’s opinions.

What about you? Do you usually get a flu shot? If you’ve been pregnant, did you get one during your pregnancy?

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2 thoughts on “Flu shot

  1. I always get a flu shot simply because when I get the flu it always leads into bronchitis and phenomena for me. But I never had a flu shot while pregnant. I don’t think I ever started getting one until I was in my mid 30’s and prior to that had some severe bronchitis and phenomena! With that said, I totally respect your decision! You have to do what is right for you and the baby. Glad to hear you do your research, but still make your decision based on your health history and what you feel is right for you!
    Best prevention is wash your hands often! I believe that works wonders….. 🙂

  2. Before this year I had never had a flu shot I didn’t get a flu shot while pregnant. I did get sick once, perhaps from the flu or something else. It was while I was in France, though, so it may not have been anything the US vaccine would have prevented anyway.

    This year our family doctor strongly recommended flu shots for both me and my husband, and we did get them because the baby doesn’t yet have a strong immune system. I’ll probably continue to get them while he is young, but I do work with the public.

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