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?