Disclaimer: The purpose of this blog is to educate and inform pregnant women in New Jersey. It is not intended to create a vaccine debate and we will delete any comments that are anything but supportive to our client and her family.
The time-honored rule of avoiding any potential toxic exposure that might interfere with the normal development of the fetus has been suspended and replaced with an assumption that vaccination during pregnancy is safe
Current Vaccine Recommendations for Pregnant Women and the Midwives’ Views
The Midwives of New Jersey currently have a client whose baby is hospitalized with Whooping Cough. He is only 6 weeks old. We are praying for his rapid and complete recovery. In light of this information, we feel compelled to review again with our clients the current recommendations for vaccination during pregnancy and the Midwives’ views on this.
The Midwives are AGAINST newborn babies being sick. Big time anti-illness! But sometimes the recommendations to avoid illness are not known to be safe, so we are cautious to jump on bandwagons of what could be human experimentation. We are more likely to recommend dietary changes, vitamin and herbal supplements and common sense hygiene.
In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strengthened recommendations that all pregnant women, healthy or not, should get a flu shot in any trimester.
Then, in 2011, a pertussis containing Tdap shot was recommended for all pregnant women, preferably after 20 weeks gestation.4 Both current vaccine recommendations are5, 6, 7 endorsed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG),8, 9 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other medical trade associations.”10, 11 (excerpt from above mentioned article)
We have been advising our clients about the recommendation for these 2 vaccines in pregnancy but we still hold a healthy skepticism for anything new in pregnancy, since overall the system has been working well without any interference for thousands of years. For the most part, our clients do not get the flu in pregnancy and up until now, we never had a baby under 2 months old with whooping cough. It feels irresponsible to not notify our clients of this current situation.
In this particular instance, our client DID receive the precautionary vaccine Tdap in her pregnancy. This did not protect her baby in the way it was supposed to. But she does know that she did everything recommended to prevent the infection. There are no easy answers to these types of situations and the Midwives are not here to make that decision for our clients. We want to give women the most unbiased information possible and let them make the decision.
Tips for Pregnant Women Concerned Over Whooping Cough
- Understand that Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is currently in our area. We all have some risk of getting whooping cough even if we are immunized and boostered.
- Consider “Cocooning”. That is immunizing or boosting the children and adults around the baby. To keep them from bring whooping cough home to the baby. This can be done during the pregnancy.
- A pre-conception Pertussis booster might make more sense to you. So after this pregnancy and recovery from childbirth, go to your primary care physician and ask for the Tdap vaccine.
- Pump up your immune system. The pregnant and lactating mother actively transfers white blood cells and immunoglobulins to her baby so a healthy lifestyle will help prevent infection. A diet that is rich in vegetables and low in processed foods, extra Vitamin D and C, Black elderberry syrup, chiropractic adjustments and regular exercise will help the mother protect the tiny baby.
- As a culture, we need to learn that new babies do not need to be exposed to our germs. We all need to wash our hands, cover our mouths when we cough and just look and not touch the babies. Everyone needs to be invested in limiting illness in small babies. We should work to be healthy ourselves and let the babies hang with their moms where they belong.
There is no way to totally prevent illness but 2 of the best ways to keep babies healthy throughout their lifetime is for them to be vaginally-born and breastfed. The Midwives of New Jersey are committed to setting the standard of excellence for the care of women in the childbearing cycle to promote wellness in their lives and their families’ lives.