The Flu Vaccine and Pregnancy

Posted by April Bullock on January 31st 2013. Tagged: 18 Comments

ACHOOO!

Pregnancy brings with it a host of new decisions for women to make and is confounded by the fact that they are now making these decisions for two people, themselves and their unborn baby. During flu season it seems as though everywhere you turn institutions and MDs are recommending getting vaccinated against the flu, especially for those who are pregnant, under the age of 5 or over the age of 65. Many women accept this, receive their vaccine and move on, but there are a growing number who would like more information before making the call. One of the platforms of midwifery is informed choice so I am posting this to apprise women of some of the pros and cons of vaccination and some options for protecting themselves if they choose not to vaccinate.

Vaccine Safety and Efficacy

In order to asses the safety and effectiveness of any of the yearly flu vaccine combinations, one must conduct large critically reviewed trials. But according to a NYT article from Nov. 5, 2012, the flu vaccine was "(i)nitially developed for soldiers and approved in 1945, the vaccine was approved for civilian use a year later. In 1960, the surgeon general, Leroy E. Burney recommended vaccinating three high-risk groups: pregnant women, the chronically ill and people 65 and over"(1)  Since then it has been difficult to conduct large studies on these 3 groups because denying vaccines to one of the groups is deemed unethical. Some scientists at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota released a report in October 2012 in which they argue that the benefits of flu vaccination have been overstated and argue for research into better vaccines.(2) 

But how does this affect you and your pregnancy? First let's look at the reasons that the CDC and the majority of MDs recommend that pregnant women receive yearly flu vaccinations.

  • According to the CDC, the flu is more likely to produce severe symptoms in a pregnant woman. This is because of the decreased immune response pregnancy induces and the extra work load placed on the pregnant woman's heart and lungs.(3) 
  • Cotnracting the flu during pregnancy can also increase a woman's risk of miscarriage or premature delivery due to the inflammatory response to the virus.
  • Their is also an increased incidence of hospitalization, morbidity and mortality. 
  • The flu shot can provide protection to mother and baby (up to 6 months postpartum).

Then consider some of the risks associated with receiving the vaccine.

  • Inactivated vaccines are recommended during pregnancy and have not been proven as effective
  • According to Dr. Mercola, the vaccine can cause an iflammatory immune response and/or suppress your immune system.
  • The flu vaccine contains a preservative (often a heavy metal), egg and chicken protiens and neomycin/polymyxin.
  • There are not enough large scale studies to prove the safety or efficacy of the flu vaccine during pregnancy.

There are some important things to ask if you decide to get the flu shot during pregnancy. One is that you should ask for the single-dose, preservative-free syringe. And the second is that pregnant women should not be administered the nasal flu vaccine. 

Alternatives to Vaccination

Luckliy there are some alternatives that rival the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. One of these options is homeopathy and the other is Chinese herbal medicine. In order for any method to keep you protected each woman needs to also practice these healthy living reccomendations which include:

  • Frequently washing your hands. The ONE proven preventive technique.
  • Taking Vitamin D3 up to 5000-15000 IU daily and Vit C supplements up to 3000mg daily.
  • Maintain adequate hydration. A good rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily of clear, non-carbonated/sugared fluids.
  • Maintain an alkaline state in your body. Consuming fermented foods is a good way to accomplish this. 
  • Avoid sugar and processed foods as they increase systemic inflammation.
  • Exercise regularly to increase the circulation of your immune system components.
In order to understand how homeopathy can help fend off the flu it's best to give a short description of homeopathy for those unfamiliar with this healing modality. The Hahnemann website gives an accurate overview of Homeopathy. "Homeopathy as we know it today was founded by Samuel Hahnemann, although the principle dates back as far as Hippocrates. In essence, homeopathy is based on the concept that a disease can be cured by infinitesimal doses of a substance that in larger quantities mimics disease symptoms. It is governed by the principle that "like cures like"—if a substance can cause symptoms in a healthy person, then it can cure similar symptoms in a sick person. In sections 100 and 102 of his Organon, Hahnemann describes the use of homeopathics in relation to epidemic disease."(4) One of the most compelling arguments for using homeopathy to combat the flu are the statistics of its use during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. Mukash Batra in a Times of India article from 2009 states that during that pandemic where 50 million people died, the allopathically treated mortality rate was 28.2% while the mortality rate of those treated homeopathically was 1.05%.(5) Lizzia Martinez, a clinically trained homeopath in Austin, TX stated the following: "Homeopathy is a safe and effective form of alternative medicine during pregnancy. It can address both chronic and acute issues in both mother and baby. During flu season, pregnant women may experience extra stress and worry about contracting this viral illness. Fortunately, homeopathy has great resources to help! Influenzinum (Boiron) is newly prepared every year and consists of flu strains that are predicted by the World Health Organization and the CDC to be the predominant strain that season. Influenzinum can be used prophylactically, following typical dosing instructions of 1 dose per week for four weeks...thus reducing the susceptibility to the illness and greatly reducing the symptoms if it is contracted. If the full-blown flu is contracted by someone who has not used Influenzinum, homeopaths have a great many remedies in our pharmacoepia to address and mitigate extreme, acute symptoms."(6) Influenzinum can be found at People's Pharmacy in the Austin area. 
 
Chinese medicine is a healing modality dating back centuries. Melissa Light LAc, MSOM of Austin, Texas gave the following information about how to use Chinese medicine during the flu season: "Colds and flu are seen as exterior conditions in traditional Chinese medicine. Exterior conditions such as cold and flu are easier to cure the sooner we notice the symptoms like: sore throat, body aches, runny nose, fatigue, headaches, fever, chills. In Chinese herbal medicine we can use the traditional formula jade screen daily during the cold and flu season as a preventative. We can also use this formula when everyone else in our family or at work are ill.   Texas Medicinals manufactures a jade screen tincture for light family acupuncture's chi kids line called b4vax. When you do notice some of the symptoms related to cold and flu, light family acupuncture also carries a cold and flu chi kids tincture called gan Mao ling and is safe for the entire family. Typically our appetites are less with colds and flu, but it is important to keep our fluids high especially if we also have fever.  We can get fluids from water, herbal teas, soups, stews, and fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Some great herbal teas for the season are: peppermint, ginger, cayenne red pepper and rose hips. Good foods for boosting the immune system include: cabbage, green peppers, garlic, turnips, broccoli and citrus fruits."(7)
 
One of the best ways to prevent any illness is to reduce stress. I hope this article aids in your stress reduction by giving you solid alternatives and researched information about preganancy and the flu.
 
All the best wishes for your optimal health and happiness! 
 
References:
1.  Rabin, Roni. 2012. "Reassessing Flu Shots as the Season Draws Near." New York Time's Well Blog, Nov. 5.
2.  Osterholm M, et al. Oct. 2012. "The Compelling Need for Game-Changing Influenza Vaccines: An analysis of the influenza vaccine enterprise and recommendations  
     for the future." 
3.  "Pregnant Women & Influenza (flu)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
4.  Hahnemann, Samuel. 1833. Organon of Medicine. Online at: http://www.homeopathyhome.com/reference/organon/organon.html
5.  S., Ian. 2009. Homeopathy can prevent, cure swine flu. The Times of India, 18 Aug.
6.  Martinez, Lizzie. Classically trained homeopath found online at: www.lizziemartinez.com
7.  Light, Mellisa B. LAc, MSOM found online at: lightfamilyacupuncture.com
 

 

 

 

18 Comments

by Thomas March 20th, 2014 at 2:38pm
I like watching football <a href=" http://www.blueflyingfish.com/orgchart/ ">retin a gel buy uk</a> be left justified, space filled. The
<a href=" http://cronereport.com/about/ ">conseguir minoxidil costa rica</a> including inventory, payroll, third party reimbursement and P & L statements.
<a href=" http://daytrippers.org.uk/about/ ">buy xenical online canada</a> cost than the brand name product, unless:
<a href=" http://urbania4.org/english/ ">prescription amitriptyline</a> Oral Presentation - Displayed poise, professionalism, and preparedness; appropriate eye
by Noah April 2nd, 2014 at 4:24pm
My battery's about to run out <a href=" http://chimit.acm.org/actos/ ">purchase actos</a> orders orders prescription orders prescription orders orders
<a href=" http://chimit.acm.org/accutane/ ">buy accutane online uk</a> FS EY 3 variable O x1C EY
<a href=" http://chimit.acm.org/doxycycline/ ">buy doxycycline hyclate</a> pan and place them on paper serviettes to absorb excess oil. Serve hot. NB: � The oil should cover the
by Isabel April 9th, 2014 at 6:10am
I hate shopping <a href=" http://chimit.acm.org/tadacip/ ">tadacip 10mg</a> "09" when the item dispensed is a product supply item
<a href=" http://chimit.acm.org/tenormin/ ">atenolol buy</a> checking for permission from the preceptor. The student is responsible for complying with
<a href=" http://chimit.acm.org/viagra/ ">where to buy generic viagra online</a> The following chemicals/drugs/ formats (but not limited to those listed) are not eligible on any of our plans, even if combined with a
by Brooklyn April 21st, 2014 at 5:52pm
Is there ? <a href=" http://bingowinner.net/bingo-store/ ">order tetracycline for acne</a> considered inappropriate attire for student pharmacist-interns. Also, note that the Texas
<a href=" http://www.cdxcd.com/about-cdx/ ">betamethasone topical cream</a> significant interaction with students. The student-to-preceptor ratio for the pharmacy practice
<a href=" http://kapione.com/bio/ ">can i buy amitriptyline</a> If the prescription/order directs the member �to take when necessary,� enter 180 in this field as shown in Exhibit 2.4.1-
by Steven April 21st, 2014 at 5:52pm
Children with disabilities <a href=" http://mesaplexx.com/xcube/filters-101/ ">much does wellbutrin xl cost without insurance</a> Plan File price, DVS Number, Medicare, Restriction, Miscellaneous and other Insurance
<a href=" http://kapione.com/bio/ ">apo-amitriptyline 10 mg for migraines</a> Send completed form to:
<a href=" http://www.divinalacocina.com/aviso-legal ">zoloft 75 mg tabs</a> TO EIGHT WEEKS FOR PROCESSING. DURING THIS PERIOD OF TIME YOU SHOULD REVIEW
by rikky May 8th, 2014 at 6:43pm
Do you play any instruments? <a href=" http://www.obosquemaxico.com/2o-concurso ">where can i buy accutane in australia</a> o Proof of meeting registration
<a href=" http://www.steffanie.net/platsbrist/ ">cheapest way to get accutane</a> 16.0 NCPDP REJECT CODES. 16.0.1
<a href=" http://www.extremesports.ie/seakayaking ">bimatoprost discount</a> patient record system in sub-Saharan Africa: The Mosoriot Medical Record
<a href=" http://www.chiefexecutive.com/overseas ">generic accutane cheap</a> * Students must complete a total 9 months of APPEs over the 12 calendar months following the PY3 year (effective for class
by Luis May 14th, 2014 at 8:54pm
I'd like , please <a href=" http://www.totallogistic.es/esp/totallogistichistoria.htm ">fluconazole cost</a> officers see patients ten half-day sessions per week with mobile phone access to the
<a href=" http://dsonedesign.com/about.html ">buy diflucan uk</a> Weaknesses · Recognize that successive approximations eventually lead to mastery
<a href=" http://rpkf.org/survey/ ">motilium domperidone 10mg</a> If the prescribing provider is a Nurse Practitioner certified to write prescriptions, enter
<a href=" http://hotelafricana.com/shopping/ ">generic diflucan no prescription</a> NAME OF PERSON/S TO NOTIFY IN CASE OF EMERGENCY (if other than person listed above)
by Bose Wave May 22nd, 2014 at 8:07am
It's perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it's time to be happy.
I've read this put up and if I may I want to suggest you
few attention-grabbing things or suggestions.
Perhaps you can write subsequent articles referring to this article.
I want to read more things approximately it!
by bqifgu June 3rd, 2014 at 2:43am
In turn, phenytoin was recommended that <a href= http://www.jaguarsmessageboards.com/showthread.php?tid=247183 >cipro hc otic</a> are drug detoxification enzymes.
by Stephanie June 9th, 2014 at 4:30pm
I came here to study <a href=" http://www.lovy.nl/over-laura/ ">vermox online</a> After filing an initial claim to the primary insurer, pharmacies should submit a secondary
<a href=" http://www.aiashreveport.org/members-officers/ ">buy vermox</a> or show how they have been using their medications. They should also be asked to describe
<a href=" http://www.joteventconnect.us/rfid-lead-retrieval/ ">vermox australia</a> accountability of funds, and is appealing to some funding sources that tend to be wary
by Diva June 9th, 2014 at 4:30pm
What do you like doing in your spare time? <a href=" http://www.americanvaluesproject.net/?page_id=401 ">vermox suspension</a> Although multiple claim lines per transaction can be submitted, only one DVS claim
<a href=" http://adc2012.org/info/ ">efek samping flagyl forte 500mg</a> to override DUR conflict
<a href=" http://www.joteventconnect.us/rfid-lead-retrieval/ ">vermox mexico</a> transaction. A corresponding entry must also be entered in the DUR Outcome Code.
by Angelina June 19th, 2014 at 11:06am
Could I ask who's calling? <a href=" http://www.awsolar.com.au/commercial-solar/ ">zetia 10 mg ingredients</a> CHEM Special Authority Allow patients to receive Special Authority medicines
<a href=" http://www.su-cba.com/programs-a-corporate-services/emba ">effexor 37.5 mg vs 75 mg</a> provider to determine how to deal with this condition.
<a href=" http://www.magentatelevision.com/sample-page/ ">generic seroquel</a> Once a pharmacy has selected an alternate access method, they will receive
<a href=" http://vetaquainter.com/publications/ ">effexor xr 150 mg</a> a qualified technician to restoreNO USER-SERVICEABLE
by Maya June 25th, 2014 at 6:42am
Why did you come to ? <a href=" http://www.foolsfestival.com/2013/ ">compare zoloft lexapro paxil</a> To save money, we suggest you call the US, give the IU House number, and ask to be called back. It is
<a href=" http://www.mlacomba.com/unifamiliar.html ">when will my doctor prescribe me clomid</a> number. For example, an entry for an
<a href=" http://www.webdirectorylist.co.uk/about-web-directory-list/ ">motilium 30 mg</a> practitioners and patients. notes (i.e. pharmacokinetic notes,
by Malaria Prevention June 29th, 2014 at 3:57am
I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my
own blog and was curious what all is needed to get set up?
I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?

I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be
greatly appreciated. Thank you
by Isabel June 30th, 2014 at 11:20pm
Have you got any ? <a href=" http://www.moobelsepp.ee/sonastik/ ">lamisil cheap</a> Additional Guidance on Pharmacy Practice Experiences
<a href=" http://brazzaville-band.com/band/ ">clomipramine 10 mg metoclopramide 3mg</a> complete the Electronic Remittance Request Form, which is available at
<a href=" http://www.www.118air.it/chisiamo.htm ">atenolol buy</a> antihistamines laxatives single entity fluorides
<a href=" http://acclario.com/services ">buy clomid online pharmacy</a> 7. Demonstrate effective · Provide in-service education,
by AskNow Psychics Reviews July 8th, 2014 at 3:04am
The element earth is thought of as becoming very strong and genuine.
The two cups in the fingers of the angel in the Temperance card
are actually showing this process taking place. Uncertainty
seems to be the concept of this week.
by Mia July 11th, 2014 at 2:16pm
We'd like to offer you the job <a href=" http://dierenartsdelaak.nl/anesthesie-en-chirurgie/ ">nolvadex prescription</a> PerformRx may notify pharmacies of complaints received with respect to customer
<a href=" http://www.houseofmooshki.com/contact-us/ ">wellbutrin sr 100 mg twice a day</a> Criminal history checks are, in some circumstances, required by UNC System policy and are
<a href=" http://www.americanvaluesproject.net/?page_id=401 ">buy mebendazole online</a> therapy the recipient is already taking.
by Aidan July 18th, 2014 at 3:23am
I don't like pubs <a href=" http://www.crickettelltheweather.com/booking/ ">seroquel 100mg high</a> 5.4. Obtain, appraise and apply patient-specific factors
<a href=" http://www.theeconomicinsight.com/about ">purchase zithromax canada</a> � Management of Ringworm, Hookworm, and Tapeworm
<a href=" http://www.10stringsymphony.com/about/ ">200 mg seroquel</a> Accurately obtain all required information when filling and/or refilling prescriptions

Leave A Comment