Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Baby Talk :: Flu Shot?

With summer quickly coming to an end, the fall and winter months are upon us, which also means it's almost Flu Season. At Kenley's 9 month appointment our pediatrician suggested that Kenley come in in early October for the first of two flu vaccine shots. Jason and I talked it over and we're both on the fence. I don't want to be naive and end up with a severely sick child but I also don't love the idea of pumping my baby up with something she doesn't really need. I really love our doctor and trust her but I also know that in her profession she is pro-medication, which I don't always agree with. 

So I'm turning to other mamas, I need your opinions...

Did you/Do you get your baby/kid the flu shot?

Here's what is currently running through my head in regards to the shot:

  • Really the only real pro I see is that Kenley may not get the flu - which is obviously a BIG pro. Our pediatrician said that some of the sickest babies she's ever seen have been from the flu. Obviously, I don't want that for Kenley. 
  • The doctor also said if Kenley didn't get the shot she would recommend asking everyone who cares for her to get the shot. Since Kenley has an entourage of caregivers I couldn't possibly ask each and every one of them to get the vaccine, especially when I don't plan on getting it myself.

  • In general, medicine makes me nervous. I feel that it's unnatural and can potentially cause more harm than good. I try to only take Advil & allergy medicine when it's absolutely necessary and other than that I really prefer not to take anything. 
  • I've never had a flu shot and neither has Jason. 
  • My mom got a flu shot once when I was in high school and I've never seen her so sick.
  • Kenley doesn't go to a traditional daycare - she spends her days with our parents so although she is exposed to a variety of people she isn't around a bunch of kids. 
  • Getting a flu shot does not guarantee that Kenley will not get the flu, the flu shot is designed to combat three strains of the flu so if she gets a different strain - she'll still be sick.

  • Does the flu shot prevent the immune system from learning to fight off other illnesses on it's own? I want Kenley's little body to learn to fight for itself, and I'm curious if the vaccine helps or hurts this. 
  • What are the side effects of the shot? Our doctor mentioned a possible fever but I've also heard of sore and painful injection sites as well as actual flu-like symptoms. 

I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts, opinions and experiences. I really don't think there's a right or a wrong, I just want to make an educated decision and do what is best {in my mind} for my baby girl. 


Link up every Tuesday!


Amanda said...

This topic is so controversial! I think in the long run, you'll make the best decision for Kenley! We are getting Sloan vaccinated as soon as it becomes available! I've had asthma my whole life so it's crucial I get it and when I was pregnant I still got it. Todd {my hubs} also got it because I gave birth in the middle of flu season, but since Sloan was a newborn he couldn't receive the shot so NOBODY came in the house who wasn't vaccinated! Sloan's daycare also requires them to have it; it's state regulations.

I totally agree with not pumping your child full of unnecessary meds, I don't really understand the Flu Nasal "shot" because it's a live virus - it's like giving your child a portion/strain of the flu and praying they don't get it! The shot is a dead virus so she won't get the Flu from the shot!

Sorry for the rambling!!!

Jess Beer said...

I'd be on the fence if I were you too. Abbie will be getting one - but that's mostly because she goes to a home daycare with 4 other kids. She's already had a cold, and that was miserable enough! I can't imagine the flu. I'm pretty sure it's required for daycare, but I'm getting it for her either way. I've had a flu shot every year for the past 3 years, and haven't gotten the flu. Chris has gotten 2/3 of those years and he hasn't been sick either, so I figure Abbie will be fine.

I hope some of the other Mamas have more insight into those questions for you and help you make your decision!

Emily said...

Such a tough decision! Last year I was in the same position as you and couldn't decide if I should do it or not. Carson wasn't 6 months until November so he would be getting the shot late anyway. My pediatrician told us the first shot protects the baby about 75% and the second goes up to like 99 or something. We ended up getting the first shot because I was SO scared Carson was going to catch the flu and become deathly ill. He had NO side effects from the shot and nobody around us got the flu. (Just so you know, most people who work with children are required to get the flu shot I think.) Anyway, we didn't end up getting the second shot because I felt 75% protected was enough for me and he was totally fine!
Good luck with your decision. :)

Angela said...

You will make the best decision for your family! I personally do not get the flu shots! There is no guarantee that the strain of flu that she comes in contact with will be the ones in the shot. I made the mistake of getting it for Ainsley once, and guess what, she got the flu! I have never had it and Ainsley hasn't had it since and both of us haven't had it since (knock on wood)! Just be sure to keep her hands clean and wipe down carts and such! I am very against pumping tons of vaccines into little ones, but you will make the best decision for your family

Laura said...

Man I LOVE this post...and I feel the exact same way you do about medicine. My doctors are pressuring me and my husband to get the flu shot within the next month as well as all grandparents who will be in contact with the baby once it's born...but I really just don't want to get it, especially while pregnant!! I've never had the flu shot, and I agree - they're only guesssing as to what strain is most prevalent out there, but there are so many different strains of it. They also want me to get Dtap which I guess is more serious, and I will most likely get that (Did you?) But I'm really on the fence with the flu shot and whether or not to take it now or after the baby's born....Good luck with your decision, that's a tough one!

MIL said...

It really is a questionable decision. Old days...no; today...you don't know. But I think once you break down the immune system to fight anything on its own is when it creates more medication for other problems. Good blog Kris. BUT back to MONDAY one.... funtime at girl's party, but two to the Princess swimmimg. Off the side, with confidence and trust, HUGE!!!! Adorable and precious. LOVE YOU ALL! See you soon.

Angela said...

If you are pregnant I would NOT get the shot. If you think about it, the shot isn't safe for a baby until they are at least 6 months old, so why would it be safe for a fetus! That has never made sense to me that doctors push it while you are prego! Just thought I would share that!

Syndal said...

If you decide not to get Kenley the shot, I would highly recommend You and hubby get it at LEAST just to be safe. It shouldn't affect her immune system in the long run and honestly- even though I work in health care I fully support the piece meal approach to vaccines- pick the ones that are necessary, save the ones that aren't for later. If it were my baby, I would get her the shot. It shouldn't make her sick because it's not a live virus. There is always the potential she could still catch a strain of flu, but I just know I would feel better knowing I did what I could to try to prevent it. With all that said-- did we get the flu shot when we were babies? Nope. But the flu bugs are different than they were 30 years ago also. You could go either way with this one.

Carolyn said...

You know how I feel about the flu shot... but I'm interested to see what other people say!

Anonymous said...

Both your baby and all those who watch her are in the highest risk categories for getting the flu. Plus the flu is no joke- my mom got it last year and missed 12 days of work! Even if she doesn't get the symptoms it she could be a carrier and get someone else sick. I get the flu shot every year and I've never had any issues!

Anonymous said...

Great topic. Really is what you feel is right. I got the flu shot for my daughter at 1 yr. She has been getting them every year and Mom too.The shot has never made her sick or mom.Her pedi told me there is still no guarantee she will not get the flu,but if she does it will be way more mild.

Kirsten said...

My son is 10. He's never gotten a flu shot. He's never been sick. for whatever that's worth.

Refrigerator Memories said...

We don't do flu shots in our family and have never had a problem. We have friends who religiously get the shot every year and EVERY time end up with the flu.

It's different for everyone. Go with your mama gut and do what you feel is right for your family. :)

GirlieAndGlamorous ♥ said...

I work for an internal medicine doctor and I know they say pregnant women, elderly and children should receive a flu shot every year. However the dr I work for refuses to give it to pregnant women. We don't see children in our practice,so I don't know how he feels about that. But it makes me not want to get one for my daughter this year for her first flu season.