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    Questions? Ask Henci!

    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Archived User


    I'm 29 weeks along and I'm in a real quandry trying to decide if I should get the H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available in the next few weeks.  I work with children and their families going into their homes and to daycares and I have lots of contact with school aged children so I am at some risk..  I am a believer in selective, appropriately timed vaccinations but I'm not convinced about the safety or neccesity of this one.  My OB is supportive either way but she did say that her (relatively small) practice has already had one woman contract H1N1 and end up on a ventelator....thankfully she is recovering but she was not as far along as I am/will be and according to my OB the risks are greater the farther along you are.  Any info about the research out there on this vaccine?   Thanks for any information you can provide.


    Henci Goer

    I have not looked at the research, but as I understand it, pregnant women are at higher risk of severe illness than the general population if they contract H1N1 both because their immune systems are partially suppressed, which is normally advantageous because it protects against reacting to the fetus as a foreign protein, and because pregnancy already puts extra stress on heart and lungs. As I gather from your post, you already know the potential harm of not being vaccinated. The missing piece is the potential harms, if any, of being vaccinated and how likely they are to occur. I suggest you ask your doctor to provide you with sources/info that will give you more information on this side of the equation. She should have access to sources that you (and I, for that matter) do not. I realize that we do not have experience with complication rates with this particular vaccination, but there may be data on similar ones. Meanwhile, here is a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website with info that you might find helpful.  

    -- Henci   

    All Times America/New_York

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