I really wish people would stop asking how I feel.
The answer is ALWAYS “super fucking crummy” and there is no solution other than this baby getting out of my body.
I mean, it would also be nice if the cold I’ve had for OVER TWO WEEKS went away, but that’s not actually under human control any more than the onset of spontaneous labor is.
What exactly are the alleged reasons behind Sudafed/Nyquil being harmful for pregnant people?
With Sudafed, there is some limited evidence suggesting slightly elevated risk of cardiac defect in the first trimester. I have never heard a doctor cite this risk, actually; the research is quite recent and most of them don’t read it. They’re entirely concerned about the pregnant person’s blood pressure. Since pseudoephedrine is a stimulant, this is definitely something to monitor. My blood pressure is always on the low end of good, however. (I personally don’t consider the amount of evidence for cardiac defect terribly persuasive, especially since my sinuses get so inflamed in pregnancy that I literally have debilitating vertigo without Sudafed. And that’s only the first trimester anyway, and would show up on the 20-week sonogram if it were an issue.)
With NyQuil, it’s probably the alcohol. Since NyQuil is 10% alcohol, we’re talking about a quarter of a shot, maybe slightly less. The preponderance of evidence suggests that even light-to-moderate drinking in pregnancy has no discernible effect on the fetus (in some studies, that’s as many as 12 drinks a week, btw—thanks, Australia). The amount of alcohol in a dose of NyQuil is negligible.
The antihistamine and cough suppressant in NyQuil are both totally safe for pregnancy (and in fact, doctors have told me specifically that I can take them, but never said “Just take NyQuil” no doubt because of the alcohol). Some doctors, especially the crunchy ones, have a general “BUT YOU SHOULD AVOID DRUGS” mentality that may also contribute here.
You can also take benadryl in pregnancy—totally safe and actually recommended to me by my drug-saavy psychiatrist as a possible sedating agent in the event of panic attacks.
Basically there are a shit ton of things you can take with no or minimal risk to the fetus and it’s total bullshit that we live in a culture that privileges IMAGINARY risks of treatment to ACTUAL risks of non-treatment. (Stress or lack of sleep in the pregnant person, for instance? NOT GOOD FOR FETUSES.)
- "Breastfeeding review," consisting entirely of information that either a) I already know or b) consider to be baseless fear-mongering.
- Special consideration goes to “If people tell you that you should be using formula, you just tell them you’ll ask your doctor.” Uh, lady, let me assure you: People don’t tend to offer me unsolicited advice more than once.
- Also: “You shouldn’t be doing housework in the first two weeks, because that’s baby-bonding time.” Yeah. Trust me. I’m not going to be trying to do housework. Possibly ever.
- Super heteronormative gross-ass “list of duties for Dad” and “list of duties for Grandma” handouts ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME.
- Referring to spontaneous labor after 37 weeks as “early.” IT’S A CONFIDENCE INTERVAL DAMMIT.
- Telling me that yes, pregnancy colds are the worst because “you can’t take anything!” I beg your pardon. There is no reason not to take Sudafed or NyQuil and believe me, I take both of them because I don’t believe in being more miserable than necessary.
I do trust this doctor not to inflict trauma on me in the delivery room but dear god I am sick of everyone in healthcare.
I am so tired, and getting out of bed hurts SO MUCH, even more than rolling over IN bed and honestly that’s saying a lot. And I have to stay up until at least 9pm every night, and get up between 6 & 7, because I do three heparin shots a day now and they have to be pretty evenly spaced.
And I have ANOTHER FUCKING COLD, one of the consequences of which is that I can barely speak.
Let’s go, Baby B. Let’s go RIGHT NOW.
I went to bed about 10, got up at 7 because I have to give myself a shot no later than 7 (straight heparin is three shots a day instead of the two you do with Lovenox, so timing becomes more of a pain in the ass—I have to stay up until 9:30 for my last shot of the day, too). Around 8:15 I gave up on the idea of productivity and went back to bed. I got back out of bed at 11 out of a sense of obligation, but I’m still exhausted and barely doing anything.
I think the main issue here is that “sleep” is sort of a misleading term when even small body movements cause you to wake up in excruciating pain. ”Fitful dozing” is about as good as it gets. But I have a HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK TO DO so I’m super stressed out on top of being too exhausted to force myself to do anything about it. UGH.
cheapplasticjunk asked: Hey. I've seen your posts about vaccines and just wanted to pass along that if your pregnant and able to get the seasonal flu shot, you should because that immunity will get passed to your newborn as well. An adult with the flu sucks, but a newborn with the flu is scary.
Actually, flu shots are important in pregnancy mainly for the protection of the pregnant person. Pregnancy is an inherently immunocompromised state, and for whatever reason, pregnant people are especially vulnerable to dangerous flu complications. H1N1, which is circulating widely again this year, is even more dangerous to pregnant people than the typical seasonal flu. At least one pregnant person in my city of residence has died this year from H1N1 complications.
How much of one’s immunity to seasonal flu from the flu shot will be passed onto a newborn is kind of questionable. For example, I received my seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it was available, at the end of September, which means that it will have been ~6 months since vaccination when I give birth. This gives rise to two major issues: peak antibodies and vaccine/circulating strain match.
A cursory search of the literature doesn’t give a good picture of when “peak antibodies” are produced following the flu shot, though it’s probably at least two weeks after. This is relevant because there is a period at which the body is producing the MOST antibodies for transfer to a newborn; this is why the CDC now recommends a TDaP vaccine in every pregnancy between 26-35 weeks, regardless of the timing of the person’s last TDaP, so that the pregnant person will be producing peak antibodies, or close to them, at birth, both to transmit to the fetus via the placenta or after birth to the newborn via breast milk. Six months after the administration of the vaccine, circulating antibodies are probably lower, although there is some reason to believe that some immunity persists up to a year after the shot.
Probably more relevant is the fact that six months is a pretty long time in the world of seasonal flu. We never really know how good a match any given year’s vaccine will turn out to be for the strains that actually circulate the most, but on top of that, by the time we get to late March/early April we’re basically out of the 2013-2014 flu season. Occasionally non-seasonal strains circulate (like H1N1 in 2009), but there’s no reason to think they will be strains that were included in the previous season’s vaccine.
This is where breastfeeding has very clear benefits, incidentally; it allows for the transfer of antibodies that may not have been produced during pregnancy. When my first child was born, my spouse and I both caught norovirus at the hospital. Kid A escaped unscathed, probably because she got plenty of antibodies from my breast milk. (Please note: breastfeeding has benefits. However, we provide basically no social support whatsoever for it in the US; in fact, we penalize it in a number of measurable ways. I am not here for anyone who thinks that people don’t breastfeed because they don’t know that it has benefits.)
So yes: pregnant people absolutely should get vaccinated for seasonal flu, but mainly because they themselves are at high risk of dangerous complications, including death. Everyone in the community who can be vaccinated for seasonal flu should be, because higher coverage means fewer potential vectors of infection for everyone, which means fewer deaths among the most vulnerable, including both pregnant people and newborns.
envygreenpencilred asked: Please ignore/yell at me if you don't want to answer, as I realize this is maybe an invasive question, but the recent vaccine conversations brought this back up. When you were getting ready to start making Kid A (assuming this was a point in your life) did you/were you advised to be re-vaccinated for MMR? I ask because I think, but am not sure, it was the MMR vaccine that triggered my needle phobia & want to know if it is worth frettng over. Thanks!
I know you said not to answer this after reading another post, but I don’t think my other post actually FULLY answered it and there’s an important point in here. :-)
Kid A was COMPLETELY planned. All my medical conditions and accompanying drugs make it highly inadvisable to get accidentally pregnant, even in a general “if it happens, it happens” kind of way. Despite a BUNCH of doctors’ appointments in the planning phase, however, no one recommended I get checked for MMR antibodies until after I was pregnant—and pregnant people can’t get the vaccine.
So yes, there is a test, but specifically, I recommend that if you’re planning to try to get pregnant at any point, you should ask for it so that you can get any necessary boosters BEFORE pregnancy rather than after.
I don’t remember the MMR very clearly but it was administered after birth and that’s all very hazy. The CDC does now recommend that ALL pregnant people get the TDaP shot at 28-35 weeks to ensure maximum pertussis antibodies around the time of birth, since newborns can’t start the DTaP series until two months. Unfortunately, TDaP is fairly painful; my upper arm was very sore for 2-3 days. So that’s just something to be aware of re: pregnancy and shots.