This mom wants all pregnant women to get a whooping cough vaccine
Pregnancy guidelines and recommendations change every day, so it can be kind of difficult to keep up, but one thing every woman should know is that they need a whooping cough vaccine. Whooping cough is potentially life-threatening for infants, but vaccines have made it largely preventable, and a new mom who unknowingly passed the illness on to her newborn is begging other women to get the shot.
In a video posted on the Gold Coast Health Facebook page, and Australian mother named Cormit is sharing her story of contracting whooping cough as a warning to other moms to please get vaccinated. Cormit describes herself as a “healthy, fit, organic woman” and says she balked when doctors offered her a pertussis vaccine during her 28th week of pregnancy. Then, right before she gave birth, she got sick and passed her illness on to her newborn. Here is her story:
'If I could turn back time I would protect myself.' Cormit's baby has contracted Whooping Cough. Watch this clip to hear the first-time mum bravely talk about her decision to opt out of vaccination during pregnancy and how hard it is now coping with her new baby being so unwell. For the facts on Immunisation go to http://bit.ly/1PJ6Cc0. #vaccinationmatters #immunisation #preventabledisease #GoldCoast #publichealth
Posted by Gold Coast Health on Monday, April 4, 2016
Cormit and her daughter, Eva, have now been in the hospital for over three weeks. She says at first she thought the illness was no big deal, but within a few weeks, Eva’s cough turned “horror movie” scary. Says Cormit, “[She was] coughing to the point of turning blue, flopping in my hands, can’t breathe, running to the hospital.” Eva was admitted to the ICU and Cormit says her slow, painful recovery has been “so hard to watch.”
More than anything, Cormit wants people to understand the reality of whooping cough and how they can protect themselves. “Even me, the bullet-proof lady that’s never been to a doctor, traveled the world, and felt healthy — I got whooping cough,” Says Cormit. “She [Eva] is into week four and every hour I’ve got to stay here, watch her going blue, give her oxygen, watch her cry, watch her having a hard time eating. She’s my only child and my first, and if I could turn back time I would’ve protected myself.”
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) recommends all pregnant women receive a whooping cough vaccine during the third trimester of each pregnancy. According to their recommendation, the shot helps your body create protective antibodies that are then passed on to your unborn baby. These antibodies are at their highest about two weeks after receiving the shot, and that’s why it’s best to get vaccinated late in pregnancy.
The CDC’s recommendation is fairly new, and that’s why a lot of women may not understand how important it is. When I had my first child in 2011, the recommendation was simply to get a pertussis vaccine after you gave birth. By the time I had my second child three years later, the recommendation had changed and doctors offered me the vaccine during my pregnancy. I remember thinking, “I just had one of these a few years ago. Do I really need this?”
The answer, for most doctors, is yes. According to the CDC, there’s no blood test that can determine if you have enough antibodies to protect yourself and your baby from whooping cough, so even if you’ve been vaccinated in the past, you and your baby could still be vulnerable. Of course, only a doctor can tell you for sure what you need and how to stay healthy, but when a whooping cough vaccine is offered, it’s worth an infant’s health to get the extra shot.