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If You're Pregnant, Read This Before Listening to the FDA

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Don't eat sushi.

Stay away from foreign cheeses.

Be careful with lunch meat.

Limit your caffeine.

No alcohol whatsoever.

While pregnant, us mamas receive many health tips aimed to keep us and our babies safe. It makes sense. There are risks out there and our care providers want us to be proactive in making wise choices during a delicate time. After all, we're responsible for the health of two people!

Throughout my three pregnancies I've done the best I can to follow all these recommendations. Honestly, pregnancy has taught me to really amp up my health related decisions. I've never taken more vitamins/supplements or eaten healthier. I listen to my body about the rest it needs and commit to exercises I would have normally baulked at. There is just something about growing a baby that motivates me to take the best care of my body.

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So, while avoiding fancy cheese and my beloved margaritas, I was surprised, really, shocked and appalled, to hear that the FDA is recommending intravenous injections during pregnancy and they have plans for more and more right around the corner.

That's right, vaccines during pregnancy. Even though every vaccine insert I have ever read specifically says there are no long-term safety tests or data available for effects on pregnant moms and their unborn children. I'm skeptical to say the least. Especially in the wake of the Zofran lawsuit which linked the commonly prescribed anti-nausea medication to birth defects.

But until there are some long-term studies with favorable results, you can bet that I'll be passing on the FDA's recommendations.

It's apparent the FDA has a poor track record of fast-tracking drugs and vaccination that are meant to do good, but in the end, after sending their money-making recommendations into a larger pool, do great harm. And at no significant cost to them. The harm comes to you, and me, and our precious children.

Barbara Loe Fischer, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center said, "This maternal vaccination policy is a violation of the precautionary principle to 'first, do no harm,' and it is of grave concern to women having babies in America, especially pregnant health care workers." She goes on to say in regard to the flu to Tdap recommendation, "There have been no well designed prospective, long-term case controlled studies enrolling large groups of American women who get influenza and Tdap vaccines during pregnancy and comparing their health and the viability of their fetuses and newborns to women who do not get vaccinated."

And the FDA isn't stopping there. More recommendations are coming for pregnant women. Next up, RSV and group strep B. Soon, it seems, every appointment will be paired with an injection recommendation. And really, if they can prove through unbiased studies that we're all better off because of them, wonderful! But the data just isn't there. Not yet.

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However the earning potential is there and I fear that is what's behind this fast-tracking. Think about it: if every single pregnant mom received one, two, three, or more vaccines throughout her pregnancy, that's big money! But until there are some long-term studies with favorable results, you can bet that I'll be passing on the FDA's recommendations.

Tdap is commonly recommended for pregnant moms to boost her immunity and then pass it on to baby to combat the potential of contracting whooping cough. But rather than make surefire safety net for our babies, it seems the vaccine might be causing a wave of its own problems. And even doctors seem wary of unnecessary vaccines. In fact, over half of doctors don't even get the flu shot they often recommend to their own patients.

"Maternal vaccination policy has preceded vaccine safety science," said Fischer, and I couldn't agree more. Be warned, fellow pregnant moms, the FDA is making recommendations that may not be in your best interest. It's a convoluted world where money speaks and questions are quelled. Do your own research and determine if a vaccine full of various ingredients and questionable preservatives is best for your health and your baby's fragile, developing body.

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