You are looking at: Home : Forum : Pregnancy

Swine Flu - Is it as bad as the media makes out?

16 messages
30/10/2009 at 07:09

Not sure if anyone will post here...but thought I'd give it a go.

Most parents and parents-to-be are worried about swine flu.  I would like to hear from anyone who has actually had it.  How did it affect you and your children? 

Perhaps you could share what (if anything) helped you to get through it?  Did Tamiflu help?  Did it cause any side effects? 

The media (as usual) has been quite alarmist and any real life feedback would be appreciated.

30/10/2009 at 07:23

Hi Loopy

Personally I think a lot of the hysteria with swine flu is media induced. I would be interested to know how many cases of 'normal' flu normally occur each year and how many deaths this results in. 

We get different strains of flu each year and this is just another one of these.

Thankfully I haven't caught swine flu (although I have never in my life had 'normal flu' either). A couple of friends have and as far as I can see it is just a bad bout of the flu, no-one I know has had any complications. 

Anyway that's my thoughts on swine flu. would be interesting to hear other's views. Perhaps my views would be different if I were pregnant just now but I suspect I would have the same opinion. 


30/10/2009 at 09:22

Hi Loopy

My hubby currently has the flu, could be swine flu but they cant say for definite. He is as ill as you would expect with full on flu, very achy, sneezing, coughing, very sleepy, headaches etc. He has been prescribed Tamiflu but he is feeling so rubbish he didnt feel like he could cope with the nausea and vomiting side effects on top of everything else so he isnt taking it. So far Charlie (nearly 7mths) and I are avoiding it, Charlie has a runny nose but hopefully thats all and I'm fine. We are sleeping seperately and making hubby hand gel his hands constantly to try and avoid passing it on

If either of us do get it I'll let you know


30/10/2009 at 10:16

Vid had swine flu a few months back, he was very poorly with it, sweating but feeling cold, really achey... but he said he felt worse when he started taking the tamiflu. I got flu several weeks later, and was prescribed Tamiflu but didn't take it and was fine within 3 days...

Libby has remained flu free.

04/11/2009 at 23:13

Hi Loopy, Jay and Owen on our thread have both had swine flu, they're feeling poop but okay, Owen was having tamilflu but Jay was managing without, there is a lot of hype about it but the main worry is this....... sorry to cause more ''worry'' but have to be aware!!

in the 1900's when the first wave of spanish flu hot the world, it was just that a bad flu in the next 10 years it evolved into something much more deverstating and swine flu poses the same threat that it will become far more deadly HOWEVER due to advances in medicine, improved diet and hygeine I don't think it will be the same  hope this helps, don't worry aout it hunny everyone react different and as Isaac is quite a smaal baby I understand why you'd be worried but the main risk to children like all infections is a high prolonged temperature, have a thermometer handy and all will be fine!! xxx

05/11/2009 at 13:47

Hi girls, just spotted this thread so thought I would comment

My son fell ill a couple of weeks ago, he went to school fine and 2 hours later I went to collect him he was drowsy, red hot, throwing up and coughing. I did the usual things for 2 days, calpol, lots of fluids etc until the cough was so bad he couldn't breathe, he was diagnosed over the phone and internet with Swine Flu, not sure if it was but we collected the Tamiflu, waited another day to be sure he needed it (poor guy) then he started it. He felt loads better after 3 doses of it and had no side effects. I kept him off school for a week although he was well enough to go back after 3 days. The cough has just gone a few weeks ago.

I was told that the swine flu itself is not dangerous as such it is the complications it can cause like a chest infections, pneumonia, dehydration ect

We managed not to catch it by not going near him as much, keeping Grace away from him and washing like mad every 5 mins!

Good luck and hope noone else gets it!

05/11/2009 at 14:07

Hi I had swine flu in July.

I have previously had normal flu and I didn't find it as bad, I was ill for over 2 weeks with the normal flu but only ill for just over 1 week with swine flu. My OH and 21 month old son kept away from me as much as possible and neither of them caught it.

I took Tamiflu and I think it did help a little with the symptoms but I found that I was confused and disorientated while I was taking it.


06/11/2009 at 20:36

hello, nice to hear from some of you who have had 'the pig lurgy'.

i have had flu a couple of weeks ago- swine or not i don't know but doc said it was 'probable' as i'd been in contact with other confirmed cases. i am pregnant, then i was about 27 weeks. i would agree it's like a bad case of the flu. being pregnant i took relenza rather than tamiflu and that helped a lot, no side effects and within a day or two of taking it i felt an improvement. i was ill for less than a week in total. my husband and 2 year old son were fine.

i am now unsure as to whether to have the vaccine - recommended for all pregnant women - as my midwife and doctor think i don't need it having had a course of antivirals but the nhs advice says to have it unless it's been confirmed. the more i try to find out and read about things the less sure i am of anything. suggestions please?? i am now 30 weeks pregnant.


06/11/2009 at 22:06

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments.  It's always good to hear from real people who have really experienced swine flu (or pig lurgy - I like that ).  I trained as a journalist and I know how much more interesting extreme stories are to the media.  I started out in journalism thinking I was going to make the world a better place and left feeling pretty disillusioned and a heck of a lot wiser!!!

Zo, I'm no expert, but if you and baby have already been exposed to swine flu...I'd be inclined not to go for the vaccine.  My decision is influenced by the fact you're in your third trimester and baby could be delivered relatively quickly with fewer complications should you contract a particularly nasty bout of flu.  Obviously it's not ideal to deliver early...but much better than if you were 20 weeks!  It really is, however, a personal choice and I wouldn't want to sway you either way. 

Good luck with the birth.  If button fancies hanging on till 20 January, he/she is welcome to share my birthday  

07/11/2009 at 09:02

hi loopy, thanks. i think i'm not going to bother as i am no more worried about swine flu than any other form of flu bug - of which i dealt with one or other ok the other week so i feel my immune system could do a pretty good job. i agree these things do get hyped up in the media to unnecessary proportions which doesn't help those of us who are affected or have to make decisions on it! i think it's the same with a lot of 'advice' on what to eat/not to eat etc when pregnant and i take all that with a pinch (well, probably a barrell full) of salt!! i got some good advice from all the due jan girls so am happy with my decision not to have the vaccine. 

20th of jan would be only 3 days late so i could do that... any more i'll be getting fed up i think!! Isaac was 9 days late and i don't fancy that again.  i can see you have good taste in names too

22/11/2009 at 00:12


My hubby's got suspected swine flu (think everyone's 'suspected' now if symptoms are severe, they don't bother testing anymore if the patient isn't in a risk group) and he really is very poorly. He's never even had a sick day before, but is now bedridden with a high temperature, chills, sweats, severe aches, sneezing and sore throat (think the only thing he's missing is the cough but then it is still early days). He's been taking tamiflu since this morning, his temp has gone down by half a degree but that could be due to the paracetamol. He's not had any side-effects from the tamiflu so far so has no regrets taking it.

Normal flu kills thousands every winter, but normally 'just' the elderly or risk groups such as those with serious medical conditions (I'm not saying that they don't matter, my inlaws and two close friends fall within the second category). My concern with swine flu is how it affects the young and healthy too - seems the elderly appear to have more of a resistance to it. I'm not letting our 13month old anywhere near hubby until he's asymptomatic, just want to do everything I can to minimise the risk of him getting ill (there's a lot of hand washing going on at the moment) and to be honest I dont want flu either! I agree the media have hyped it up, most people only experience mild symptoms after all, but then when most of us have had normal flu in the past we've not had antivirals and were just left to sweat it out, so maybe it's the tamiflu doing it's job? Both my inlaws have had confirmed swine flu a couple of months ago (they're both healthcare professionals), FIL was very ill for two weeks but MIL only had one day of feeling really poorly follwed by a persistant cough that lasted for weeks.

If I was to fall pregnant now I would probably have the vacine, but if I had been exposed to it already and was quite far along I would probably have to think about it a lot longer - not an easy decision to make when there are so many scares about what you can and can't take in pregnancy.

Good luck and stay healthy xx

23/11/2009 at 18:41
Hi all, thought I’d add my two penneth worth…

Of course the UK media has exaggerated the issue, it makes for good copy! If you look at Australia for instance they just quietly got on with dealing with a serious issue and left the histrionics for us Pomms! As I live in Egypt I’m removed from the daily drama being played out on daytime TV shows and the tabloid press; I read the news on the internet and ONLY look at what interests me. I don’t have to pass the news stands everyday with their screaming headlines; it was a different story during the summer when I was back home though – I was fed up of hearing about it every day.

In my humble opinion (and I’m no Doctor) this flu is worse than the normal seasonal flu due to those it’s affecting most. It’s not normal for the age groups this flu is killing to die from ‘seasonal’ flu. I’m 25 weeks pregnant and will be taking the vaccine when I get back to the UK in December, my 18 month old son will also have it when offered. The seasonal flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women (according to my OBGYN) and the only additional risk with this swine flu vaccine is that eggs were used in its development. As my son and I are not allergic to eggs I see no reason to run the risk of leaving my son(s) motherless, or worse, me childless!

The way I see it, if you vaccinate yourself and your kids against polio, tetanus etc, why not a potentially life threatening flu virus? I hope whatever you decide to do you stay healthy and happy and free of the pig lurgy!

Bev xx
25/11/2009 at 08:38

Oooo Bev, what are you up to in Egypt?  Are your family with you?  I'm sure the weather is much nicer over there at the moment - not too hot, not too cold!

Sorry, off on a bit of a tangent.  Thanks for your thoughts on swine flu.  I hear they plan to vaccinate children under five some time in the new year.  Isaac will be having it as he should be going to nursery.  I'm fortunate to have been offered the vaccine (somewhat unexpectedly as my asthma is only mild)...I will be jabbed in December!  I don't want to be the one to bring swine flu into the home if I can help it.

25/11/2009 at 09:08

hiya loopy

i dont know what to do re giving the jab to leeland, im in two minds, one part of me wants him to have the vaccine but then on the other hand there hasnt been testing etc on the vaccine!!! what to do what to do?

my husband will be having the jab maybe ill just see how he goes with it lololol (hes a diabetic) ill be the only one that hasnt been offered!

leeland has been so ill so far with various colds, chicken pox and other stupid virus's (currently has another bloody cold hes had for over a week!) i think if i didnt give him the jab and he did get swine flu i would never forgive myself!!!

nicole and leeland (8months old)

25/11/2009 at 09:37

Hi all

This whole swine flu thing is very worrying isn't it?

I have been trying to look at it logically, and the fact is swine flu hasn't actually been fatal to anymore people than normal flu. The normal flu kills many every winter, it's just not thrust in to the media as much. You do wonder how much is down to the media scare-mongering and does it seem a lot more scary as they have stuck the word 'swine' in front of it?

Regarding the vaccine, i really wish there was more inbiased info on it (i have started a thread on this). My little girl is 8 months old and in nursery. so chances of her catching it are slightly higher... at the moment i guess i'm putting my faith in our medical system and THINk i'm going to let her have it. I would never forgive myself if she got swine flu and suffered complications. It was on the news the other day and they're sayig that the risk of complications with the vaccine is very rare, yet many are developing serious complications when suffering from swine flu. Plus they do say the winter will bring a stronger strain of the virus, so i'm thinking the jab may be worthwhile, as i said though i wish it had been tested more and there was more info...

Also found this on swine flu in children, and it suggests that many may have had it and we may not have known as the symptoms are so varied. There is no doubt it is a nast virus, but i do wonder if the media have scared us in to thinking it's worse than it actually is.

Sorry i have really rambled!


25/11/2009 at 11:26
Hi Loopy - in Egypt with my hubby's job. No other family here which isn't great, my folks in the UK and my hubby's Canadian so his family are even further away. Though they can come a visit and you're right the weather is lovely here, warm 24/25 in the sun and cool nights, so we're quite popular! Anyway I think vaccinating young children is the right thing to do, the normal flu vaccine has been in use for years and the swine flu vaccine is just a variation of that. I want Benjamin to start nursery here next year so I'll deffo be having him vaccinated!

Good luck with your decisions ladies, and remember sometimes too much info is NOT a good thing! I think we have to rely on our health service professionals rather than the internet which can be VERY dangerous!

Bev x
First Name:
Last Name:
Security Image:
Enter the code shown:

I agree to the site's Terms and Conditions & Code of Conduct:
email image
16 messages
Sign me up!
What is the MadeForMums network?

Tell me about...
Practical Parenting

Take a peek inside this month's magazine
FREE Baby Flannel plus FREE Thomas and Friends book
Find your nearest stockist here