PERTUSSIS / WHOOPING COUGH PROTECTION
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious respiratory disease. It’s caused by the Bordetella (B.) pertussis bacterium that attaches to the cilia (tiny, hair-like extensions) lining part of the upper respiratory tract, causing increased inflammation, and resulting in thick mucus production, difficult for young babies to expel.
Vaccinating pregnant women with the DTaP vaccine has become recommended by many obstetricians. The assumption is that doing so will protect the baby in some way, although this has never been confirmed, studied, or even tested with pregnant populations. It’s also curious that less than a decade ago, pregnant women were advised not to drink alcohol, take aspirin (or any over-the-counter drugs at all), restrict exposure to all cleaning supplies, not to paint the nursery due to fumes, and not to even clean the kitty litter box.
Also recommended, to the shock of many grandparents, is that everyone in contact with a new baby receives multiple vaccines, creating something called “cocooning.” Cocooning is a vaccination strategy coined by the Centers for Disease Control in 2006. According to the CDC, by vaccinating parents grandparents and relatives in contact with a neonate, a pool of persons is established around the newborn protected from getting whooping cough, and passing it on to the infant, thereby creating a “cocoon” of protection around the newborn. While it all sounds very cozy, the reality is not so simple.