The whooping cough vaccine, or the Tdap, hurts like hell. First there’s that sting as it goes into the muscle, then you are left with a sore arm for a couple of days. If you are anything like the super sensitive me, you will have a completely useless arm for a week. That’s what happens every time I have had to get this vaccine.
When I found out it was recommended for all pregnant women, I was really left with no choice but to get. I wanted to protect my unborn baby and myself and I was ticked off, like swearing mad. There was no way I could live without my arm for a week, but what could I do? I decided to do some experimenting after I received my shot, in hopes that I could ease some of the pain, and it worked! I had very minimal soreness, yay! Keep reading to find out how you can minimize the pain for your whooping cough vaccine…
Don’t plan for the shot, then you will get yourself worked up and stressed out. I didn’t make an appointment to get the shot, I actually wasn’t sure my OB even gave the shot. I went in for a routine appointment and on my way out I asked if they gave the vaccine and sure enough they did. There wasn’t enough time to build anxiety and tension in my muscles.
I did have about 10 minutes between mentioning the shot and actually getting it and those 10 minutes were very tense. When the nurse was ready I asked if I could go into a room and lay down. I grabbed some tissues, lied down, closed my eyes, and took deep breaths.
It hurt going in, but I kept myself as relaxed as possible. Afterwards, I moved my arm in a circular motion, then up and down and basically all around. Once I got home I made sure to keep using the arm so I decided to make mini chocolate-coated caramel apples. This was great for getting my muscles working and for making yourself a nice treat. (I say yourself, because I cannot eat the caramel apples due to gestational diabetes.)
Once I was finished with the apples, I did some more arm exercises; lifting my arm over my head, more circles, fake lifting weights, just about anything that really got my arm muscle working and moving. I worked through the soreness that was coming on.
By the time evening came around, I could tell that that soreness was easing up. I got a hot compress and placed it on my arm and massaged it a bit to help the healing along.
I traded 15 minutes of warm compress followed by 15 minutes of massaging and movement. Then I went to bed, practically on an incline, sitting up out of fear that I would roll over in the night onto an extremely sore arm and not sleep. (This happened the last time that I got the vaccine.)
The next morning I woke up and my arm was almost completely free of pain. I didn’t want that soreness creeping back in so I continued with the exercise and warm compress off and on throughout the day and the minimal soreness I did have completely went away.
Now you can get your vaccine without the fear of all that pain and soreness. Awesome, right?
Disclaimer: This is based off my personal experience and what worked for me. You should also discuss the side-effects of the vaccine with your doctor and ask their advice.
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