In-Laws Tell New Mom They All Had Flu Shot Before Visiting Baby. Then Sister-in-Law Lets Truth Slip

The parent of a new baby might say there’s no such thing as being too careful when it comes to keeping their child healthy. But for one mother of two, it didn’t matter how many precautions she took, as she was to find out her in-laws deceived her anyway— and possibly put her baby’s health at risk.

As Cafe Mom reports, MommyyyOfTwoo explained on the pregnancy forum What to Expect the safeguards she put in place ahead of the birth of her first child. The expecting mom asked everyone in her family to get their flu vaccine before the birth of her child.

She wrote the request was graciously received by her in-laws:

MIL [mother-in-law] told us it would be no problem since they “always” get their vaccines. A couple of weeks later SO [significant other] and I asked if everyone had a chance to vaccinate and they all said yeah. We didn’t think nothing of it.

When the baby was born MommyyyOfTwoo established additional guidelines for visiting:

Always wash hands before holding baby, don’t bother coming over if youre sick, and wear a small blanket over your clothes when holding LO [little one].

The mother admitted the small blanket was needed due to her mother- and sister-in-law’s heavy-handed application of perfume which caused her baby’s skin to break out. MommyyyOfTwoo noted:

They swore it was their “natural scent” but their “natural scent” magically disappeared once they got tired of following the blanket rule.

“Anyways,” she wrote, “LO [little one] never ended up getting sick.”

As time passed, MommyyyOfTwoo believed her family heeded her rules to be around the new baby, especially the requirement to get the flu vaccine. Then, during a conversation with her sister-in-law about her young child’s upcoming vaccinations, the truth slipped:

A few months go by and I’m casually talking to SIL [sister-in-law] about LO’s [little one’s] upcoming shots and she said “aww poor baby. I haven’t had shots since I was little!”

“I was very upset,” she wrote.

Now pregnant with her second child, MommyyyOfTwo wondered how to broach the subject of the flu vaccine knowing her family might agree to get vaccinated but never follow through. She wrote of her concern:

My sister has had 3 employees pass away within this past month just because of the flu. I know my baby will be born right after flu season is over but I would still like to take that extra precaution.

Having been seemingly deceived before, the mother revealed her plans to notify the family once again that they can’t be around the new baby unless they have their flu shot. This time, however, they’ll need to show proof of having received one:

I also want to ask for proof since they lied to us last time.

MommyyyOfTwo explained she had never let on to her significant other that his family allegedly lied, but given the circumstances, was fully planning to— although she worried he wouldn’t handle the situation as tactfully as she might. She asked:

I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions?

One commenter thought MommyyyOfTwoo was justified in wanting proof of a vaccine:

Personally I’m not a vaccine person, however I’d be furious if they lied about it. I honestly would have said something to your SIL right away. Just to offer a bit of the other side, this year’s flu vaccine was only 10% effective. There are many articles and news stories about it going around right now. I think you’re doing the right thing by enforcing the hand washing rule and not letting anyone who is sick come over. I’m glad to hear the baby’s not been sick! I would ask for proof of vaccine at least from sil since she lied.

Another claimed to be on the mom’s side, “big time”:

With the flu season as bad as at it i say be blunt. Send an email or whatever and say in no uncertain terms that the flu vaccine (and updates on others like whooping cough if you’re so inclined) are mandatory for anyone who wants to me LO once she’s born. Period. I’m with you on this one big time.

A fellow user shared a similar account of in-laws who claimed they received a flu vaccination but didn’t:

[M]y husbands entire side (MIL, FIL, BIL) are all anti- vac. I told them it was either the shot or them not holding my baby until she can have hers. Personally I don’t care to hurt an adults feelings on this topic.

MIL threw a hissy, posted Facebook articles that talked about why the flu shot is “bad”, etc. etc. I paid no attention and let her act like a child. Low and behold my husband shows me a text from her (that she sent to only him) with a picture of her shot saying “I love my girl.” I just laughed.

In my opinion, being passive aggressive toward the mother of the child is one of the silliest things you can do.

Thought the situation was over until I asked FIL if he had got his. He claimed he had gotten it months ago. Come to find out, he had gotten a tetanus shot because he hit his head with a rusty nail. I said nope that’s not at all what a TDaP includes.

Maybe I’m rough on the subject but whatever I can do to lessen the chances of my infant becoming ill- I’m going to do regardless of anyone else’s feelings. They are adults with coping skills if they really want to make a big fuss out of it.

One user, a nurse, gave the family the benefit of the doubt, writing in part:

Is it possible they didn’t lie and just meant they hadn’t had other types of vaccines since then? Or maybe got the flu mist instead of intramuscular injection?

She, too, had family members who refused to get vaccinated against the flu before handling her newborn:

Believe me, I’m a nurse, I’ve worked in neonatal, and I’m all for if you’ll be around baby get your flu shot, but you can’t make anyone get vaccinated. We had that issue with my ILs and they even accused us of trying to kill them because they are so anti flu vaccine (but they did get the pertussis for us).

We initially said that they couldn’t come around LO1 until after flu season and they were okay with it, but we ended up feeling guilty because as overbearing as they are, they aren’t bad people and don’t have ill intentions-they just genuinely don’t agree with the flu vaccine.

We ended up instead letting them visit in the hospital but not hold LO1, and then visit at home and hold him but they had to wash hands and wear a surgical mask since flu is spread airborne. They ended up not wanting to hold him very long anyway, but they did respect our choices with me being a nurse and explaining how you can be contagious with flu before ever showing symptoms.

We will have same rules this time (due end of Feb) except only grandparents and our siblings to visit until flu season over since it’s such a bad flu season.

In the end, one user thought it was best for MommyyyOfTwoo to let her partner address his family this time around:

I think you are smart taking precautions to protect your kids health and being their advocate. I also think it’s smart letting your husband take the lead (at least initially) and letting him handle his people and you handle yours.

“Good luck :)” the user wrote.

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