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Leaning towards not vaccinating, is it very risky? Will our lifestyle have to change?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Hi I have a 2 year old who was vaccinated until 18 months and currently 35 weeks pregnant with my second. I have been researching a lot lately about whether or not to vaccinate, and I really am interested in how risky it actually is to not vaccinate. I do NOT trust what my doctor says, since most people he deals with are vaccinated. Will I have to shelter my child more (ie homeschool, avoid playgrounds etc.) if I do not vaccinate? Is it a huge daily risk if we like to go to different places all the time (locally) and occasionally go on vacation?

post #2 of 30

I don't know any non-vaxing families who shelter their non-vaxed children.  My kids are totally unvaxed and we go and do everything we would otherwise.  We do homeschool but that is an education decision not a health decision.  I would be perfectly comfortable health-wise with my kids in school.

post #3 of 30
Our 2yo is currently unvaxed ( but will probably end up having some later). We havent changed our lifestyle at all because of it. We go to playgrounds and play groups (mix of vaxed and unvaxed kids around her age) and have flown four times with her as well as doing some weekend trips.

We don't intend to homeschool at this stage.

I personally don't consider not vaxxing to be a hugely risky choice for us, but it's hard to quantify and depends on lots of individual factors. There are some things which, had they been factors for us, would have IMO increased the risk for us and may have resulted in us making different decisions.
post #4 of 30

I know lots of people who don't vax, and none of them shelter their kids (health-wise) anyway..  Many do homeschool, but that isn't related to the vax decision at all.

 

IMO, if you are going to not-vax, you can't live in fear of VPD.  Part of the research in vaxes involves researching the disease, the risk of acquiring it , the risk of complication and the best way to treat..
 

post #5 of 30
I have a 3 y/o and am about to have a newborn. We have not to date done a single vaccine. We travel a lot, my 3 y/o has probably gone on 10 plane flights (including one international) and many many road trips. We are actually 3000 miles away from home right now smile.gif

She has always gone to playgroups, playgrounds, open gymnastics, etc. We do take common sense precautions (like wash her hands before she eats) but I can't see any difference between the way she is raised non vaxxed then if she was fully vaxxed with the one exception of that I probably do pay more attention to wound care, but I don't see that as a negative thing.

We are not planning to homeschool her, she will be starting a Waldorf preschool in a few months.
I would suggest reading about each VPD by itself and then thinking about how you feel about your decision. You don't have to be 100% non vaccinating or fully on schedule. You can choose many options, selective, delayed, only do one vax, etc....
post #6 of 30
We chose to selectively vax and have not made any decisions differently. Both my boys have been in child care as infants; we regularly go to parks, libraries, playdates, indoor playgrounds. etc. As a pp said, vaxes don't have to be all or nothing and you certainly have many more resources than just your dr. You should carefully research each disease and then make your decision. You need to be very comfortable with your decision.


The only "lifestyle" choice that influenced my vax decisions was extended exclusive breastfeeding. We don't travel outside of the US, but if we did that would also influence my choices.
post #7 of 30
Anecdotally we have 5 unvaxxed kids, 12yo to 3yo, with zero vpds. There are lots of ways to reduce risk of disease include full-term breastfeeding, good hygiene, and a clean diet. Also know your diseases. Some are worse than others and may require more attentiveness. We do homeschool but they are not isolated by any means. If we hear of an outbreak close by we might choose to avoid that area temporarily.
post #8 of 30
Both of my boys are not vaxed, and quite honestly, I think they are better for it. I am very comfortable and happy with my decision, and even if it takes you a bit, I hope you will be as well. smile.gif

Lifestyle changes: just breast feeding for as long as I'm able, but I would be doing that regardless. My babies are cared for at my house, so that takes away any worry about virus/bacteria they might pick up at daycare. (Which I would probably worry about a bit.)

Honestly, when I first decided, I was a bit nervous. I kept my oldest a little sheltered. Now? My youngest is not limited in any way, there is nothing I would NOT choose to do because they don't have any vaccinations.

2 years later, I almost feel nervous for the vaccinated children! I guess I think they now have toxins that were injected into their systems that they now have to overcome. I see my babies as pure, blank slates. Now the focus is on working with their immune system and strengthing it, to overcome anything they might encounter, big or small.

Good luck in your decision!! It's a hard one, I know
post #9 of 30

My 15 month old son is not vaxxed and is far from sheltered. The only lifestyle "change" I've made (I wouldn't even call it that) is breastfeeding him for as long as possible...he still nurses 6+ times a day :) We wash his hands before meals and when we get home from public places (malls, parks, etc) and we make sure to feed him a pretty nutritious diet...lots of veggies and fruits. From everything I've read I think it actually is more harmful to shelter an unvaxxed child because it doesn't develop their immune system properly so they can fight off anything they may get :)

post #10 of 30

It's probably not that risky because vaccination rates among the rest of the population remain so high that it's unlikely you will be exposed to many of the diseases. 

post #11 of 30

we started vaccinating my son, then stepped back from all vaccines for my next 3 kids.  We travel (my son did 35 different flights his first 3 years of life), go to playgrounds, libraries, sunday school (various churches as my husband is in ministry), and are actually far less scared of all diseases, VPD or just colds, than most of my vaccinating friends.  As a non-vaxxing mom, it's important for me to not vax and then choose to expose them to viruses and bacteria in the belief that their immune systems will process it well if they are healthy and well.  Even in our community, colds, flus, we don't try to avoid.  But we don't usually catch much.  We're homeschooling for educational reasons (my son is in first grade and is a math whiz, but he's got a unique learning style), but i'm not scared of sending my kids in to any place they might be exposed to disease.

 

Honestly, my biggest worry is that they'll make it to adulthood without any exposure to VPD and then be more at risk for complications if they do get it.  I would rather find a way to naturally expose them and have their bodies develop natural immunity rather than never be exposed.  

 

My family has a strong history of autoimmune disorders, my husband's has a mix of allergies, autoimmune and other issues.  I have a very confident parenting style and make many decisions for my family's health and assume those risks without fear.  If a mother is struggling with fear, then she needs to really address what she's scared of and the best way to face it.  I don't tell any other parent's to make the choices I make, or to assume those risks without attaining a true sense of peace.  If that means vaccinating, then do so.  But if it means raw milk, non-vaxxing, homebirthing, fluoride-free and farming lifestyle, then go to whatever really puts you at peace.  

 

lots of good answers above.  though i think prosciencemom's attitude is not what most of us non-vaxxing moms would ever consider a good reason to not vaxx.  

post #12 of 30

HouseofPeace makes a good point about not gaining any immunity because of no natural exposure. If you are then exposed as an adult and catch the disease then that could indeed add a lot of risk. Many VPD do seem a lot more severe in adults than in children. Interesting point. 

post #13 of 30

Our lives are not any different from not vaccinating. Well actually, our lives are better, because my kids have zero chronic health problems. We do not do any "sheltering." In fact, in some cases, we do the opposite of "sheltering." For example, my kids have attended chickenpox parties. If I had an opportunity to expose them to measles during childhood, I would. But I would first make sure their bodies had a good reserve of vitamin A.

 

We do other healthy things for our kids, but it has nothing to do with not vaccinating. For example, we never lower fever, we completely avoid Tylenol, we try to avoid high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial colors and flavors, etc. I buy organic at the grocery store, but we also eat out a lot, and I don't worry about that. We give probiotics and vitamin D when we think of it.

 

I breastfed for 2 years, but again, that had nothing to do do with our vaccine decision.

 

I don't worry about washing hands except after going to the bathroom (#2). bag.gif sulkoff.gif And the only time I use soap for washing hands is at home, because I can't stand the smell of most soaps, and I also want to avoid triclosan. My kids were taught to use soap in kindergarten, so they do what they want.

post #14 of 30

I agree. go on live your lives. Take normal precautions and eat well and avoid yucky chemicals. I don't think your lifestyle needs to change because you don't vaccinate. 

post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

. Well actually, our lives are better, because my kids have zero chronic health problems. 

 

My fully vaxxed kids also have zero chronic health problems. Same with me (I even have the swine flu vaccine while pregnant). What does that prove? 

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

 

My fully vaxxed kids also have zero chronic health problems. Same with me (I even have the swine flu vaccine while pregnant). What does that prove? 

 

I'm glad to hear that. So I guess your daughter's cough did not turn out to be asthma? But if your kids don't have any chronic health problems, they are in the minority (or at least they would be in the United States). "An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included" http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876285910002500 And of course the percentage is higher than 54.1%, because the study did not cover every chronic health problem that exists.

post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

My fully vaxxed kids also have zero chronic health problems. Same with me (I even have the swine flu vaccine while pregnant). What does that prove? 

I think she was just sharing, instead of trying to prove something.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

 

 they are in the minority (or at least they would be in the United States). "An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included" 

 

So 57% of children in the US have no chronic health conditions, and 46% of high risk children have no chronic conditions.

 

I wonder if this is a matter of definition and/or over diagnosis. 

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

 

 they are in the minority (or at least they would be in the United States). "An estimated 43% of US children (32 million) currently have at least 1 of 20 chronic health conditions assessed, increasing to 54.1% when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included" 

 

So 57% of children in the US have no chronic health conditions, and 46% of high risk children have no chronic conditions.

 

I wonder if this is a matter of definition and/or over diagnosis. 

What a spin. So its a good thing that a whooping 57% of US children aren't chronically ill. Personally, I think it is mind blowing that the US have so many sick kids, I doubt it is over diagnosis, sick is sick, unless the US has an alarming epidemic of munchausen by proxy in the population.

post #20 of 30

"when overweight, obesity, or being at risk for developmental delays are included" (as they should be), 45.9% of U.S. children don't have one of the chronic health conditions included in the study. That is a minority. And of course not all chronic health conditions were included in the study.

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