How/what did you decide?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I put this on this board rather than vaccinations, because I would really like to hear from those of you went on both sides of this issue. It's not so much information on vaccinations that I'm looking for as much as HOW you came to a decision, either way. I thought I may get more answers over here.

DS has his two month check-up tomorrow and I'm so torn about what to do about the whole vaccination thing. I feel sick to my stomach every time I think about it, like whatever we decide I'm putting my son at risk. We had been plannign on putting off all vaccinations for at least a year, but then I started reading up more about them (bought the Mothering vaccinations book), and the one that is now bothering me the most is the DTP. It seems to be one of the most dangerous shots, but Pertussis also seems to be one of the most dangerous diseases.

Right now it is summer, and DS is home with me and I'm not worrying too much about him getting pertussis now. However, in September I have to go back to work and he will be in daycare three days a week. I worry then that his risk will go up, not only from the day care, but from where I teach. I work at a school that is high poverty (80%) and with a high immigrant population (we're talking kids who have been in the US from a few years to a few weeks). Hygiene is a big issue (or the lack of it). I worry about what I may bring home from school. I also worry that if we did not vax, and he did get Pertussis, that it could be extra dangerous to him in case he inherited my bad set of lungs (asthma, chronic bronchitis, croup.....my parents spent a lot of time sleeping on my bedroom floor as a child due to my illnesses, although I was vaxed. I never had Pertussis). These are my reasons for thinking that we should.

But then, I read about all the possible reactions and look at my tiny, beautiful son and think, how can I give him these shots fully knowing what could happen?? We will discuss this more with our doc tomorrow. We love her and trust her but still......

How did all of you come to your decision AND make peace with it?
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#2 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 04:00 PM
 
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Becca, it is a lot of responsibility, isn't it. I just took my DD to her 2 month visit a few days ago, and I am still mulling over what to do. I definitely think it is a decision worth taking your time over; wait until you are really certain, and don't do anything just because it's 2 months. It's important to be sure!
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#3 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 04:45 PM
 
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dd got all her shots at her 2 and 4 month check ups. At that time I didn't know we had a choice. I thought they were necessary.

I met someone at LLL and she selectively vaxes. It opened my eyes. I hated giving her shots and always doubted the way they were done. Such a small child being given 4 shots at once! It seems ridiculous to me.
So we stopped there. I figured I'd hold off until I could do some reading. I did the reading and now she's not getting any shots.

There are just too many unknowns. We don't know how in the long run they will affect our children. There are so many toxic chemicals in vaxes I don't know how they ever got approved in the first place.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#4 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 06:52 PM
 
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One mama on this board posted that when weighing the risks and benefits, she looks at the disease pre-vaccince. How many cases a year pre-vaccine, how many deaths and deformities pre-vaccince vs. the risks and side effect of the vaccine. That way you are not basing your decision on the fact that 80% (or whatever) of other parents will, without knowing better, expose thier kids to the vaccine.

Her post really struck a nerve with me. It does seem unfair to let herd immunity lover the disease rate, allowing us to exempt our kids based on the lower disease rate. (If no one vaccinated thier kids, the disease rate would be a lot higher).

The problem is, of coruse, how difficult it is to get real, unbiased information on the vaccines and on the diseases.

It is the parenting hardest decision I will make (everything else seems like a no-brainer - yes breast feed, no CIO). So good luck with your decision. I know you'll do what is best for your child based on teh information available.
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#5 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 07:19 PM
 
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heh. at 10 mos, I am still agonizing and so have done nothing. *don't* feel pressured to do something -- you can always vaccinate later, but you can't un-vaccinate. I really liked the Aviva Jill Romm book on vacc -- I forget the title. It was well written, balanced and gave info on each vacc as well as each of the diseases targeted by vacc -- helped me to think about what diseases I felt like I could manage if ds did somehow catch and which ones I really couldn't.

I think we will eventually do DPT, for the D and T, mostly. Polio, probably not, MMR still not sure, chicken pox, no, he can decide for himself as an adult if he doesn't catch it as a child, Hib, I dont' know, Hep B, again, I'll probably let him decide as an adult.

Then again, I want to take him to the UK to visit my granny, and with traveling, I may want more vaccs sooner. I don't know. Urg. It is a terrible decision to make.

Thanks for starting this thread. I wish the Vacc board was a little more open to those of us who will do selective and/or delayed vacc.
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#6 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 08:58 PM
 
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Well I was fully planning on vaccinating until my little son was born. Then I just felt wrong somehow giving him something I didn't know a lot about. Just knowing what is in the vaccinations, regardless of possible reactions, led me to my decision not to vaccinate. How can it be right to inject such toxic chemicals directly into a child's bloodstream. My parents have both had all the diseases that people vaccinate against. My mother had pertussis at 3 weeks of age, and they are both fine. My children are just now as we speak getting over chicken pox and they are fine (29 months and 7 months). I could never wilingly inject something into my child which could/will lead to SIDS, autism, diabetes, childhood cancers, neurological disorders, immune disorders. I am a strong beleiver that the rise in all these diseases is due to vaccines and also if you do your research you fill find the decline in the vaccinable diseases started in great part before vaccinations were introduced mostly due to clean living conditions and better medical facilities. The choice is up to you but do not do anything until you are sure.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#7 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 09:19 PM
 
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I went with my instinct. It told me that there was something very, very wrong about vaccination and I knew deep down inside that while I could forgive myself if my child got sick, I could NEVER forgive myself if something happened to my child because I allowed someone to stick a needle full of toxins into their body.

So I let my instinct lead the way and did heaps of research into it and basically so far I've encountered lies, propoganda and HEAPS of pressure from those who stand to make money from killing or damaging children for the "greater good". That just set off more warning bells with my instinct.

Way I figure it, if i give my chilren the best start with their life and a healthy immune system, they will be able to get sick (which is natural) and get better (which is also natural too given that the process isn't interfered with).

Good luck and go with your instinct. A mothers instinct is never wrong!
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#8 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 10:07 PM
 
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Definately do the research. It's so hard to find unbiased information, but after reading both sides of the debate, you should be able to come to your own conclusion.

I decided at first to wait to vax, now (after more research) I've decided not to vax at all. My son is 12 months and has never been sick. It might have to do with genetics and definately the fact that we breastfeed and emotionally support him in positive ways, but I can't help but look at the research I found and know in my heart that it's also because his immune system has never been compromised. This makes me feel good about my decision. I'm not at all comfortable with the process of vaccinating, nor am I convinced, based on history, that vaccinating has been responsible for eliminating certain diseases. I am convinced that our quality of life has gone down because of vaxing and I really want my son to have the best quality of life now, and as he gets older.

Since vaccines don't guarantee immunity, this also made me feel good about our decision.

What also helped me make a decision was that I had to ask myself if I was afraid of the vaccine, or afraid of the disease. Since I'm not afraid of the diseases (knowing there is treatment and comfort measures for them and some guarantee immunity after acquiring them) I came to the conclusion that the risks of vaccinating were not worth it to us. I know I'm not the type of parent who runs to the doctor for a low grade fever or a runny nose (so far all we've had to deal with is teething, this hasn't been an issue) I'm comfortable not vaccinating and being knowledgeable about each disease and how to treat it safely without using offensive measures, like vaxing.

Good luck and I hope you find all the information you need to make your decision!
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#9 of 24 Old 06-09-2003, 11:38 PM
 
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I heard once about some danger of having an unvaccinated baby swim in a pool with vaccinated babies... Anyone know anything about this?
(Kathrynn is 5 1/2 mo, and i am not planning on doing anything until after a year. And then I still might not do anything.)
Lisa
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#10 of 24 Old 06-10-2003, 01:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by CK'sMama
. Plus I would love for him to catch MM&R and CP naturally.
The Mumps are the only disease that I truely worry about. I had them as a child and they spread to a boy in our neighbor hood. He can never have children now. It's not fatal, but it certainly can be life altering. I AM NOT SAYING THAT I THINK YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR SON VAXED AGAINST THIS. I am just saying that it's really the only one I am worried about. We are on a delayed schedule that my ped agreed to! She actually praised me on doing my homework and being so very concerned about my son's health and his tiny body. I know that eventually I will have to let him have certain vaxs because he will attend public school, but I don't see the need in vaxing an infant against a disease whose #1 method of spreading is through sexual contact: . I do agree with the above poster....I want my child to catch CP natually. The vaxination doesn't keep a child from catching this illness, it keeps them from catching a full blown case. Your body will not build a natural immunity UNLESS you catch a full blown case, so what are the benefits exactly???:

Good Luck in whatever decision you make!
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#11 of 24 Old 06-10-2003, 01:15 AM
 
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>>>>>I went with my instinct. It told me that there was something very, very wrong about vaccination and I knew deep down inside that while I could forgive myself if my child got sick, I could NEVER forgive myself if something happened to my child because I allowed someone to stick a needle full of toxins into their body.


This is basically how I made my decision. Have you been to the Dr. Sears web site (www.askdrsears.com) ? It has a very factual, unbiased (IMO) section on vax'es. It eased my mind a lot. Also, most of them are really only about the first year of life. You are planning on continuing BF'ing right? IMO, your situation is a little more tough given your plans..meaning you're returning to work, etc. (This is not meant as a slam, BTW!!) In my situation, I felt very secure about not vax'ing cuz I was staying home, exclusively BF'ing, etc. I am not sure what I would do in your situation. Maybe selective vax? Not sure. There are also homeopathic versions of vax's? Maybe that'd be a compromise? That's a tough one, but I'd just say follow your gut and realize you are probably not ever going to feel completely comfortable/guilt-free no matter what. But such is motherhood! <sigh> You will make the right decision....
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#12 of 24 Old 06-10-2003, 09:19 AM
 
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All I can say is that you should be absolutely sure that you want to vax. before you do it. You can never un-do it, while you can easily vax later if you change your mind and decide you want to. I went to the boys' two month check-up not planning on vaxing, but I was unsure about what my long-term plans were. I thought I probably did want them to have some vaccines eventually. But I just hadn't done enough research yet. Well, I told the doctor this, and somehow got scared into giving them the menningitis vaccines (my older sister had menningitis as a baby and almost died, and has lasting damage from the disease). The babies *screamed* like never before when they got the shots, and continued to scream on and off for the next couple of days. It was horrible. I felt terrible. They were these pure little bodies and I put all sorts of horrible stuff into them. Dp and I were both crying the night of the shots, and decided that we won't give them anymore shots until they are at least a year old and we have done a lot more research. We've also switched pediatricians.

Consequently, when I told my sister that I gave them the menningitis vaccines because I was thinking of her, she said, "What?! I've just pretty much been convinced that I got menningitis from the polio vaccine!"

So, I'd say to hold off on any vaccines at two months since it seems you are still unsure, and you don't have enough time to really come to a solid decision before your appointment.

Good luck!

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#13 of 24 Old 06-10-2003, 09:25 AM
 
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T

Lex, you have such handsome boys (or, as I would say WITHOUT dh around....such beautiful babies!!)
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#14 of 24 Old 06-10-2003, 03:50 PM
 
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I also agonized over the pertussis vaccine for the same reasons you did - horrible history of vaccine reaction, horrible disease in infants under one year. We decided against because I stay at home with dd, so her risk of contracting is very low.

You're on the right track thinking of weighing risk of vaccine against risk of disease. I suggest you get a copy of "The Vaccine Guide" by Randall Neustaedter. It's an updated version of his "The Immunization Decision". I found it to be much more "readable" than the Mothering guide (I got lost and confused by that one).

Good luck! You can always hold off til the end of the summer if you choose to vaccinate. You can also try to find a single vaccine, and one without mercury. Be insistent that you get all the information about the lot, contents, etc. on whatever is in that needle!
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#15 of 24 Old 06-10-2003, 05:23 PM
 
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I agree that you need to do the research and be SURE of your decision. You can't not vax later.

OK- This said, I also went with my instincts and had Goo vax'd. She'll get all of her shots. A mother's instincts is never wrong FOR HER. (meaning that the other mom who's instincts told her to not vax made the right choice for her).
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#16 of 24 Old 06-11-2003, 09:06 PM
 
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My Bradley teacher (to whom I am forever greatful!) mentioned the Hepititus B vax they try to give at the hospital sometimes and the mercury in it. I thought, "well, what the heck are they putting in the other ones?" So I did a bunch of research. I read "What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You about Vaccines" and found it really helpful.

I believe that vax's are dangerous and we don't know everything about them by a long shot. But I also think that they do some good (not the 8th wonder of the world as some doctors say, but some good). I know the second thought is very debatable, but it's the conclusion I came to. With those two beliefs, I decided that DS will get some shots, but on my schedule. We didn't start until he was 6mo and had more of an immune system, and he only got IPV and Hib. At 7mo, he got DTaP. But DH came home with a flu from him coworkers and we had the worst time with it! For two weeks, DS hasn't been up to par. I think next time it'll just be DT - two diseases are enough to fight at once. DS isn't in day care so his chances of contracting the diseases are pretty low. Hep B I'll start when he's 4, before school. MMR, CP, and any others they come out with he won't be getting.

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#17 of 24 Old 06-11-2003, 11:36 PM
 
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DDs well baby checkup is next week. I still don't know what I want to do and I also feel sick to my stomach every time I think about it. I too am most worried about DTaP, but feel pertussis is the most worrisome disease as well.

What have I been doing? Reading reading and more reading. I've read 'What your doctor may not tell you about your child's vaccines' or something like that and another book by ******. I've read over all the vax info the doctor gave us (a little book put out by the state)

I've been looking up research and studies on the National Library of Medicine's PubMed http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ You can't read most articles without paying, but you can see the excerpt which tells you a lot.

I've read through the CDC's site as well: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/ - I am not happy with the way the data is presented, not as research but as facts and scare tactics, but I feel I need to be intimately familiar with both sides.

We will not be getting her vaccinations for sure at this checkup since the next day we are getting on a plane. I will not be travelling if she has a serious reaction, etc. I am hoping by the time we get back I will know what I want to do.

At this point I'm leaning toward delaying HepB and IPV until just before she enters school (she won't be going to day care), getting the DTaP and HiB now, but not at the same time, with a greater interval between doses. I will delay the PPV (Prevnar) - its too new in my opinion and I don't know what we'll do about MMR or Varicella, but we have time on those. So right now we are vacillating between a delayed schedule like I mention above and not vaccinating at all.

I almost wish I could be one of those people who just blindingly trust what they are told by peds and the government. I have to jump off the cliff either way, but I just had to rip off the blindfold didn't I?
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#18 of 24 Old 06-12-2003, 12:11 AM
 
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My girls have all been selectively vaccinated. They get most shots just on a different schedule. They all have different health concerns so I looked into the vaccine issue and decided that based on their medical history, this was best for them. Interestingly, our pedi dr actually suggested this before I even started to look into it.
The problem we run into is that the girls have severe allergies and many of the vaccines have "food" ingredients. The MMR has eggs, and the flu shots have dairy, among others.
Here's another interesting link on vaccine ingredients..

http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink/VaxCont.pdf

I'd also check and see about the day care you have chosen if they will require shot records, some do, some don't. I'm not saying that's a reason to vaccinate but perhaps a reason to look for another spot at a different place if they require shot records and you choose not to vaccinate.

I think this is just one topic where the best decision is an educated one!

Stephanie, mom to 3 big girls ('94, '99 & '02) and to my little guy (12/30/09) intact & CD'ed!
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#19 of 24 Old 06-13-2003, 03:27 AM
 
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All 3 of my girls have had all vaccinations, with the exception of the flu vax (which seems ridiculous to me).

I made the decision for several reasons....

1. I trust my ped implicitly. She feels that it is an appropriate choice for my children.

2. I was unwilling to take the chance that my girls could contract a serious or harmful disease, and unwilling to let them be a risk to other kids. I cannot imagine the sense of guilt I would feel if my unvaxed children were to contract something and then pass it along to another child.

3. My girls have been healthy from day 1. I didn't feel that the risks of vaxing outweighed the benefits. I have not had to regret this decision to date, and I hope that I never will.

4. I tend to do what feels right when making parenting decisions. Vaxing felt appropriate and I am glad that I made that choice. Even though I feel sad when they receive injections, I still feel good about my decision. They are being protected from diseases that I never want to experience first hand.

I chose not to have the flu vax because I would prefer the girls get that now and develop a natural immunity to it. However, they aren't going to have a natural immunity, to say, Whooping Cough - hence, the distinction.

Good luck with your decision. I hope you make a choice that you feel good about. However, if you are still really undecided, I would err on the side of waiting because you can't take it back once it's done.
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#20 of 24 Old 06-13-2003, 03:54 PM
 
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Jen, do you mean the flu vax or the chickenpox vax? There are so many strains of flu, you can't get it once and then be guaranteed not to get it again. The strains mutate every year, that's why they give vaxes with different strains every year. A lot of people die in this country every year from the flu (usually the elderly and the immunocompromised).

If you mean the chickenpox vax, I think you're right.

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#21 of 24 Old 06-13-2003, 04:21 PM
 
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I have not vaxed either of my children. With Maddie I had planned on delaying vaxing until she was at least two but now have decided on not vaxing at all. The initial delay was based on me wanting her own natural immunities to be strong before we vaxed. I wanted her to be fully weaned. But now we know that she is deathly allergic to eggs(a main ingredient of vaxes) and that she has an autoimmune disease(celiac disease). The autoimmune disease runs in DH family so we always knew that there was a chance in her having it. Based on that we have decided not to overload her body with foriegn(?) substances that may or may not work in the future. I feel very comfortable with my choice and am glad that we waited.

Mary-Grace will not be vaxed. I feel very lucky to have a wonderful family who not only supports our choices but also reads up on vaccines and agrees with us. (Just came back from a visit and am feeling all warm and fuzy toward them )

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I love my girlsMadaline(9), Mary-Grace(7), Georgia(3), & Evelyn(1)
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#22 of 24 Old 06-13-2003, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all, thanks for all of you imput! It has helped us out a lot!

DS had his two month check-up on Tuesday and as of now, we have decided to wait, which our wonderful doc fully supported. We had a really good talk with her about all of our concerns which she fully understood. She said that she vaxed her child, but also understood our concerns and said that since DS is so healthy she fully supported our waiting to vax (even if we decide not to). We are so lucky to have her!

There were a couple of things she said that I hadn't thought about. One was my concern about vaxes and the long term relations to autoimmune disorders. Her thought is that the increase in those is due more to our use of pesticides, chemicals, plastics, etc. Any thoughts about that?

The other thing she said actually helped me more with the fact that despite our dificulties, we WILL have to make a decision either way. She basically said that it may be his journey to catch Pertussis, or it may be in his journey to have a reaction to a vaccine. The bottom line is that we will never know for sure, but we will need to make a decision and be at peace with it.
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#23 of 24 Old 06-16-2003, 01:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by becca29


There were a couple of things she said that I hadn't thought about. One was my concern about vaxes and the long term relations to autoimmune disorders. Her thought is that the increase in those is due more to our use of pesticides, chemicals, plastics, etc. Any thoughts about that?
I guess my thought on this (which I had heard and makes sense) is why add insult to injury. Also, on her comments on Pertussis....it could also be his destiny to get the vax and get Pertussis later since this is one of the most ineffective vax. Unfortunately, if I understand this correctly, the outbreak of Pertussis could be much worse if he's already been vaxed.

I would suggest knowing as much as you possibly can about each disease. They are really a lot less frightening (and much more treatable) than what most doctors would like you to think; and other groups in our society are at much higher risk of having complications associated with the diseases. Most moms I've met that read Mothering and here and MDC are really in tune with their children, are concerned with their nutrition and have a higher intelligence level than some of the 'at risk' groups.

I think one of the most important things I've had to become at peace with is that there is not....or there should not be....any standard way to treat a family and their baby. Every family is different and every family needs to make the decisions that are best for them rather than what the AAP and pharmaceutical charts tell us.

Good luck and I'm glad your appt went well!
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#24 of 24 Old 06-16-2003, 02:11 PM
 
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We did a lot of research and were on the fence for quite a while. then dd had a horrible reaction and it didn't take much for us to decide the risk of the diseases was pale in comparrison to the risk of vaccines.

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