Hi everybody. A friend told me about this site and thought it would help in all the decisions I have ahead of me. I've been reading some threads and I'm glad I joined, because i can certanly use the support.
I just had my first baby in March. She's just about to turn 3 months old (where does the time go?). I've been questioniong vaccines since long before I was even married, but didn't truly start to research it until little Jersie Jean came into the world. I like to read a lot of the unbiased books and articles because I feel like it's good to understand both sides. I originally said absolutely NO vaccines until she was at least 1 year old. It doesn't seen crucial since she's not at daycare and is breastfed. But lately I've been questioning this decision. My husband has been researching with me and he feels that we should do selective - he doesn't feel comfortable with us getting NONE since out here (we live in Colorado) I dont have proper care for that. There are no holistic doctors or child chiropracters anywhere in the area. I would have to travel at least 2 hours to get to one. So what he wants us to do is to get the PC, DTaP, & HiB and that's all. Those seem to be the most commonly caught illnesses and the vaccines themselves seem to be safer than any others (although I question the DTaP even though I know the Whooping Cough is a pretty serious thing).
So needless to say it's been a VERY difficult decision. And right now we're between pediatricians because my last one was horrible. When I told him at her 2 month checkup that I did not want the vaccines, he immediately began telling me horror stories of babies who DON'T get vaccinated and how "selfish" it is to not to vaccinate b/c you're relying on everybody else to vaccinate their children so that you don't have to. My thoughts on that was that we ALL have the choice to make. It's not selfishness because any of these other parents can decide the same thing as me. It's not as though me not doing immunizations is telling them that they HAVE TO. That's just silly. But it upset me a lot and he basically told me that if I don't do them then I can no longer come back to him. So needless to say I left and have recently contacted another Dr who encourages Vaccines, but said he would respect my decision either way. I just haven't MADE that decision yet. It's the scariest thing I've ever had to deal with. I don't know what the right choice is here.
Any words of advice would definitely be appreciated!! I guess in the end I would LIKE to not do any, but I don't know if that's a possiblity in my case (with the lack of proper care) and I don't want to quarantine her for the following year(s) of her life. I want to return to church, I want to visit family and let them all hold and love her. Know what I mean? :(
Congratulations on your new baby - and welcome!
I am the mother of a 3 year old unvaxed son. Personally the only vaccine I ever considered seriously was the HIB vaccine. After alot of research - I decided against it for a variety of reasons. My son BF until he was over 2 and he was in daycare since he was 3 months old. I opted to forgo the PC vaccine since I have serious concerns about the long term ramifications of this vaccine (ie serotype replacement). I would touch the DTaP with a 10 foot pole. This was the vaccine that prompted me to start researching 6 + years ago (before marriage and kids). A friend's baby died of "sids" 14 days after her DTaP. Her parents always thought it was the vaccine. I am inclined to agree.
If you educate yourself on the diseases and overall immune support, why do you think you need proper care?? If your baby were to get a VPD that you felt you couldn't handle on your own, chances are you would be taking them to a hospital anyway right? I agree that access to holistic, natural care is wonderful and Im sad you don;t have it - but I wouldn't vaccinate based on that fact alone.
If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.
I think there's more of a chance of needing a holistic doctor if you do vaccinate. Vaccines can cause chronic health problems, and these are difficult to treat. Allopathic doctors can't really offer anything other than medication to help manage symptoms.
If your child gets pertussis, treat it with sodium ascorbate, which you can buy in a health food store or over the internet. If your child gets diphtheria or tetanus (she won't, by the way), then you go to the emergency room. You don't go to a holistic doctor for that. Same with Hib
I'm not aware of any non-vaccinating parents who quarantine their children (unless they are sick), or do anything other than lead normal lives.
If you read about the links between HIB and breastfeeding it would be an easy one to rule out. At least it was for me. I don't have any links saved right now.
Good luck with your decision. I would say, don't feel pressured or rushed into anything. It's a big decision, and it can't be undone. My dh was the same way as yours, and we got our 1st born partially vaccinated. I still regret that decision. We are not giving any of our kids any more vaccines for a very long time, if ever.
Most of the research that convinced me not to vaccinate came from the CDC and from the vaccine package inserts (much more than the 1 page info sheet they give you at the doctor)
If you have specific questions, I will try to point you in the right direction. Good luck with your research- I'm about 3 years in, and still learn new things regularly.
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." ~Mark Twain
ma2two -- could you recommend a good website or book about how to recognize and treat childhood illnesses (in particular vaccine-preventable ones which pediatricians may not recognize)? You seem to be a great source of knowledge and common sense!
original poster -- I don't know of any "unbiased" resources. It comes down to what sources you find credible. Either you accept one set of facts as true or another. It's a very hard choice to make and I can relate to having it be an issue between you and your spouse -- my spouse also wanted us to selectively vax our daughter. Over time I was able to convince him of my position by presenting the research I found credible. So... keep talking to your spouse.
As for doctors, make sure that any pediatrician you see is someone you feel comfortable talking to. Yes, most doctors have a certain point of view because that's what they learned in school, but a really good doctor treats the person and will respect your feelings and treat you with dignity. Good for you for not allowing yourself to be pressured by your previous pediatrician!
I have the Merck Manuel at home,
as well as this "rash book"
I really like the late Dr. Mendelsohn's "How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor,"
although there are a few outdated things regarding aspirin for children, and I don't think he mentions the dangers of Tylenol because people used aspirin back then.
I also have consulted the CDC's Pink Book,
which shows how most of these diseases are either extremely rare, or not serious. For example, tetanus is extremely rare, and hepatitis A is not serious in children.
I trust my children's immune systems to handle most anything with rest, allowing the fever to get as high as necessary, sodium ascorbate, probiotics, and vitamin D. For measles I would also give vitamin A.
Hi and congratulations on your baby. It is so hard to make the right decision in this area.
In the end, whatever you decide you will have to be able to tell your child: this is what I thought was best for you at the time.
I was all pro vaccines for me, my kids, my cats, everybody...until my son died a few days after his second round of vaccines and a low fall that could not possible have even harmed him (the cause of death was: fate!).
Today I believe that he died from his brain being swollen from the vaccines and the fall caused severe bleeding due to the swelling. No doctor was openly willing to admit that a vaccine (BTW the ones you mentioned you want to do) could have anything to do with his death. I was even investigated for SBS (shaken Baby Syndrome) until they found that the site of the bleeding did not correspond with it.
10 months later my now 3.5 y.o. was born and I started to research the topic extensively. To this day he has not received a vax and never will until he is old enough to decide for himself. Even my DD1 will not get her booster shots.
Tetanus occurs in Austria (where I live) in several people a year on average - the average 2 that die - out of 8 million people are always above 60 years old. (The official statistics bureau publishes this info). It is an illness that one person can have several times - therefore how should the vaccine even work? And 90% of patients survive tetanus.
Diphteria occurs in crowded living condition and still happens among the poor of the former Eastern block despite the fact that they have the highest vaccination rates in Europe.
Polio - no case since the 60s unless you live in Afganistan.
Whooping Cough occurs very often in vaccinated persons. The vaccine if it works only works after 3 shots which would be completed by 6 months. A time when a baby can cough well enough to survive the spells.
HiB is a bacterium and can be had several times in a persons lifetime - I am completely unsure this can even work. The overall cases of inflammatory brain infections have not gone down since the shot. The gap has just been filled by other viruses.
HepB is completely unnecessary in people not sexually active or routinely receiving blood transfusions.
HepA is usually harmless in children under ten as opposed to in adults - you have time to wait here - and my neighbors kid was in a wheel chair for 2 years due to a rare for of childhood rheumatism clearly caused by the vaccine (he has been told that he can never receive another vaccine in his life).
Measels: The only vaccine I would consider if it were not paired with Mumps and Rubella for fear of SSPE (although there have been cases of SSPE after the shot as well)
Mumps: harmless in boys before puberty - lots of time there
Rubella: I had it myself and it meant having 3 spots and a few days in front of the tv. You can vax your daughter before she wants kids.
Chicken Pox: Only a routine vaccine in the US. Here in Europe very few people opt for it. Both my kids had it - no problems at all and in my sons day care 3 kids who were vaccinated got them as well.
Pneumokkoka: a study in France shows that the cases have increased since the vaccine has been introduced. Covers only about 40% of European strains (more in the US I believe).
After looking at each disease and the risks of the shots - check the VAERS database - I saw no need to vaccinate my kids.
If you decide not to vax: you do not need to run around with a sign that says you are a non-vax'er. As for supportive docs: I emails tons of docs here and told them my story and my decision and asked who would be willing to work with me.
You can email Dr. Meyer-Eisenstein or a similar doctor for recommendations!
Barbara, Mama to Isabel (06/2004), Jake (08/2006-03/2007), Noah (01/2008), and Matteo (07/2011)
Please always research the safety of vaccines even if your doctor tells you they are harmless!
Here is my opinion and the way that it was best explained to me when I was making this desicion). Babies have little bitty bodies, but they are given the same amount of the vaccine that an older child or an adult would be given. The dosage for vaccines is the same for a 12 year old as it is for a 3 month old. Would you give your 3 month old 250 mgs of IBproufen just like you would a 12 year old? No. So why would you give them the same amount of a vaccine? This is a hard decision to make. I know when I was making it I agreed with nonvaxers when I was talking to them, and I agreed with pro vax moms when I was talking to them. Its hard to make a decision when you are on the fence.
Im so sorry for your loss.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
Another good source of information is the National Vaccine Information Center (http://www.nvic.org/). They stay very up-to-date on legislation towards requirement of vaccines. Their main mission is to preserve our right to make infomed choices about whether or not to vaccinate. The founder's son was damaged by a vaccination (DPT if I remember correctly), so there is somewhat of an anti-vaccine slant, but mostly from the standpoint of making the dangers of vaccines known (as opposed to acting like all vaccines are benign, harmless necessities).
I am expecting my first child in September and have been doing lots of thinking on whether or not to vaccinate/partially vaccinate/etc. Thanks to all of you who have shared info so far. This has been quite helpful!!
I'm sorry it took me so long to respond to this thread. I haven't been able to get online much lately, but I just read through all of your responses today and I appreciate it SO much!!! I read a lot of them to DH and we discussed it. He's starting to consider the no-vax direction. I guess he's afraid of her not being protected without anything (which I understand), but I get so much more afraid of the effects of the vaccine itself rather than the illnesses they're vaxing for. kwim? Seeing as she's breastfed though and is not in daycare, nor around that many people I don't see why the vaccines should be necessary. So right now I'm really leaning on that direction, but am still not 100% decided on it. It's just such a tough, scary decision. I appreciate you all telling me your stories and giving me some helpful info and sites. I'm going to try to contact that Pediatrician and see if he would be a good fit for us.