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What are you plans for immunization post birth.

  • Standard medical schedule for all the shots. (What ever my doctor recommends.)

    Votes: 7 4.0%
  • All the shots but on an extended schedule.

    Votes: 9 5.1%
  • Will probably have some shots but will for go a few. (Please post which ones you might opt out of.)

    Votes: 20 11.4%
  • Definitely not. I'll think my child will be fine without it.

    Votes: 127 72.2%
  • Still on the fence.

    Votes: 14 8.0%
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! The only reason I call this issue Polarizing is because most of the moms I know are die hard members of one camp or another and almost all of them feel bad for the kids on the other camp. Having said that I do want to avoid lengthy tirades and arguments about this issue (I am sure there are boards solely devoted to that) I just want to check in on where people are at on this issue.<br><br>
What prompted us to start seriously thinking about the issue is the question of picking a pediatrician. Our non-interventionist doctor who we completely love and trust highly recommends a pediatrician who is purely of the immunization frame of mind. So if we decide otherwise we would have to start looking now.<br><br>
So here are my initial thoughts on the matter. I think for the longest time now I felt we were pretty sure that we were going to forgo most if not all of the immunization for the baby because of the many reasons out there against it. And then I started to consider background and lifestyle. Because in the end I do think these are things that have to be taken into account. Just like any decision we will all be making as parents. My reconsideration of what to do in the issue came from the fact from all the people I polled and talked about this issue with- the people who lead a lifestyle closest to my husband and myself all opted for immunization. We love traveling and we love it when friends and family who travel from different countries (3rd world) come to visit us. We visit various cities and frequent many ethnic neighborhoods and events. The chances of us traveling with the baby before her first birthday to Asia is almost 100% certain and we like to country hop while we are there. Granted we wont be slumming it in any of our trips, but all the people I know who opt not to immunize are a lot more discerning as far as exposing their kids to different elements. They are a lot more hands on as far as what their kids eat where they go etc etc. As ideal as that is, I am not sure if neither my husband nor myself will be able to be that “diligent.”<br><br>
Anyway, I just wanted to check in to see where people were at in their thought process. But I do want to reiterate I think there are strong arguments for both cases, but in the end it all boils down to personal preferences.
 

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We chose to vaccinate DD on a mostly regular schedule and chose nearly all of the vaccines. We did not involve any of DD's pediatricians (we moved when she was an infant, and had several) in the decision-making process - I mention this only because you had brought up the Pediatrician-choosing aspect (IMO, there's no real need to pick a pediatrician who is in line with ALL of your parenting practices/decisions - we're educated individuals - and the fact that you're posting online means that you're likely knowledgeable to get the research you need to make parenting decisions - having an entirely like-minded ped. just isn't that important, as many parenting decisions aren't even within the realm of what a pediatrician should be advising on).<br><br>
We DID make sure with EVERY vaccine to ask both doctor & nurses at the time whether each vaccine had thimerisol/mercury in it.<br><br>
The primary reasons we chose to vaccinate were:<br>
- The potential benefits gained from avoiding diseases outweighed the potential risks from the vaccines. Those vaccines whose side effects we were concerned about, we decided to forgo/postpone.<br>
- We live in a very densely populated area.<br>
- We at the time, and likely still do, plan to send DD to school in a few years, instead of homeschool, so we felt it prudent to vaccinate when exposure to many children would be an issue.<br><br>
We plan to do the same with DS, but <i>may</i> decide to space the vaccines out a bit more. Will likely depend on his temperment & health.<br><br><br><span>I too would ask for respect from those who disagree with my points listed above. We researched the issue, and I'm simply conveying what we decided based on what we learned, and our personal experiences. Not looking for a debate, just answering the OP.</span>
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">We love traveling and we love it when friends and family who travel from different countries (3rd world) come to visit us. We visit various cities and frequent many ethnic neighborhoods and events. The chances of us traveling with the baby before her first birthday to Asia is almost 100% certain and we like to country hop while we are there. Granted we wont be slumming it in any of our trips, but all the people I know who opt not to immunize are a lot more discerning as far as exposing their kids to different elements.</div>
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This is obviously not what you meant by a "polarizing issue" but I'm just wondering if you could clarify a little...<br><br>
- aren't certain shots required for travel visas?<br>
- what does visiting "ethnic neighborhoods" have to do with immunizations?<br>
- what do you mean by "slumming it"?<br>
- what "elements" are you referring to exactly when you talk about your "discerning" friends who don't vaccinate their kids?<br><br>
I'm not jumping to any conclusions or judgements but I am having a reaction to what I am hearing as somewhat prejudiced/discriminatory thinking and would like to understand your perspective more.<br><br>
I want to add that I totally agree that the decision to vaccinate or not is a highly personal one and everyone should educate themselves and do what they feel comfortable with for their children.
 

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You're right that this is a VERY hot topic...so please everyone, let's be very gentle here. There's a reason many mdc mamas avoid the vax board and I'd hate to see this thread get locked out or anyone wind up with hard feelings or unhappiness!<br><br>
We vax on a delayed schedule and we selective vax as well. We do use some combo vax (multi vax in a single shot), but dd only has (at most) one shot in any 4 month period so we can make sure there are no reactions. For example, dd just turned two years old and just got her first dose of MMR (it's usually given at a year). We plan on having her more or less fully vax'd by age 6 or 7.<br><br>
Why? DH and I both volunteer with populations that are prone to vax-preventable disease outbreaks (migrant workers, the homeless, "illegal" or "marginal" populations that have either limited access to health care or a very good reason to distrust "official" channels). And we know from first hand experience that many of these cases are not reported...so the number of vax-preventable diseases nationwide is certainly higher than the "official" stats. And even if it wasn't, we personally are being exposed more than other "holistic lifestyle, health conscious, natural living" families may be. So getting the basic vax made sense <i>for us</i>.<br><br>
Outside of our volunteer work, DH is in the bio-med field and I work with an international population every day. Our co-workers and patrons travel all over the world and as a result there are always "interesting" medical alerts around campus/town. Vax are certainly not perfect (I got whooping cough a few years ago during a campus outbreak) but for some conditions I'd prefer the limited assistance of the vax over going it alone (so to speak). But again, this is due to an increased exposure on the part of DH and I, and the children DD comes into contact with are from a highly mobile and international population as well so she too has a lot of direct exposure that children in other areas may not have.<br><br>
Everyone wants to do what is best for their little ones...and vax is an issue with so much baggage on both sides. Vax can cause serious and significant side effects, and if you or a loved one is affected by a vax...well. On the other hand, these diseases are real and have serious and significant side effects of their own. If you or a loved one is affected by a vax-preventable disease...well. It's the same horrible feeling no matter which "side" you're on.<br><br>
I know, since my father is currently suffering from dementia caused by a "less than 1% of users will experience" type reaction to a medication (so my mother is gung ho to ban all such medications because of this serious and life shattering side effect) and at the same time one of my uncles has been in an institution since childhood with sever mental impairment from the measles (he was not vaxed). Both conditions are horrible, both have had significant impact on my family, and both could have been prevented...one by avoiding a medication and the other by taking a medication.<br><br>
I guess I'm just trying to say there are no clear cut, black and white, answers to this particular issue...<br><br>
I think you need to look at your lifestyle and what your little one may be exposed to. In an urban area, a hep B shot might make sense even for a child since you just don't know what they might pick up in the park (I'm in a fairly small city and am never more than a few feet away, but dd has found used condoms, a broken crack pipe, and several needles in our local playground over just the last year). But if you're in a more rural community then why not wait on that one till they are older and can decide for themselves? It's the same thing with any vax. You have to decide which risks are acceptable for you and your family in that specific situation.<br><br>
Also, in terms of international travel, although the US has laws about vax that allow for people to "opt out" for various reasons...some other countries do not. You may find yourself caught at a border without the proper paperwork. Not that that would be a reason in an of itself to vax, but in general it would be a good thing to think about in terms of planning trips. Especially if you plan on crossing through tiny portions of other countries on a larger A to B trip. I've actually run into this sort of difficulty at small border crossings when I'd be literally spending 20-30 minutes in the "in between" country.<br><br>
And like KS Mama mentioned...we didn't consult our ped on our vax decisions. I'm a reference librarian, DH a bio-med scientist with extensive training in nutrition and immune function so we're both comfortable doing our own research and coming to our own conclusions. It's great to find a ped who is 100% on board with your parenting philosophy, and you certainly don't want one who will hassle you or give you a hard time...but YOU are in charge of your child's care and the ped works for you. You need to do what YOU believe in and make decisions based around your own family and needs...<br><br>
So don't let a ped boss you around! (and my apology for writing a book here!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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We travel (we are an international family ourselves). We mix up with all sorts of crowds due to work and lifestyle, which exposes us to all you can eat. We are not anywhere near as diligent about food than we should be. We don't vaccinate.
 

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We chose not to make an issue of vaxing DD, and I didn't feel too bad about that until she got a bit ill after her MMR vaccination. We did split them up a bit to reduce the load on her immune system, and I'm really glad we did that. Overall, I think vaccinations are a pretty good idea that works better if most people do it. But I definitely intend to delay most vaccines until after age 2 for this baby, as I think DD's experience indicated that even splitting up the vaccines is hard on a little body. We'll probably also decline a few of the vaccinations completley. I'm not convinced that chicken pox, for example, warrants vaccination.
 

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What I'm not hearing mentioned is the possibility that normal childhood illnesses in healthy children might actually be beneficial.<br><br>
Why have asthma and allergies shot sky high? Is there a connection with the suppression of almost all minor childhood illnesses AND the use of drugs to suppress fever when children are ill? Do normal childhood illnesses help develop the immune system?<br><br>
My grandchildren are the fifth generation in a mostly non-vaxing family.
 

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Cant vote as the wording for the one I would have chosen isn't fitting for us.<br><br>
Defiantly not and I <b>KNOW</b> our children will be fine without them
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey Violetisadora- I completely understand the possible reactions to my earlier statements that it may sounds prejudice/discriminatory so I am more than happy to try and clarify. Again, my statements purely come from my own personal experience and the people I know and not from anything I saw in the media.<br><br>
Before I got pregnant my husband and I traveled around Southeast Asia predominantly, the Philippines, Cambodia, Singapore and Thailand. Maybe it's because I was born in a third world country (Philippines) that I didn't have any stomach issues- but my husband (who is American) had a few episodes. I know there are recommended shots for some of these countries, we did go to areas that had certain disease alerts, but I ignored them just because I've been traveling all my life and never had them (call it a false sense of security- I'm not saying it's right I'm just saying I didn't care). My husband with a LOT of fear for went any immunization as well.<br><br>
On the point of "slumming", again I tend to be be really trusting when I travel and not necessarily take warnings as seriously pre-marriage- but I had to be a lot more discerning when traveling with my husband again b/c he seemed to get affected by stuff. Again it might just be a difference in immune system. We traveled in congested trains, buses, ate on the streets, alleys. But we always had to stay in places of a certain level. I guess to me slumming it would be more on the lines of not paying attention to things like shared bathrooms or locations or clientelle. If I couldn't do that with my husband- I definitely don't think I would do that with my kid. But it depends we could climb a mountain and find a bare hut cleaner than the nicest places in a city and that to me is not "slumming", In fact we found a nice hut by a river on top of a mountain- for my husbands sake it did have a western bathroom. It was minimal but definitely not slumming.<br><br>
Anyway, as far as "ethnic neighborhoods," it seems and I could be totally off on this, that different groups have different tolerances to different viruses. For instance friends of ours passed on the Hep B vaccine b/c they don't think it was necessary for their baby b/c they don't know anyone who has it and then another set of friends of ours would never think of for going without Hep B b/c in their community almost everyone has it. Not b/c they are drug users or sexually permiscuous or anything like that- it's just as a community for generations they have had it. That conversation between those two different groups prompted me to feel like different groups are just more immune to different things. Me getting Hep B or any virus may not be as bad as my husband getting hep B or any virus and vice versa and who knows how our baby will react. I will say that even though my husband got extremely ill a few times during our travels. I was bed ridden for month when we got back in America b/c I was allergic to everything in the air- I got sick off of everything (more than likely from all the disenfectants, antibacterails, chemicals etc). So it took a while for my system to adapt again.<br><br>
As far as talking about friends being more discerning- as far as exposing kids to different elements. Maybe elements is the wrong word- but I find my friends (again only speaking about the handful of people I know) to be extremely careful about what their kids eat: only edible things that are organic, some no sugar at all, they always know the source of what their kids eat, it is very clear what is acceptible and unacceptible. Which to me is fine and it's something to learn from and maybe in some cases aspire to. But we're just not that good or as disciplined. I really admire mom's who are extremely careful and are really hands on with their kids, but I have to give myself some slack and be ok if I am not like that completely. And if I do something like give my baby food from a questionable source I do wonder if I need to take some precuations if I can't be as "good" or "careful" as other mothers. I will say maybe my no vaccine friends are on the extremist side- I personally don't know a no vacciner that isn't as particular about what the baby eats or anything like that.<br><br>
This is why I am posting b/c I would like to see other thoughts that I have possibly not in countered before. But your reaction is extremely understandable. I've lived in America for 20 years now, great education, good lifestyle, luckily from a very good family back home but people still assume things of me and my culture from watching and expose on 20/20 or the news. It's human nature to categorize I think.<br><br>
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Spy- That's very good to know. I am trully still on the fence. Mainly b/c I always go back to when I was a baby I don't think I got as many shots as what is required now and I am sure the shots 35 years ago were questionable at best. (Again 3rd world- we get all the US rejects as far as drugs are concerened.) And I feel I have a great immune system. How old are your kids now? Do you have other peers who are on the same wave length?<br><br>
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Wombatclay- Thanks for your insight. I think the visit of my cousin who has TB really shook me up a bit. I know there is no vaccine for TB, but it did make me aware that you can't tell who has what even in my own family. We are all spread out and I can't assume that they don't have anything that might be bad for my baby. My brother will be flying in from Hong Kong, my mother from the Philippines, my brother just finished a medical mission in south east asia and is starting his residency at a high risk hospital, plus a slew of other people with equally varied exposures. Food for thought I guess. I'm not sure if I can be as non-mindful as I used to be. But we shall see.<br><br>
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KS mama- Good to know. The pediatrician our doctor recommends will actually reject a patient if they refuse immunization. So I may have to talk to him and see what exactly that means. Or maybe I should just find someone that will let us figure it out on our own time- someone wiling to give us facts without preassure.<br>
---<br><br>
Thank you all- I know it's a touchy subject so thanks on the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you again from the international travelers who are piping in- how old was your baby when you first took them over seas? (I've got an insatiable travle bug.) No requirements for shots to travel I assume? Did you find you were more discerning about the areas you visited with an infant? Or did you feel fine in public places, pulic transportations, etc. I guess the city you go to matters (like commuting around Bangkok is comletely different from Singapore or Florence vs Milan)- but just curious.<br><br>
All good to know. My husband is a little bit more freaked out about that part b/c going around Asia was hard on his system. Plus the fact that my nephew ended up in the childrens high risk emergency ward and had liquid pulled from his spine twice to get tested b/c he got an infection from from the plane when his family was traveling. That really freaked my husband out. Recirculated airplane air really freaks him out.<br><br>
Definitely a lot of discussion between the two of us. In the end it has to be something both of us can live with.
 

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I voted Definitely not, I won't be having any more babies, but my unvaccinated children are absolutely fine without them. I have also traveled extensively, just about every country in South East Asia, I lived in Hong Kong for 11 years, and traveled to all the countries you mentioned and more, and I can assure you I would <b>never</b> vaccinate my children to go to any of them. I have also been to South America unvaccinated and never got sick with so much as a tummy bug. But I do think living in Asia, had some how introduced some microbes to my system that have protected me. But which vaccine appart from Hep A would prevent a stomach virus? I am sure your DH didn't get typhoid or cholera in Singapore or where ever. At some point in the future our family has plans to live in South Africa for a year or so, and can tell you my kids won't be getting any vaccinations before we leave.<br><br>
As for an optimal diet for your future children, this is very important, if you want to give your children the best start in life. I suggest you plough through the sticky at the top of the forum on <b>Nutrition/Immunology 101</b> <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=406983" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=406983</a>. To get a better understanding of the issue.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Iamhappy2BAmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7916462"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Spy- That's very good to know. I am trully still on the fence. Mainly b/c I always go back to when I was a baby I don't think I got as many shots as what is required now and I am sure the shots 35 years ago were questionable at best. (Again 3rd world- we get all the US rejects as far as drugs are concerened.) And I feel I have a great immune system. How old are your kids now? Do you have other peers who are on the same wave length?</div>
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My kids are 17 and 5 years old. The funny thing is that the shots today are a not any less questionable than they were 35 years ago or so <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">. In fact, if I did vaccinate, my kids would have likely got at least 3 or 4 of the very same vaccines that I've got, that are 40+ years old, considering our circumstances. And although I didn't die or end up disabled from my vaccinations and I am probably in the healthier half of population overall, I still can't say they didn't affect my health at all. When I watch my kids and their health in childhood, I can't help feeling sorry for myself - gee, they didn't even get an ear infection yet! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> And yes, I do have quite a crowd of peers on the same wavelength, and their kids are healthier than their vaccinated parents as a general rule (doesn't mean nobody ever gets a cold, of course, but the overall picture is encouraging). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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One other point. The assumption that it is only safe to skip vaxes if your children eat a perfect diet, isn't really supported by the evidence.<br><br>
In the 1950s, most children got minimal vaxes compared to today. Diet was generally lousy (I know, I grew up in those years). Children were not dropping dead all over the place, even though most of them were bottle-fed and eating bologna and white bread. The only biggie was polio, and exactly what was going on with polio is still a big controversy (read some of the other threads debating this question).<br><br>
My family didn't vax at all. My parents certainly tried to feed us a healthy diet, and we ate slightly better than most of our peers, but my mother didn't manage to breastfeed the first two, stuck it out with me for three months, nursed her fourth for 11 months and her fifth for 7. We ate whole grains and drank raw milk when we could get it. Except for the vegetables from our garden, very little of the fresh stuff was organic in those days. I can well remember Campbell's soup and Heinz Vegetarian Baked Beans and canned tuna as regular parts of our diet.<br><br>
Now, here is the amazing part. We all had childhood diseases: measles, mumps, chickenpox, rubella and more; and all five of us survived, despite our less than sterling diet, and far from perfect lifestyle.<br><br>
Certainly, a healthy diet is a good idea. But eating a mediocre diet and just adding vaccinations is by no means a recipe for perfect health!
 

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I voted "definitely not." But I understand why some people choose to vaxinate based on their lifestyle and agree with their choice in many cases.<br><br>
We don't travel overseas. And I can hold off until my children are older to do so. Or leave them with grandma once they're old enough if I need to.<br><br>
We try to maintain a strict "traditional" diet.....which aims for optimal health. And I truely feel this gives my dd and family an immunological advantage.<br><br>
Also other factors influence my decision to not vax like, extended breastfeeding, my dd does not attend daycare, I may end up homeschooling. And even trivial things like......my dd is not one to touch everything and put stuff in her mouth.<br><br>
But our situation could change, as well as our decision not to vax.
 

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well, it's a hard decision to make, because, like a PP said, whatever you choose, could have serious health consequences, and you would hate to look back and say, if only....if only I had vaxed....or if only I had NOT vaxed.<br><br>
Do you believe vaxes are safer than the diseases your child might catch in travels to third world countries, especially in countries where medical care may not be as advanced as it is here? You will have to read a variety of reputable sources and studies to decide that for yourself.<br><br>
Or do you believe vaccines are not as safe as riding out the diseases you might possibly catch? If so, just selectively vax or don't vax at all.<br><br>
Either way you are taking health risks...the question is, which risks are more acceptable to you based on what you know?
 

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My children have never been vaxed and we have traveled abroad.
 

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My dd had a few vax's that we delayed until after 6 months. I had a huge fight at both the hospital and the first ped visit when she was a baby because I refused the Hep. B vax. Some of my reading indicates doing it at birth raises the risk of SIDS- and since I have no fear of my child being exposed to Hep B- it made no sense to me to take that risk.<br><br>
In my opinion it does make a difference who your ped is- some are respectful that its a parent's right to choose- others are not. I don't want to fight with my ped everytime I take my child in. Dd has had about 6 ped's and she's only 4 years old- but I refuse to return to the idiots.<br><br>
This baby will not be vaxed- at least that's the plan right now. Though as dd gets older I go back and forth about a few specific ones.....but that's with a school age child, not a baby.
 

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The phrasing on the poll is awkward for me as I'm not pg, probably not having any more babies, and my kids are 12,11, and 5.<br><br>
I delayed all their vax until around age 2 or so, then got them whatever they needed to enter preschool without having to mess with exemptions. That pretty much covered them for kindergarten as well.<br><br>
Now that they're adding more vaccines to the "required for school entry" list for older children, my tactic is changing. I will do what I have to in order to protect my children from getting any more vaccines. I don't fear measles, mumps, rubella, diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, chicken pox, or HPV in my pre-teens, but I don't think the vaccines to "protect" them from those illnesses are safe. NYS doesn't currently have a Philisophical Exemption and religious schools (that I want my kids in) don't have to accept Religious Exemptions. I'm still not exactly sure how I'm going to deal with all of this. The one child that I beleive may already be vaccine-damaged is currently being homeschooled, and I plan to continue to do so for as long as necessary. The other two are not currently at ages where they're required to get any more shots right now. I'm taking this one year at a time.
 

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Small side note, this thread was origionally started in a DDC, since I noticed some are confused by the wording. For some reason it got moved here...<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div style="font-style:italic;">And then I started to consider background and lifestyle. Because in the end I do think these are things that have to be taken into account. Just like any decision we will all be making as parents. <b>My reconsideration of what to do in the issue came from the fact from all the people I polled and talked about this issue with- the people who lead a lifestyle closest to my husband and myself all opted for immunization.</b> We love traveling and we love it when friends and family who travel from different countries (3rd world) come to visit us. We visit various cities and frequent many ethnic neighborhoods and events. The chances of us traveling with the baby before her first birthday to Asia is almost 100% certain and we like to country hop while we are there. Granted we wont be slumming it in any of our trips, but all the people I know who opt not to immunize are a lot more discerning as far as exposing their kids to different elements. <b>They are a lot more hands on as far as what their kids eat where they go etc etc. As ideal as that is, I am not sure if neither my husband nor myself will be able to be that “diligent.”</b><br></div>
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This doesnt make sense to me. Regardless of how similar my life is to someone elses, this is a choice I'd prefer to make myself based on information I've personally come across. Perhaps the other parents youve conversed with have only spoken to their peds, perhaps the other parents have something in their history leading them to vax...etc...I would encourage you to look at the relevant information and make your own decision, whether it be to vax or not.<br><br>
Also wanted to point out that I am not super "diligent", we do our best to keep ds eating healthy and such, but I am by no means perfect nor do I even try to be. Getting sick is part of life, something I dont particulary stress about. (this is not intended to make light of people who have serious illlness with serious lasting effects or death).<br><br>
Wanted to comment on the ped thing, it might not be an important decision if you ARE vaccinating, but this is a VERY important decision if you are not vaccinating, as many peds are NOT ok with this. IMO, it is a good idea to have a respectful relationship that goes both ways when it comes to the person providing healthcare when needed.
 
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