Sunday, August 18, 2013

Vaccines + Guilt

Mommy Mondays

I want to preface my rant by saying that there are many different ideas regarding vaccines and how/when/if to vaccinate your child.  I am making no stance on what is right and what is wrong and it is totally alright if you disagree with me.  I know every parent wants the best for their child and makes educated decisions regarding their health care and vaccines.

I am not anti-vaccinations.  I think they have played a big role in eradicating certain diseases from our western-American society.  I also think that they are important from a public health standpoint.  There are people in third world countries that would give a lot to have access to many of the vaccines we have at our fingertips.

I do want to vaccinate my children.  I choose to put my children in the church nursery, gym nursery and other mom's morning out programs at an early age; therefore I do not think it would be wise for our family to avoid vaccinations all together with such a high exposure to other children in public places.  I also have trouble nursing my children and have not been able to breastfeed as long as I would have liked for immunology purposes.  I choose to vaccinate my children.

I am however a little leery of all the vaccines the CDC recommends giving at such an early age.  I would feel more comfortable spreading them out a little bit.  It makes me a little uncomfortable to flood their immature immune systems with so many vaccines at once.  Some of the vaccine ingredients, mainly aluminium, also concern me.  I would prefer to spread out the vaccinations a little bit more to limit the amount of aluminum (as well as the viruses and bacteria) their bodies are bombarded with at one time.  


My issue comes with the guilt the pediatricians pour on you to follow their vaccination protocol.  It really rubs me the wrong way.  I have no problem with a doctor educating me and explaining to me why they think I should have these 5 vaccines at today's appointment, but respect my choice when I say no.  Where I start to get angry is when they start trying to guilt-trip me into seeing things their way. 
And when I stop to think about it, it makes me even angrier because I am going to get that stupid vaccine you are guilt-tripping me about.  It just might be a month (or sometimes several months) after you want me to get it.  It is not like I am not going to come back and get the vaccines.  (Look back at my children's shot records...I have come in for extra appointments for shots.)  So cut me some slack!

I get angry when they start telling me (again) how deadly hepatitis B can be for a baby and how I am putting my baby at risk for such by choosing to delay this vaccine.  (For the record hepB is very deadly for a baby that is not untrue, but the tone and way it is presented to me is what bothers me.)  Ok, really doc?  Isn't hepatitis B a blood-born disease spread through sexual contact or contact with an infected person's blood?  Oh it is?  Ok, thank you for confirming that. I do not think my baby is a high risk of hepB exposure at this point so I am going to choose to delay that vaccine along with several others, but I do assure you that we will get them at some point down the road.  Can you please respect my decision and authority as a mother?  

And yes I understand that Polio is eradicated in this country because of the polio vaccine.  So no my child is not immediately at risk for polio, but I WILL have my child vaccinated for polio.  Like I said, this is one that I think is important from a public health stand point.  But I do not want to vaccinate for polio at 2 months old when my baby is also getting shot up with a lot of other vaccines that protect against more immediate threats.

Anyhow, that is my rant for the day.  Thanks for listening.  I choose to vaccinate my children.  I choose to delay some of the vaccinations.  I do not feel guilty.

Vaccines can cause a lot of questions and anxieties for a new mother.  If you are uncertain regarding some vaccinations or have questions about vaccinations, (even if you choose to follow the CDC recommended guideline- which is what the majority of people choose to do)  The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child is a great resource that I would highly recommend.  It goes through each vaccine-preventable disease and explains what it is, what the prevalence is, and what ingredients are used in each pharmaceutical preparation of the vaccination.   It explains vaccine safety research as well as some of the controversy regarding vaccines in an understandable manner.



  1. This post comes at a good timing since I take Carter in for his 1 year appt today and he has to get a ton of shots! I think you bring up some good points and I deff see your point of view and reasoning! Something to think about...!

  2. It's so refreshing for a mom to present her views without being judge or forceful. I agree with Rachel, you've definitely given me something to think about!

  3. A really tricky one!

    I certainly am not convinced the medical profession always gets it right - I know on not infrequent occasions they get it horribly wrong. But here in the UK we have had a number of bad measles outbreaks following a scare about our combined Measles Mumps & Rubella vaccination 10 years ago. We've also got rising rates of TB in London because of fall off in TB vaccinations. Impact of others not being vaccinated obviously really scary when you've got kids pre-vaccination age who might catch something.

    Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday Baby Shower - really thought provoking, Alice @ Mums Make Lists


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