Re: New Mom2B seeking opinions about vaccines
09-06-2013 09:36 AM
Hello! I think it's good to always research topics regarding your parenting style and your childrens' well being - it means you're concerned and want to be sure you're doing the best thing by your kids. I am the mother of two small children and I do get them vaccinated; not just for their own safety and health, but for those around them who may be too ill to receive vaccines or can not receive vaccines for medical reasons. My children are in a playgroup and many of the kids in their playgroup now have brand new baby siblings and pregnant mommies that are all being exposed to our rough rascals of handsy toddlers and preschoolers and I know that by vaccinating my children I'm protecting them from serious illness as well as from being contagious carriers for their friends and their tiny, new tag-along siblings. However, when they were first born I came up with a few rules for our family regarding shots and that included:
1.) The hepatitis vaccine that is typically given at the hosital on day 1, my children would wait to receive at their first pediatrician visit at a week old. This was because no one in my family has hepatitis and my new babies were not at increased risk of contracting it in those first days (they never left the house). My pediatricians were wonderful and very accomodating and I felt better with my children getting the shot to protect their future, but delaying it a bit made me feel like it was giving their bodies a little more time to acclamate to their new world.
2.) I refused for my children to receive more than 3 shots per visit. This is based on anectdotal research that suggests that giving dogs several vaccines at one time can decrease their titers and therefore decrease the effectiveness of the vaccine (meaning they weren't protected or immune). While I realize dogs and people are very different, it was my way of justifying that I didn't feel comfortable with my child leaving the doctor's looking like a pin cushion. Again, my pediatrician has been very accomodating and we've worked out a shot schedule that keeps my children protected and vaccinated, but without over-doing it in one visit. I value the opinions of my pediatricians very much, after all they did study medicine for over 8 years and specialize in working with children, plus have gained new knowledge and experience daily as well as undergone rigorous continuing education programs with the purpose of making and keeping kids healthy - and I, comparatively, only have three years experience as a mother. Finding a pediatrician that was willing to explain the risk and benefits of each vaccine and was willing to listen, address my concerns, work out, and support an alternative shot schedule with me made me feel like I was doing the right thing by my kids.
My advice to you, is yes, do your own research and question things, however, keep in mind who you're speaking with and that there is no one true answer for all children. Don't fall into the trap of jumping on board with the latest trend or changing your ideals based on a rant by some preschoolers' mother who can't quote her facts or reference the study she is refering to. I like my alternative shot schedule, but that doesn't mean it's right for your bundle of joy. Find a pediatrician you love and who listens to your concerns and your child will be fine and it's ok to shop for the right doctor - I encourage you to do so, it's so worth it! Good luck!