Posted by: mamaamy | March 13, 2008

On Vaccinations

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Dear Mitch and Amy,

I do have a baby question….where do you guys stand on vaccines? I have friends that don’t vaccinate and others who partially vaccinate. Any thoughts?

Did Mitch tell you that I am going to have a midwife delivery at a birth center? We considered home birth (I was at my best friend’s homebirth) but I just wasn’t up for it yet.

Hope you are having a wonderful evening!

Amy

Hello Amy M.,

Mitch and I have done an incredible amount of research about vaccinations. Before our first baby was born, I spent my time (I was no longer in school or working) reading about the typical baby issues to view common practice from all angles. Then I would present it to Mitch and we would discuss what we felt we should do. Some of these areas include traditional medicine, home birth, the family bed, breastfeeding, child training, and vaccinations. At the same time Mitch was studying (in his spare time) the effects of technology, television, media, etc. We had made the choice to get rid of our TV and it left us with time, interest and energy to sit around in the evenings and discuss these issues in depth. I say that to let you know that the conclusions that we came to were based in research and discussion.

The basic conclusion that we came to about vaccinations is this: It is a risk to vaccinate and it is a risk to not vaccinate. We are choosing to take the risk that is most natural–to not vaccinate. We base this also on the facts that we are 1) nursing, 2) home-schooling, 3) not putting our children in any form of daycare, 4) eating as healthy (70% organic) as possible for our budget, 5)using natural medications rather than traditional antibiotics, 6) living in clean environment, etc. With all these things considered, the risk is continually lowered that they should come in contact with disease.

Now another thing to consider is, because we do live in clean conditions in our country in general, the risk of childhood diseases has almost vanished. The government and the medical system would say that this is because of vaccinations, yet, this is not conclusive. The rate of childhood disease was dropping significantly, before the advent of mandatory vaccinations. Both the government and the medical field are very influenced by the huge corporations that produce vaccinations. Even though they see the large number of problems with vaccinations, they cannot rescind their mandate, nor would it be profitable for them to do so. It’s a bureaucratic mess and many thousands of children have suffered.

The third thing to consider is that most sicknesses that the vaccinations are for are not life threatening. There is a general fear of disease and sickness in this country and a quick fix mentality that does not take in to consideration that minor (non-life-threatening) sickness is ok and in fact strengthens your system.

Most of the so-called childhood diseases are not life threatening and once a child has gotten them they do confer life-long immunity. Vaccinations do not necessarily confer life-long immunity, and indeed it is worse to get some of the diseases as adults than as children. (ie. mumps in adult males can make them infertile and German measles in pregnant mothers can severely harm the fetus.) All this to say, sickness is natural and the means that our bodies have to fight the sickness are natural ( ie. fever, runny nose, headache), so we feel that we should not hinder what is natural if it is not dangerous or life threatening. We trust that these natural signs are symptoms to show where we need to take better care of ourselves, or they are the natural means by which our bodies rid themselves of the sickness and strengthen the entire body system.

I would never push anyone to not immunize their child, because, as I said earlier, it is a risk. So, I always recommend that each family research for themselves the vaccination issue. Also I feel it is important that you and your husband are in agreement about big issues like these.

I recommend the book by Robert S. Mendelsohn, How to Raise a Healthy Child…Inspite of Your Doctor. It is well written and by a known pediatric physician. I think you can order it at Amazon.com. Also a few back issues of Mothering Magazine have researched the vaccine topic in depth and are worth looking at. July04 and March/April 01 talk about the mercury in vaccines specifically. The National Vaccine Information Center website is http://www.909shot.com I believe, or you can google that name to get very comprehensive info on vaccinations.

I hope this gives you the info that you were interested in and ways to continue your research. It’s always so great to find mothers aware and interested in going beyond the status quo in order to find out what is best for their little ones. Keep up the good work!

Amy C.

From Amy M.:

You guys sound like you have done your homework. I’m finding that these days more and more families aren’t settling for the status quo but are also researching and looking for alternatives in raising their children. I have quite a bit of research on vaccines and part of our midwife-taught birth class was on vaccines. However, I can’t seem to figure out what is best for our family. I will be nursing but I will not be home schooling. I will probably have to have in home care by someone else for a few days of the week. We use some homeopathic medications but not all. We don’t eat completely organic but we a healthy diet compared to most of my friends and their children. Some of the vaccines are a non-issue for me: Hep. B, polio, etc… but some of the others I don’t feel certain about. My godson had a bad reaction (we think) to his vaccines and is considered legally blind. I’ve also seen a lot of research on vaccines and autism. I guess it just takes more reading and more information to finally come to a decision. This is a tough one! Thanks for the info and perspective! I really appreciate your advice!

Amy

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