Well…let me just start this whole thing off by telling you that I will NOT be telling you whether or not you are going to vaccinate your kids. So, if that’s why you stopped to read this, then move on to something else because you won’t find that here. What you will find are some thoughts from a mother with a medical background, my favorite resources, and some mom-to-mom encouragement.
I want to start with the encouragement. TRUST. YOUR. GUT!
I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Oooooook…thanks. Not super helpful.” But, of all the mothers I have talked to - whether it was a decision about vaccines, about how they chose to birth their child, whether or not to go to the hospital, EVERY mom that didn’t regret their decision talked about how they “just knew” or went with their “gut”. Mama, your God-given gut instinct is not something to dismiss. This is what I tell my health coaching clients to do before we even go anywhere near research, statistics, and science. What does your gut instinct say? If your gut is telling you to look further into vaccines, then do it. Ask the questions of your doctors, read the books, talk with other mothers, honestly, that’s the most important thing you can do! TALK!
I feel as though we are so nervous to bring up vaccines with each other for whatever reasons. Whether that be fear of judgment, being “wrong”, or labeled. None of it should matter…we need to talk about this. Especially as the government is now trying to enforce mandatory vaccination (which will not only apply to children, FYI - there is an adult schedule on the mandate docket). Before we move on, I must say that no matter how you feel about vaccinations, please recognize that we should ALL be very against mandatory vaccinations because no one in the government knows you or your child’s past medical history or genetic makeup, so they can’t know if your child has any contraindications to receiving a certain vaccine (which are listed on package inserts of each vaccine btw). Therefore, the government should not be telling us how to treat our bodies. I’m pretty sure no matter who you are, you can agree with that.
Ok, so moving on to why you stopped to read this blog post…
First stop - my favorite resource. Yes. One. Why? Because I could sit here and give you a “Top 10” list or some books, podcasts, other blogs, blah-di-blah-di-blah, but let’s be real, mamas…we ain’t got time for that. Especially if you’re just starting to explore this topic. So, out of all the vaccine package inserts, books I’ve read, podcasts I’ve listened to, blogs I’ve perused, doctors I’ve spoken with - THIS is my all-time favorite resource and starting point:
The Vaccine-Friendly Plan by Dr. Paul Thomas.
He is an Integrative pediatrician in Oregon with a practice full of kids that vary when it comes to vaccines. Some are fully vaccinated, others partially, and some even completely unvaccinated. But the one thing everyone in his practice gets no matter what - INFORMED CONSENT. And I’m not talking about the one page Vaccine Safety Information sheet that you’re supposed to be receiving prior to any vaccinations. I mean, he or someone from his staff sits with each family, looks at each child individually, and comes up with a plan per child. I feel this book looks at all the facts, the risks of the diseases/illnesses, and what to look for in your child when it comes to what to do regarding vaccines. He also has great resources to further study once you’ve done the first step - reading this book!
He sounds like the PERFECT doctor, right? Why can’t everyone be like him?? Well, this is a perfect segue into my last little point. How to pick the right pediatrician. When I say RIGHT pediatrician, I don’t mean one that’s just going to bend to your every request, and let you walk in there like you own the place. NO! They are doctors; I mean they did go through a gazillion years of school. As well as, we need to have grace that not one person can possibly know everything there is to know about everything. When I say RIGHT doctor, I mean one who is willing to hear you out, to have the hard discussions with you, provide resources, acknowledge that you have patient rights & autonomy, and who doesn’t get angry when you graciously choose to use that. Someone who is willing to actually work with you in your desires and goals for your and your child’s health. One who ultimately respects the team aspect of healthcare that I feel has been lost in this raging war.
Ok great. So, where is this magical doctor I speak of? Well, let me say that you may have to search, try, search, try, search, and try. Meaning, you may go through several doctors before you find the right one. And, that is OK! I know one mom who went through FIVE pediatricians before they found the one for them. My kids, just see our family doctor vs a pediatrician. I have found they tend to be a little more gracious when it comes to the topic of vaccinations than many pediatricians. “Well, you were a pediatric nurse, Pey!” True. But Family Doctors did have to do rotations in pediatrics, so they are trained to care for children of all ages. They may not be as specialized, but I’m pretty positive they know how to spot a cold, or know when it’s time for your child to go to the hospital. So, don’t be afraid to try a Family Practice Doctor as well!
Trust your gut. Seriously. Trust yourself!
Start with The Vaccine Friendly Plan by Dr. Paul Thomas
Don’t be afraid to search for the right doctor for you and your family. They are out there!
Last thing, if you feel that you just want to ask all the questions and talk about “research”, then please feel free to hop on over to my Services page to sign up for a Mama’s Processing Session. Even better, if you know another mama wanting to have the same discussion, then please feel free to bring her along, and let’s make it a group session (split the cost)! This is such an important topic to discuss, to not shy away from, and to look at ALL the facts and science, not just the media and propaganda hype. I hope this post helped to get you thinking, helped you feel not so alone, and simplified this overcomplicated topic - even just a bit. Because we need to keep health simple, so it’s something more people can love.