I Almost Didn’t Vaccinate My Kid Because My Midwife Told Me Not To

not vaccinatingMy toddler has never been sick. Not once. And though I could go all granola mom and say it’s because of extended breastfeeding, I’m going to give some credit to the fact that I went against my midwife’s suggestion and got baby vaccinated.

I’ve written about my midwife’s questionable practices before. When I first met her, she might as well have been carrying a crystal ball and dealing out Tarot cards. Her soft, high voice predicted that because my husband and I could both curl our tongues, baby would have no problem breastfeeding. That because my husband is, in fact, half Chinese and not Polynesian, our newborn wouldn’t be too big to deliver vaginally. And here’s one: because I’m a redhead, I would probably experience pain more intensely than other people would. It was all kind of fun and whimsical, like those baby gender quizzes. I didn’t think she actually put stock in this kind of stuff.

Well, after getting to know her over the course of a year, I’ve determined that if she had a billboard, her slogan would read: “Lots of Visceral Experience With a Healthy Dose of Pseudoscience.” Her guidance and suggestions were head-on at times, and other times they were completely nuts. So when I was nine months pregnant and asked her what we should do about a pediatrician, I shouldn’t have been surprised when she stared at me deadpan and said, “what for?”

I was under the impression that babies needed pediatricians for checkups and stuff. But judging by the look on her face, you’d think I’d just asked whether babies prefer wheat beer or IPA.

“You mean for vaccinations?” She offered.

“Yeah,” I said. Sure…I wasn’t even thinking about vaccines, honestly, but I figured this could be a starting point.

“You could do that. I have one mama who has a pediatrician she likes. But if you’re wondering about vaccinations, do some research on the Internet. There’s a lot of stuff linking them to autism and other problems. I never vaccinated any of my kids and they’re healthy as can be.”

At this point, I’d never heard anything negative about vaccines. I tried to continue my discussion with my midwife, but she just kept asserting, “look on the Internet.”

I did look on the Internet, for the record, and I couldn’t find any legitimate information from a reliable source on not vaccinating. There were crackpots on both sides, for sure, but the overwhelming consensus was that the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risks. But my midwife had instilled in me a strong dose of skepticism toward the healthcare industry, so I wrote off the vaccine enthusiasts as Big Pharma lemmings and decided to consult a real, live book.

I checked out Dr. Robert Sears’The Vaccine Book, thinking I was going to get elbow-deep in some dirt about how healthly vaccines are. But to my surprise, Dr. Sears weighs the benefits and drawbacks of each possible vaccine and concludes that most of them are very important — especially from a public health standpoint.

After lots of worry and deliberation, we decided to get our daughter her first vaccines at three months old. I was sweating profusely as I stroked my daughter’s little head and waited for the nurse to administer the first shot. Baby’s cry was instant and piercing, a cry I’d never heard her make. That cry alone was enough to make me question my decision on not vaccinating. But moments later, she was nursing and dozing off. She fell asleep in the car on the ride home and didn’t have even the slightest fever later in the day.

Since that first appointment, baby’s been caught up on all of her vaccines. She’s demonstrated no signs of autism, and like I said, she hasn’t been sick once. I’m obviously not qualified to spout recommendations about vaccines (I’m part of the same kooky Internet I was berating earlier, after all) but I will say that I’m glad I went ahead with the vaccinations. Between that and extended nursing, I think I’ve built a strong fortress against disease in my daughter’s vulnerable little body.

(photo: Nixx Photography / Shutterstock)

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  • quinn

    I’m all for vaccines and pediatricians, but what she told you about feeling more pain as a redhead is actually true. Studies have shown that redheads require 20% more anesthesia than people with other hair colors. Glad you did your research and went the vaccine route even though she suggested your baby didn’t need them. The herd immunity thanks you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      hey also have more chances of bleeding during the placental expression

    • Gina G.

      So true. My dad, a dentist, regularly administers anesthesia and has seen several studies on the link between lower pain tolerance and red hair.

      And, as a redhead, it’s my excuse to whine a lot whenever I hurt myself.

    • the_ether

      Incorrect! Studies (and Mythbusters!) show that redheads have a different perception of pain, rather than a lower overall tolerance. The results depended on the type of pain administered, be it thermal, topical capsaicin, or electric.

    • meg


    • the_ether

      They’re the wikipedia of randomized trials – could be right, could be hilariously off the mark. As a ginger-lover and wife to a red-bearded man I choose to believe the pop science :)

  • meg

    The “autism is caused by vaccines” thing has been so thoroughly, extensively debunked that I feel like even mentioning it in this article (“I got my daughter vaccinated and she’s not autistic now!”) is editorial malpractice.

    Vaccines save lives. Not just your kids, but everyone’s pre-vaccine kids, and everyone’s sick elderly aunt, and everyone’s immune-compromised child with cancer, and everyone else. I fully expect to get downvoted for saying this, but to me, not vaccinating is child abuse.

    I am glad you finally did your own research and ignored your looney-tune midwife. Wishing your healthy, happy children all the best.

    • Blueathena623

      Hear hear!

    • John

      “…not vaccinating is child abuse.” Wow. Just wow.

      Because some people don’t want to inject their babies with “most likely dead” viruses and other neurotoxins (aluminum, mercury, etc) directly into their blood stream, which gets transported directly to the brain, you call this abuse??? Maybe you should go look at what CPS is really dealing with and then see if you can keep your same over-dramatic tone. You have no idea what abuse is!

      If someone actually takes the time to research and find informative information so that their child doesn’t get hurt, I would call this the opposite of abuse. At least they took more time to look out for their kid than the vaccine pushers who have “faith” in the medical cartel. Nowhere in this article is there actual studies or research on the long-term effects on vaccines (and the FDA doesn’t have them either).

      And what kind of world do we live in where SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is considered normal.

      Man, what has this world come to?!?!?

  • AP

    I think you should report that midwife to whatever agency is responsible for licensing her. Her advice is uninformed, unprofessional, and wildly irresponsible. She should not have a license.

    I had a friend as a teenager who saw a Wiccan midwife instead of a gynecologist, because the midwife was more friendly and less clinical. Years later, it turned out the midwife misdiagnosed the several very serious reproductive and endocrine disorders that she had- the midwife assumed they had to do with the phases of the moon interacting with her menstrual cycle- and she was left dealing with a heavily damaged reproductive system.

    • http://www.facebook.com/houde.veronique Véronique Houde

      that’s the thing, i remember reading that she hired a lay-midwife instead of a certified nurse midwife, and had many problems after birth because of her.

    • meg

      I’m sorry about your friend’s experience with a lay midwife. I’ve heard a lot of those stories (mostly from friends who were scared off during initial meetings.) CNM is the only way to go. Even a lot of Certified Practical (or Professional) Midwives have sketchy training, less-than-great oversight, and questionable standardization of practices. Some are great. Some are awful. Many are in the middle … but isn’t this something worth being sure about?

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Big difference in the kind of midwife your friend saw and those with actual medical training. I would see a midwife myself, but I’m having a repeat cesarean. I would highly recommend a good certified nurse midwife.

    • Yves

      A certified nurse-midwife is the way to go…at least she is a licensed professional with real medical training (I am an RN so of course I’m a lil biased lol). I suppose any ol’ woman can call herself a “midwife” but really be a nutjob, you have to be careful!

  • C.J.

    I wouldn’t trust someone who tells you to go get your information from the internet either. Medical professionals, whether they be a midwife or a doctor, should be able to give you advice based on medical facts themselves. Information on the internet is not always correct. That seems very irresponsibe for a midwife to tell you to go get your information from the internet. You are obviously able to research properly yourself. Some people are not able to. That midwife shouldn’t be allowed to give medical advice.

  • somethingobscure

    Glad you did your own research and ended up getting your daughter vaccinated. However, kind of off-topic, and I’m not questioning your truthfulness at all here, but I am always blown away when people say their kid has *never* been sick! I feel like it’s always brought up in the context of the vaccine debate, but I’m guessing you’re not just referring to the kinds of rare, destructive diseases we vaccinate against like hepatitis and measles, but you really do mean it that she has NEVER been sick. How can no one in my family go more than a couple months without at least a case of the sniffles, and there are these amazing wunderkinds who don’t even have fully developed immune systems yet they NEVER get sick?? Where did you buy her bubble???

    • meg

      Eh, for some people, it happens. Great genetics, extended breastfeeding, luck … a perfect storm. I had a friend as a kid who never got sick, healed INCREDIBLY fast, then it went downhill as an adult (for example this year she had a cold that turned into bronchitis that turned into 5 weeks of moderate-to-serious illness and a hospitalization.) It can be hard to predict sometimes.

    • Amanda Low

      You’re telling me — I think it’s crazy, too! My husband gets sick all the time, I don’t as much, but it’s true, my daughter has never been sick. I don’t say it to be sanctimonious, and I don’t keep her in a bubble either…we play at the mall, library, park, everywhere. It’s just a fact, not any attempt at boasting or anything.

    • Kelly

      My son became sick for the first time in his life when he was five. That was pink eye. His next illness was the flu at age 11. Those are the only two times in his life he has ever been ill.

  • K.

    I don’t understand why people seem to align vaccines with health or “getting sick” (“I never vaccinated and my kids are perfectly healthy!” or, in Amanda’s words to paraphrase, “I DID vaccinate and she’s never gotten sick.”

    A vaccine is protection against one specified disease. It doesn’t relate to ‘getting sick’ or ‘health’ in the broad-minded sense. If you get a vaccine for polio, then you are protected against polio. Not HIV. Not measles. Not strep throat. Just polio. So the idea that just because your kid did or didn’t get a few sniffles is some sort of referendum on vaccines is sort of crazy–it’s like saying, “Hey, I never planted a lemon tree and we’ve still got tons of oranges!”

    • Amanda Low

      It was much easier to just say she’s never been sick than to say she’s never been infected with the viruses we’ve vaccinated against. Less wordy, and the honest truth.

    • K.

      I was more commenting on what your crackpot midwife said, which is something that tends to be used all the time by those in the anti-vaccine camp.

      It’s also interesting to me that you went for Dr. Sears’ book, since he proposes an alternative vaccination schedule, but hasn’t actually conducted medical research on it–that’s not to say it’s harmful; simply that it privileges soothing parental paranoia over actual scholarship.

    • http://www.farmfreshmeat.com Jamie

      It’s an equally irrelevant fact. The reason that people who aren’t vaccinated aren’t likely to get whooping cough is not because they’re just naturally healthy, it’s because almost everyone else IS vaccinated against it. These diseases are extremely rare in the US population because vaccination is widespread. In order to catch whooping cough, you need to be in contact with someone else who’s go it.

      However, because of the absurd press about the “risks” of vaccines and celebrities who have no medical knowledge linking it to autism, some of these disease are actually on the rise in the US population. This trend is a very dangerous one indeed, and anyone who decides to reject a century of public health research and experience in favor of their gut is foolish and putting their child’s health at grave risk.

  • Yves

    there was ONE study from the UK linking it and the doctor has since confessed that he totally FAKED it because he was paid to come up with the fake results. So there is ZERO real proof. I’m so sick of people using not even pseudoscience, but completed FAKED science to justify not vaccinating. At least use something legitimate.
    (I personally think autism is autoimmune related, but that’s not scientific of course, just a line of thinking.)

    • Yves

      PS. sorry for capitalizing so much. totally didn’t realize i did it so much in that comment O_o

  • Allison

    I agree with the above poster — vaccinations are administered to prevent specific diseases. If you get the 45 required shots for your child (before she enters kindergarten) will NOT make her immune system stronger. I find these types of blogs frustrating. I personally am a slow vax parent and I think it is WELL within my right to decide what is injected into my children’s bodies. It is not abuse if I decide not to vaccinate, as another responder stated. In fact, each parents must SIGN a document that states that the parent understands the risks of injecting said vaccinations into our children’s bodies each and every time we do it. So, how is it abusive to not want to take those risks? I personally don’t think that vax are dangerous by themselves but I DO think that the combination and the number of vaccinations we inject into our children ARE damaging our children. 1 in 5 children have a neurological issue. How has this come about, if not via vaccinations? And most people who think this way are intelligent, well educated people.

    • meg

      How about kids have always had neurological issues, but now that we’re all more attuned to noticing them (instead of assuming it’s The Devil possessing them, that they have a “cold” mother, or that it’s just fine for some kids to be “a little slow.”)

      How about the hundreds of thousands of incredibly dangerous chemicals in our air and water? A woman who wrote a book about the history of breast health had her breast milk tested for carcinogens as part of the research process and they found, among other things, traces of jet fuel. She’s never been a pilot or lived near an airport. How does that happen??

      There is NO SOUND SCIENCE existing that links vaccines to autism, but PLENTY OF SCIENCE linking not vaccinating to disease outbreaks and death. You’re not just putting YOUR child at risk, but everyone else’s children and immune-compromised family members/friends.

    • jessica

      Agree with what you said about neurological disorders. IMHO supposedly rising rates of those disorders is kind of like claims about the rising rates of learning disabilities. In my parents time (late 1930s-1940s) people just didn’t think about them. And just because there are so many kids diagnosed now with learning disabilities like dyslexia or dyscalculia doesn’t mean that learning disabilities are new or more prevalent now.

    • meg

      Word. My father did extremely poorly in math his entire school life and, growing up in the rural South, was presumed to be lazy and was punished with physical abuse. After my brother (born in the early 80s) began to exhibit the same, HE was taken to be tested. It turns out both he and my father suffer from moderate dyscalculia. The difference is that generationally, my brother was able to get help before failing repeatedly.

      There *are* diseases that are more common due to various environmental factors today, from cancers caused by post-industrial carcinogens to bacteria-resistant STIs. But learning disabilities, mental illness, etc have ALWAYS existed. We just have a stronger understanding of them now.

      Plus, we have research-validated science, which allows us to work with facts rather than anecdotal hunches (“My neighbor’s child is autistic and had all her vaccines, whereas I skipped vaccines and gave my child bee pollen instead and she’s neurotypical! Must be that simple.”)

    • jessica

      Ha! My uncle, like your dad, was assumed to be a lazy dumbass most of his life. Turns out he’s severely dyslexic. Found out when his daughter was diagnosed in the mid 70′s. She benefited from early intervention so much that she graduated top of her class from Harvard Law School and is now a federal prosecutor. Great for her, I just wish her dad could have had the same assistance for himself when he was young because clearly the extra help works. And your dad too, or course.

    • K.

      Well, here’s the thing that bothers me about the whole, “I’m the parent and it’s my RIGHT! I get to do whatever I think is right by my child.”

      Is it your RIGHT to slow-vaccinate? Yes, definitely. It is your right. It’s also a parental right to NOT vaccinate at all. And so far, I don’t know of any bills out there that are attempting to infringe upon that right–such as imposing mandatory vaccination. Your right is certainly preserved in this country.

      The issue as I see it, which is broader than just you (because I get that you are articulating more of a position which you are aware of than necessarily subscribe to wholesale), is more of a cultural attitude and it’s this sort of “my non-scientific beliefs should be as valid as science.” That to me, is a disturbing sort of arrogance. One *can* for example, cite 3-4 newspaper reports about people who survived a car crash because they weren’t wearing seatbelts; but if you choose to make it a matter of policy in your household that your children should not wear seatbelts ever, well, you’d have to deal with people telling you you’re nuts (notwithstanding that in this imperfect example, you’d receive a lot of road citations, since it is, in fact illegal in most states to not use seatbelts).

      And here’s an illustration of the problem in your own post:

      “1 in 5 children have a neurological issue. How has this come about, if not via vaccinations?”

      What does this statement even mean? What is a “neurological issue”??
      A “neurological issue” can be anything from Huntington’s disease and brain tumors to dyslexia and tension headaches. So yes, in that statement alone, it wouldn’t surprise me that 1 in 5 kids have a “neurological issue” given that the term in itself is way, way, too broad. In addition, many neurological diseases and developmental disorders–autism included–are later 20th-century realizations. That means that yes, the number of diagnoses will increase simply because we are more sophisticated at detecting and defining them. Yes, none of this DISproves that developments of the modern era–pesticides, air pollution, and vaccines–couldn’t have some kind of influence, but forgive me if making a meaningless statement and then running to vaccines and saying “I declare that this must be the reason because I gots the power of the Internet” makes me respond with skepticism. Meg is right: actual science hasn’t found any links between vaccines and autism.

      It surprises me to no end the number of parents who decide against vaccinations because they’re afraid of autism…and yet, there’s very little they actually know about autism. If you just scratched the surface, you’d realize why it’s unlikely that there will be a “silver bullet” cause and solution for autism and why the whole “vaccines are dangerous because of their connection to autism” is so appealing–it’s a nice straw man for the much more terrifying reality, which is that we don’t know, and what we do know is that genetics definitely play a role–that’s not something we have much control over.

    • meg


    • Allison

      Not sure why it surprises you. I don’t get how people just act like lemmings and do as they are told in regards to vaccinations. Do you know how much it costs to develop a vaccine? Around 1 billion dollars. And guess what, once the pharma companies make that vaccine, guess who is now “required” to take it? Your kids!

    • meg

      “I don’t get how people just act like lemmings and do as they are told in regards to vaccinations.”

      Because vaccines prevent illnesses that killed tens of millions of children until very recently (and in fact continue to kill tens of millions in part of the world where vaccines are not readily available?)

      Yes, vaccines are expensive to develop – as are cancer drugs, ARVs, and any of the thousands of others of things we use in medicine. I’m not saying “big pharma is always right,” but this isn’t some experimental drug. It’s a safe, effective preventative measure of a public health menace.

    • once upon a time

      Compare the number of children who have died or had serious complications due to vaccines (proven, not anecdata, not falsified studies, not your mummy friend who claims that their child was diagnosed with autism a month after their vaccination so OMG IT MUST BE THE VACCINE!) with the number of children who have died or had serious complications due to the illnesses the vaccines prevent against.

      There’s no subjectivity here. Vaccines save lives. Vaccines even eliminate disease. Yes, there are (statistically insignificant) risks. There are risks with every freaking thing you do. But the benefits HUGELY outweigh the risk. So much so that to ignore the hardcore evidence is deliberate ignorance and, yes I’m going to say it, displaying negligence towards your child’s health.

    • once upon a time

      Also, the second some rabid anti-vaxxer starts talking about vaccines as a diabolical scheme by the pharmaceutical companies (in fact, the minute an anti-vaxxer uses the word ‘pharma’) is the second their argument is rendered invalid so far as I’m concerned.

    • Sara

      I feel there is a pun somewhere in between rabid and vaxers.

    • MKEBM929

      Yes, couldn’t agree more. How dare someone abbreviate!!!!! SHAME! *rolls eyes*

    • K.

      I love the scare-tactic logic here. It’s like, “No, you’re SPESHUL and your kids are SUPER-speshul snowflaykes. Don’t be a mindless cog and let big pharma prey on you–you’re exceptional!”

      Cute, especially since Dr. Sears wrote a book that benefits specifically from that psychological tactic–and his books cost about $16 apiece. Jenny McCarthy is an ex-Playmate who has no medical credentials to her name, but who IS…aging. And wouldn’t you know it? Her books are about $16 apiece as well.

      No one is “required” to get vaccines in the US. Hence why there even ARE people like the author’s midwife whose kids aren’t vaccinated. And hence, why there’s a rise in pertussis. If you want to be really cynical about the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry, fine: for one, REAL money is in chronic illness and keeping people sick while you sell a drug to alleviate symptoms (Lipitor is a prime example)–NOT in curing disease. Which sort of goes against having vaccines at all. Autism in itself doesn’t require ongoing medication, so there really wouldn’t be a financial incentive to invest in a system that perpetuates autism. You know where the money is with autism? There are billions to be made in finding the cause and cure–which is why allllll those labs all over the world are in competition with each other. They’re not in some globalwide conspiracy to support American big pharma.

      The CDC’s schedule has been tested and tested and tested over and over and over in clinical trials using approved medical research techniques and analysis. Dr. Sears’ delayed schedule has not been subject to medical research and testing. Andrew Wakefield, the guy who did the initial study that started the whole “vaccine-autism connection” ruckus falsified his data and faked results and lost his medical license because of it. His “study” was also of 12–yes, 12–patients, which, even if he hadn’t lied, isn’t statistically relevant enough to be scientifically sound. In addition, there were ethical problems with his study. His study has been repeated several times and the results he made up have NEVER been replicated. That’s like, Scientific Method 101–experimental results have to be replicated. So, essentially, the entire idea of vaccines causing autism is based on a hoax.

      Ironically, speaking of “lemmings,” there is one thing that you have to thank vaccines for and that is herd immunity. So yes, you can certainly attribute the near-eradication of polio to the fact that a lot of people were “lemmings.”

  • allisonjayne

    Just wanted to chime in here that my midwive (in Canada, so she’s a registered midwife – it’s a different system than in the US from what I understand) was awesome when I asked her about vaccinations. She lent me a book that was really balanced, it presented information on both sides, broke down the risks of each vaccine AND the risks of each disease, so you could decide for yourself what made sense for you. I wish I could remember the name of the book.

    • allisonjayne

      ugh, *midwife, not midwive. need more coffee.

    • jessica

      I think it’s funny how many people like you post on here and then apologize for misspellings or grammar mistakes or whatever. This is a parenting blog and we get you! We’re all in the same exhausted boat here! (Or have little tiny fingers poking out of the baby carriers we’re wearing and messing with our keyboards as we try to type coherent sentances.) There is no need to apologize!

  • Michelle

    I actually find it a little scary that people dont question vaccines at all. My sister had an allergic reaction to vaccines that caused her to have seizures and an extremely high fever at 2 months old. That is when I started questioning vaccines. When I found out the hospitals procedure is to vaccinate all babies with the Hep B vaccine before you leave the hospital after birth I was shocked. The only way to get Hep B is mother to baby, having sex, or using dirty needles. Since my baby will not be having sex, I dont have Hep B, and I wont be shooting my baby up any time soon…Why the heck would I give my baby that vaccine. It was shortly later I read about a mom whose baby died because of that vaccine, the baby was allergic to yeast and there was yeast in the vaccine. The hospital told her she shouldnt have vaccinated her baby if she knew he was allergic to yeast. Her baby was 2 days old when they gave him the vaccine, how the heck was she suppose to know that her baby was allergic to yeast. I am not completely against vaccines, but I do think to blindly follow what the health care industry (yes it is an industry, they are there to make money) is ridiculous.

    • meg

      Your baby will, in all likelihood, someday have sex. He or she may also come into contact with blood products or even needles – if not from drugs, then what about if he or she simply picks one up in the sand on the beach? The reason HepB kills so many fewer kids today is – you guessed it! – vaccines.

      My brother had a negative reaction to a vaccine, but my parents still got me the full set because the statistical likelihood of both of us having negative reactions was low. I’m grateful, and I will do the same for my kids some day.

    • Zoe

      Actually, it makes sense to vaccinate babies and small children against fluid and blood-transmitted diseases like Hep B. Kids are always falling over and scraping and hurting themselves. A few months ago I was at a five-year-old party and one of the children had cut his knee. He was displaying it to the others, trying to make a show of how tough he was. Other children were gathered around, saying “wow” and poking his knee, putting their fingers in the blood. Kids also do spit and blood siblings, they kiss each other on the mouth, they kiss each other’s ‘owies’ like cuts and scrapes, they rub their snotty faces together, they share food and cutlery and even toys, many of which have been in their mouths – particularly the little ones, and particularly at day care and creche where there may be dozens of children crawling across a floor which other kids have bled, drooled and peed on. So yes, very young children can be at risk.

      As an infant, my friend had a bad reaction to the mumps vaccine back in the 80s, with pain and fever and swelling. When he caught mumps in primary school and was very sick with it, his mother complained to the doctor that the vaccine hadn’t worked. The doctor looked at her like she was crazy and said “lady, it has worked! What state do you think he’d be in if he was not vaccinated?”

    • K.

      There are three major reasons why infants are given Hep B before leaving the hospital, and this is how it was explained to me by the medical staff before my son got them:

      1. The hospital has a different perspective regarding the health of the mother (and father) in regards to Hep B, which is, simply put–does every mother REALLY know that she doesn’t have Hep B, especially since not many adults show signs or symptoms of infection–and is every mother and father out there faithful to their spouse AND truthful about it when speaking to a doctor? As it turns out, there were a lot of cases of transmission from mothers who either didn’t realize they were infected (and could have gotten infected in between her OBGYN test and birth), didn’t realize their partner was infected, or knew it and didn’t want to admit it to medical personnel (sometimes because their said-partner was present). Now I know the tendency is to read that and think, “But that doesn’t apply to ME!” but you understand how it’s different from the hospital’s perspective–everyone says that, it’s only true for a certain percentage, and there’s no way to tell.

      2. Hep B can also be acquired via fluids, as Zoe points out. Read her post for more on that. Then think about #1 and understand that IF your child’s BFF had a mother who contracted Hep B in the course of an extramarital affair which she didn’t admit to the doctor and therefore did not get the vaccine for her daughter, both she and her daughter could have the virus…and your child would be around them a lot.

      3. The risk of contracting Hep B as an infant are pretty grim. It’s a 90% chance that infants infected with Hep B will develop liver cancer or have liver failure by the time they are adults. By contrast, adults who develop Hep B have a lower chance of chronic problems.

      It’s really not because they assume the baby is going to be sexually active. It’s a combination of inaccurate exposure risk assessment, the relatively easy ways of transmitting the disease beyond sexual contact, and the high price of contracting the virus.

      Now, I agree with you in that people should be informed about the vaccines they are getting and I’m pro-vaccine, but I agree that it’s not necessarily one-size fits all. I would say that you in particular have reason to discuss with a doctor whether certain vaccines are right for you because it’s in your family history that relatives have had life-threatening reactions to some of them. It would be the same for people with autoimmune diseases–many of whom skip some vaccines altogether. But that’s very different than giving into paranoia and dismissing vaccines wholesale just because of media-fodder (which isn’t to say you’re doing that; I’m trying to make the distinction).

    • Sara

      Throwing in my two cents here. I have done some research on Hep-B testing and in the serological (read: test your doctor will run) there are periods where you can be contagious but not test positive. It has to do with what stage of viral infection you are in, and as stated earlier some adults don’t show symptoms, so if you are in one of the stages and not showing any symptoms (or no specific symptoms) there would be no reason for EXPENSIVE follow up testing.

  • CrazyFor Kate

    A lot of people won’t vaccinate their kids because they know someone who had a bad reaction – and it’s like, what does that have to do with your kid (assuming he or she doesn’t have an established health problem)? If someone else was allergic to milk would you not feed your kid milk? Of course some people are going to have side effects from vaccines, just like with every kind of medical treatment ever. But those are very rare and I would much rather just do the vaccines, and know the chances of him or her getting the diseases that have killed and continue to kill are drastically reduced.

  • Kelly

    Well baby checkups are about more than just vaccinations. Your midwife is a moron.

  • Sandy

    I allmost didnt get vaccinated. My parents believed that childhood diseases was natural and not something to be worried about. My peditrician set her straight, the most hitting point was that most that got the mumps also got meningitis (my moms big fear). He also told her about the risks of a not vaccinated child getting a disease I dont know the english name off and get rendered sterile.

    Now, my health never been topnotch. I tended to get myself sick (Im not kidding I often caught the same virus twice – from myself), tendency to get throat and bladder infections and allergies. I have no doubt in my mind that I would have fallen prey to a “childhood” disesease at some point without vaccinations.

    I allways wanted kids since I was a kid. was the family nanny and any chance I get im having a child on my arm. Now imagine if I got one of those diseases and got sterile. The worst possible thing I could ever imagine.

    Id never forgive them. Never. Being forced childless because my parents didnt want to let me get FREE prick in the arm out of idiocy.

    To qoute Penn and Teller: Even if we pretend that the autisme thing was real, a kid is still statisticly better off with vaccinations than none

    and lets end it on House: Aparently theres a big market for babysized coffins

  • cadence

    but there are dangerous things in vaccinations like mercury, which stays in the brain for years, as well as other bad ingredients. Don’t believe me? Just request a list from Merck – the drugs company who make them.

    • Dorit Reiss

      Thimerosal – which is no more elemental mercury than table salt is chlorine – is no longer in most childhood vaccines, except multi-vial flu shots in some states, and you can ask for those thimerosal free.

      The whole vaccine is 0.5 ml, a tenth of a teaspoon, and most of that is water. Given the tiny amounts of the ingredients, they are generally not a problem (there could be an issue to children with gelatin allergies for some of the vaccines that have gelatin). See: http://www.chop.edu/system/galleries/download/pdfs/articles/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients.pdf

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  • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

    Midwives giving vaccine suggestions is wayyyyyy outside of their scope of practice. They don’t have adequate training to be dispensing that kind of advice. This profession is in serious need of regulation.

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  • NoElIa030

    If you go onto the government vaccination website, it says one of the side effects can be “lowered consciousness”. It also says permanent brain damage may result after a vaccination has been given. So, to say that vaccinations being linked to autism has been “debunked” is an outright lie. Keep in mind this is on their own website! Ya know, the PRO-VACCINATION website!

    • Abbey Katie Buist

      Just need to interrupt here. I work with people who have Developmental Disabilities (yes Autism is one). Based on your comment I will just assume you know very little about vaccine or Autism. Autism is not “brain damage” nor does it have to do with “lowered consciousness”. If you look at the brain scan of someone with Autism it is different from a “normal” persons brain. Thus it has something to do with development of the brain and probably happens in-utero. It is believed Autism is genetic and may have something to do with the environment (more so in utero). Another thing is that Autism, along with other Developmental Disabilities, are being diagnosed more probably because it is more widely recognized (Autism wasn’t diagnosed often until the 1970′s or 80′s). Also you wouldn’t have noticed it as much because so many people with disabilities were institutionalized and were often diagnosed wrong. If you knew how vaccines worked you would know that it doesn’t make a lot of sense that Autism and vaccines were linked anyway. And even if it was true (which obviously its not) I would rather have my child alive and autistic then very ill or worse. Autism is difficult, I’m not disputing that, but all you ever hear in the media are the negatives of it and the worse case scenarios. Please do your research on Autism and what it is before you make claims that “brain damage” or “lowered conciseness” are even remotely related (yup the brains a big, complex thing). Oh and one more thing…the risk of vaccines doing permanent damage to someone is extremly low. You have a better chance of becoming very ill with one of the diseases children are routinely vaccinated against then getting hurt by vaccines. Everything we do in life has risks and most things we o daily have a greater risk the vaccines damage.

  • http://www.handmadedresshaven.blogspot.com Kathy

    Your midwife was a whackadoo. Mine was licensed and also a registered nurse practitioner, pro vax. Really, your experience with that midwife was so out of the norm in places where midwifery is licensed.