Ending the Mommy Wars: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate


North Valley Moms Blog - Ending Mommy Wars

As I write this, I feel as though I need to tag this post with some sort of a disclaimer…which is troubling really since this series is all about increasing acceptance and judging less. However, when I broached the topic of addressing this particular debate with my fellow contributors (FYI…one of the most accepting group of women I have EVER met), I will say I was met with some resistance. Not because anyone didn’t believe it was a valid debate, but more because it is such a HOT BUTTON for so many. Whether or not to vaccinate our children is not a topic that you will find many to be “luke warm” on. There is no way of getting around it, people have VERY STRONG opinions on this issue (myself included).

But remember, like every other installment of this Ending the Mommy Wars series, our goal is not to sway you, the reader, one way or the other. Rather, our hope is that everyone who reads this post, is inspired to take a step back and consider the story from both vantage points….if even for just the minutes it takes to read this article.

Ultimately, we decided that though it may be quite controversial, it is a very real and very valid topic of concern amongst mamas, and one which deserves to be heard from both sides of the aisle. A family’s decision to vaccinate or not to vaccinate may be founded on findings of scientific studies, spiritual beliefs, familial tradition, or recommendations of medical professionals. Regardless, it is important to remember that it is just that, a family’s decision.  As parents, there is no manual that tells us what to do. We all must do our due diligence and make the decisions that work for us.  And the vaccination decision is no different. As Krystle states in her portion below, it is what that particular family can sleep with at the end of the night that wins. Every time.

Join us is loving more and judging less as our contributors Nichole and Krystle give voice to both sides of the vaccination debate.

North Phoenix Moms Blog - Mommy Wars 1

Nichole – Has Chosen A Traditional Vaccine Schedule

“The only emotional hesitation I faced in vaccinating both my children the day they were vaccinated was the want to avoid the cry.

There was no other hesitation. After reading article after article in peer reviewed journals, it was apparent that a traditional vaccine schedule was the right choice. There is overwhelming evidence to support vaccinations, and I felt guilty that I was scouring journals to feel confident in my decision. Why was I rattled? I was a new mother. I have a television and eyes and there had been an incredible amount of media attention given to vaccinations at the time we had our daughter. Why the attention from the media? Well, we are clearly still feeling the effects of Andrew Wakefield, who published a paper that was later found fraudulent and his license to practice medicine revoked. Regardless, the damage had been done and the world was convinced that vaccines were a cause of autism. However, this is not the case, and has not been demonstrated in a single study.

What does frighten me is the data that is being released continually demonstrating decreases in overall immunization rates despite state mandates.

The media reports on television, the radio and print all indicating outbreaks of diseases that are preventable and are resulting in deaths in very young children and babies who cannot or have not had an opportunity to complete their schedule of vaccinations, that scares me.

So even though the cry was painful, we did it, without any hesitation.”

Krystle – Has Chosen Not to Vaccinate
I am as some would say a mostly “crunchy” mama. I have had a homebirth, use natural remedies when my kids or family gets sick, homeschool, co-sleep, and nurse past the age of 12 months. I suppose one of the most controversial things I do as this type of parent is choose to not vaccinate my children.

In a day and age where we have medical journals, independent studies, and so many more resources right at our fingertips, it is one of today’s greatest gifts that we are able to LEARN, STUDY, and dive into almost any issue and have the freedom to make our own choice!
This is exactly the approach I have taken in deciding to not vaccinate my kids. To dismiss any and all fear, NO I don’t do it because of Jenny McCarthy, and NO I don’t do it because I think vaccines cause Autism- we don’t know exactly what does, but that’s not my reasoning for not doing it- not even on my radar.
I always thought that I would vaccinate my kids. It was just what everyone DID. No questions asked. Well, when it came time to have my own child, I decided to look into the issue way more than just doing something just because it’s the norm. I tend to go against the grain when logic or good reasoning convinces me, and in this case, that’s exactly what happened.
I researched vaccines like a full-time job for quite some time and ended with this: It’s what you (as a parent) can sleep with at the end of the night. Plain and simple. There is NO denying that vaccines can indeed have serious side effects. The chemicals used in the vaccines wouldn’t be something you would normally be okay with injecting in your body under any other circumstance. In the past two decades, chronic illnesses have dramatically increased. These are all facts. I promise. Not to mention, vaccines are not 100% effective-leaving the chance that after injecting the body with said chemicals, you could STILL get the disease. I did. I got whooping cough as a kid. Also, most doctors only report 10% of vaccine injuries. When I was a kid, I received around 10 vaccinations, while today’s children receive between 36-38 on the recommended schedule….that’s more than triple!
With almost every choice in life, especially being a parent, you must decide what is best for your family. Every family is a unique puzzle with different conditions that come into play. For my family, the risks of vaccinating seemed too great. There were too many unknowns. And that is something we were just not comfortable with. Should something in the making of vaccines change and I feel like vaccines became safer and less of a risk, I may change my mind. But for now, this is the decision that my family can sleep with at the end of the night. Your family may feel safer vaccinating- and that is perfectly okay!
I’ll leave your family’s personal decisions to you and hopefully you can do the same for me! Let’s LOVE more and JUDGE less!”
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Jessie is the proud mama of two little loves, Reese (born 2009) and Brooks (born 2011). She is fortunate enough to share her life’s adventures with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Todd to whom she has been married since 2004. Although she and her husband have lived all over the West Coast, Arizona is home and she can’t imagine leaving the warm Arizona sunshine anytime soon! A proud University of Arizona Alumni, Jessie spent her pre-kiddo years as a corporate recruiter and trainer. When she is not taking her kiddos to the park or exploring the many cool things the Valley has for families, Jessie is running her natural baby food business, At First Bite, and blogging about the many adventures of parenthood on her blog, At First Bite – Peas. Love. Yumminess.


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