Until quite recently, I always took what was said by my doctor and anyone in the medical world as law. They go through a lot of schooling and are pretty damn smart, so we should just blindly follow, right? It sure is the easy way! Unfortunately, once you begin to question anything and do some research, you are just led down this path of unending skepticism wherein there is no right answer. One leg of research ends with no simple conclusion but rather a whole new set of questions. And how often are they retracting one recommendation after realizing it's not so good, and giving a new recommendation. Ugh. It does seem like ignorance really is bliss...
Take the issue of vaccination for example. I grew up getting all the standard shots in the standard time frame. I certainly never questioned it. I never heard my mom or dad question it. Vaccines help us not get these horrible diseases, and not spread horrible diseases, and other than the pain of the needle and perhaps a sore arm for a day or two, what's the harm, right?? But now that it's my own itty bitty baby subjected to these vaccines (and many more than we were subjected to as kids), I find myself in a fog as I go through article after article questioning the the side effects (sometimes even death) of vaccines, the safety or lack thereof of certain ingredients, correlation with or causation of autism, and the efficacy which is not 100% after all. So what's a parent to do?
If you decide not to vaccinate your child, and your child ends up getting one of those horrible diseases and dies, not only will you mourn that child for the rest of your life but wouldn't you also be racked with guilt that you could have prevented the death with a simple shot? Or perhaps your child handles the disease find but passes it along to your neighbor's infant who has no protection against it yet. Sure, these outcomes are all very very rare, but my mind always goes to the worst case scenario. I'm not sure which is lower risk, getting sick from a disease you're not vaccinated from or having a serious side effect from the vaccine, but in the end I decided to go ahead and have little Kenzo vaccinated as recommended. We are however on a non-standard schedule which spreads the shots out so he never has more than 2-3 vaccines in a single visit. This means more trips to the doctor (and more co-pays - damn the man!!), but hopefully his little body is better able to process them.
On a side note, one reason I'm glad we got out of Japan before having our baby is because of the BCG vaccine that is mandatory over there. This thing is WICKED!! Take a look at the photo on the left, I mean, ouch!! It causes permanent scarring, and from what I've read does not give a lifelong protection against tuberculosis. My husband says he is proud of his scar, and calls it his Japanese tattoo. My friends from UK and other various countries all have a scar or two from certain vaccines. So I guess I should be thankful none of the shots on the US roster are scarring??
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!