July 30, 2010 (5:04 pm)

DTaP Vaccine and Whooping Cough Epidemic – What to Do?

topics: Vaccines
by Kristen Suzanne

What do you think about vaccinations, or DTaP in particular with whooping cough (Pertussis) seeing a resurgence? Share your story below.

I stated reading about vaccines even before I became pregnant. It’s not an easy topic, neither the science nor the emotions. So I wanted to have a handle on it before pregnancy. Well, funny thing… I’m learning that with children, you can think you have it all figured out but it can change pretty quickly once your precious little baby is in your arms.

(I’m not a doctor so I’m not prescribing a plan for you in this post. I ALWAYS recommend doing your own research as well as discussing this with your child’s pediatrician so you can make an informed decision.)

The first thing I came to realize is that not all vaccines are the same. Some carry more risk than others. Some protect against diseases with different risks than others. For instance, take Polio… super unlikely but a terrible disease. And then there’s the joke of the vaccine world, Rotavirus… everyone gets this bug when they’re a kid but, LOL, it’s just plain old diarrhea. (The risk is if you get too dehydrated and are a hundred miles from an IV drip, like in Africa.) And some vaccines are simply more effective than others at offering protection. I quickly came to see that, while vaccines have polarized a lot of people (“pro” vs. “anti” vaccine), the reality is just not black-and-white. It’s more complicated.

Most complex of all.. nobody really knows the cumulative risk of loading up on so many vaccines at such an early age. The science is weak here. The current CDC vaccine schedule calls for a lot more vaccines than we adults had when we were kids (and, despite this, I don’t recall many terrible epidemics as a kid).  It also calls for more vaccinations than many other industrialized nations, such as Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. These countries schedule far fewer vaccines… also seemingly without zombie hordes of infected people taking over their little Nordic utopia. And call me cynical, but when the CDC’s advisory committee that writes the schedule has members who are the ones selling the vaccines… well, that’s just dumb.

This brings me to today… there is an outbreak of whooping cough in California. Here are the things that come into play for my family. California is next to Arizona, where we live, so whooping cough (pertussis) could realistically come here, and probably will. Kamea is one month old. The traditional time to start the DTaP vaccine is at two months. (The pertussis vax is the “P” in DTaP.) The first shot only provides about ~65% immunity, so the schedule calls for three more later on (and still with no guarantee of immunity, but about 95%). Whooping cough can be bad even for toddlers, but deaths are almost always infants under 6 months old. So the most relevant period is a 4-month window from 2 to 6 months of age. Unfortunately, Kamea will soon fall into this category.

I’ll be honest… I’m terrified to assault her young system with the shot. Decades ago, when kids were getting far fewer vaccines, manufacturers started combining the pertussis vax with diptheria and tetanus vaccines into one shot (hence, “‘DTaP”), for everybody’s convenience. Problem is, kids get a lot more total vaccines now, and diptheria and tetanus are less of a concern to a 2-month-old (unless your baby teethes on rusty nails), but they don’t offer the pertussis vaccine all by itself to the general population. (Mark my words: In a few years, they will, due to public demand.)

So the only way to vaccinate Kamea against pertussis is to subject her to a couple of other less important vaccines. Furthermore, the pertussis vaccine is allegedly the most offensive of the three. And after further research, Kamea might not be a good candidate for the vaccine. 1) There are contraindications: our family has a bad history of hay fever and milk allergies. 2) She is breast-fed (formula babies have weaker immunity). 3) She is never around other children and both her parents work from home (so less likelihood of catching the disease). 4) There have been no cases of pertussis reported in AZ (yet, at least). And again, 5) during her “risky” window, the shot only provides 65% immunity to begin with. With all of these factors, you can see how it’s not just a simple decision. Perhaps something will change, such as a breakout in Arizona, that would change the equation.

All this research and fretting…  for just one vaccine! It’s no wonder so many parents end up going “all or none” when it comes to vaccines, because it’s easier to make one big decision than dozens of small ones. Fortunately, pressure from concerned parents is getting to the point that a growing number of pediatricians have begun asking the CDC for an optional, alternate schedule for those parents who share these concerns. I expect it will happen eventually, for the simple reason that overall vaccinations will likely increase as a result, because so many parents who would accept a milder schedule are currently opting out completely. And this total opt-out is what the CDC fears the most, because if enough people do it, the population as a whole could lose what’s called “herd immunity,” which makes large-scale epidemics exponentially more likely.

Each family needs to inform themselves about the risks/benefits of each vaccine, and factor in their own lifestyle. Are you breastfeeding? Using formula? Does your household have a lot of “disease vectors” (siblings, haha), are your kids at school? Homeschooled? Riding in subways? Playing in the woods? Traveling overseas?… this last question alone is a whole other animal to consider, as many diseases that have been long forgotten in industrialized countries are still on the rampage in developing countries.

Kamea sees both a naturopathic doctor as well as an MD pediatrician. They each bring their own perspective, styles, approaches, biases, and unique types of expertise. And fortunately, they play nice… they’re both respectful toward the input of the other, and in particular, respectful of our specific questions and concerns. In short, they’re open-minded, as we try to be… our naturopathic doctor, for instance, doesn’t usually cheer about vaccines, but he understands if parents want to vaccinate right now in our area due to the California epidemic, and he was the one who raised this issue when news of the outbreak hit. With such complex decisions to be made, if you’re going to try to make the best possible decisions, it helps to have as many non-dogmatic people as you can to give you their candid opinions.

What are your thoughts on the DTaP Vaccine and the whooping cough outbreak? Please share your story!

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  • http://www.babyculbygrows.blogspot.com Ashleyaculbertson

    You have offered such a great perspective on this weighty debate! I swore I would not vaccinate my children, but when my first was born two years ago my mind started spinning about all the horrible diseases she was not protected against. Every time we put her in the nursery at church or were in big public places, I got nervous because she wasn’t vaccinated. We have a wonderful pediatrician who does not force vaccines and is very naturally minded. She presents us with the risks of the vaccines versus the risks of the diseases at each appointment so I feel that, although I pretty much made up my mind before she was born the route I would take, I am informed and can make wise decisions because of her help. When my daughter was 18 months old I was about to give birth to our second baby girl. It was then that our doctor really urged us to think about giving our older daughter her first vaccine, DTaP, so that when baby sister came along she would not face the risk of having an older sibling infected with pertussis (whooping cough was really going around among the unimmunized community last winter and early spring here in Georgia, too!). Reluctantly at first and then okay with it, we went for it. I have to say that I am glad that we did it. However, (bear in mind that I have no scientific evidence to prove that there is a correlation) my daughter, who up to that point had had only one cold or illness of any kind, caught six colds over the course of the next five months after having the first two rounds of the vaccine! I am not certain that it weakened her immune system and invited all those bugs in or what, but it does seem a little sketchy to me. The worst part was that our younger child (one month to four months of age at the time) caught every one of those illnesses too even though she was exclusively breastfed! Anyways, we will probably do the same thing with our second daughter (begin the DTaP at 18 months and wait on all other vaccines until she is older). I breastfed my older child until she was 13 months old (I was 2 months pregnant with baby #2 at that point and couldn’t handle nourishing all three of us any longer!) and had enough milk in my freezer to keep her on breastmilk until she was 14 months. She then went to almond milk and now drinks just water. I plan to do similarly with our second baby girl…she is eight months old now and still going strong with nursing, so I might try to keep at it through the winter months until she is one and a half or so since she will not be vaccinated during peak illness season and can use all the antibodies she can get since she and her sister seem to share germs very well. Good luck with these important decisions! I enjoy reading about your life as a mommy! Congrats on Kamea! Enjoy these first few months–they go by way way way too quickly.

  • http://thewhoopingcough.com/?p=1189 DTaP Vaccine and Whooping Cough Epidemic – What to Do? » Green … | TheWhoopingCough.com

    [...] the original: DTaP Vaccine and Whooping Cough Epidemic – What to Do? » Green … Related Reading: Whooping Cough – A Journey Towards Truth Whooping Cough Cured With Pertussin: Its [...]

  • http://www.bonzaiaphrodite.com Sayward

    I really appreciate this article – I'm actually working on a similar one for my own blog! =D

    I feel the same way as you, very torn. I've read the books and watched the documentaries and it's still so difficult. What may be very clear in an intellectual, hypothetical sense, becomes so muddied when gazing upon your own little one.

    Our original intention was not even to entertain thoughts of vaccines until 6 months. I'm not an all-or-nothing kind of gal, so I'm totally willing to go vax by vax and set our own schedule, both delayed and selective. We're still working all that out.

    Waits is almost 5 months old. 2 weeks ago we gave him the DTaP. We're in Oregon.

    The *huge* number of *unvaxed* children here definitely played into our decision.

    So did the concept of 'community', which we both hold as a very important tenet of our lives (and a value we as parents hope to impart). This idea of being part of a bigger community, and really living that instead of just 'talking it', is what we always come back to in the vax discussion. That's the toughest part for us.

    The DTaP first shot is only a partial immunity, true, but more importantly it offers protection in that, if your child does contract pertussis, the case should be *much* less severe. That was the final factor for us. We do not plan to do any of the boosters, so just the one first shot is all he'll get as far as toxicity load. We feel comfortable with that.

    I had tears in my eyes when he got the shot, but he didn't even flinch.

    Anyway, that was our decision. I think the vaccine issue is maybe one of the toughest things I've come across in my entire life. It seems so 'could be damned if you do, could be damned if you don't'. That's why I don't disparage any parent for their decisions, whatever they do.

    Thanks for opening this dialogue.

  • Rebecca

    I still don't know what the right answer is, but my family came to similar conclusions. It really is not an all-or-nothing decision. We ended up spreading them out and only doing the ones legally required by the state (which really annoys our pediatrician.)
    What are your thoughts on the aluminum content of vaccines? There seems to be little research on the effects but what I did find was disturbing. We chose Pentacel over DTaP because there was cumulatively going to be less aluminum injected into our sweet little girl.
    Thanks for this post!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Great comment. Thanks for sharing. You're right I read that about the
    vax, too… If contracted the result could be less severe. That's
    something to consider. :)

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    The aluminum aspect really bothers me, too. As well that some contain
    animal matter. :(

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you for the detailed comment. Having more than one kid can
    certainly tip the scales, eh?

    I love how supportive your doctor is. I wish more were like that. I
    suspect they will be in time.

    Great discussion!

  • http://color-so-loud.tumblr.com Kat

    I just wrote up a lengthy response (yeah, longer than this even) and I think it disappeared!

    Anyway, I found The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears to be helpful for objective details about the different vaccines. You can also look up info about the diseases and vaccines on the CDC website. The Pink Book? The Red Book? I can't remember, but one of them is free and available online. The Dr. Sears book addresses the aluminum levels of each vaccine.

    We don't vaccinate our 3 month old yet, but will probably start slowly and selectively around 6 months. We do vaccinate our 3 year old (on a similar schedule to the one we will use for the baby) because I do believe in herd immunity and protecting the babies and others with weak immune systems. I don't know what I would do in your situation with the outbreak, it is a tough decision to make. I would probably start with the DTaP when I am comfortable with vaccination.

    Also, it makes me angry that people often bring up autism when talking about vaccines (not that you did). The autism link has been proven wrong, and people on both sides get sidetracked by it. Meanwhile, the mainstream media assumes that everyone who does not vaccinate does so because they are afraid their child will develop autism. That is not the only reason! Show me the research that says loading all these toxins into underdeveloped immune systems is completely safe (way more vaccines on the schedule than we used 20-30 years ago), and then we can talk.

    Oh, and a side note — a study was recently released saying that giving Tylenol preventatively before a vaccine can actually decrease the efficacy of the vaccine. Many parents administer medication hoping to avoid the mild fever that can occur with a vaccine, but not only does that not generally work (as far as I know), it can actually be detrimental to the vaccination process. If parents are going to give the shots, they shouldn't mess with it.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Hi Kat, thx for responding. I actually have that book… along with 4
    others – lol. I'm going back through them all now, as well as reading
    tons online. We're also attending a seminar in a couple weeks by a
    couple doctors who don't vax (1 is a chiro and the other is a
    cardiologist, MD). I'm eager to hear their take… one coming from an
    alternative health background and the other from a traditional
    medicine background.

  • Nicole

    I read the book “what your doctor may not tell you about children's vaccinations” and it really helped me. We work on an alternative schedule for shots. We give them certain vitamins before shots and after to help prevent reactions. I am actually fine with shots but the amount they give in my opinion is too much too quick. Spacing and testing is important. It is a very personal choice and only you know what you can live with. Good luck!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I have that book, too. My naturopath said that if we vaccinate, he
    will have stuff for us to give Kamea before and after as well.

  • teresa

    This is the most open minded and reasonable discussion I've ever come across on this subject! Such a breath of fresh air. It is scary to see all the new vaccinations that are being introduced, and I'm thankful that my kids are done most of theirs and seem to have come through totally unscathed. I suppose we don't know for the long term, but I am glad those decisions are mostly over. There is so much information out there, it's enough to make your head spin and constantly worry if you're doing the right thing for your kids. It's definitely helpful to have these kinds of discussions.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thank you for the compliment and comment. Indeed my head is spinning
    and probably won't stop no matter which route we choose. Heck, having
    a child means always feeling a small level of anxiety, I suspect, for
    the rest of my life, independent of the vaccine issue, simply because
    I'm a mom now. ;)

  • http://www.missionvegan.com Maida

    With my first born, I went along with whatever her pediatrician recommended and gave her all of the vaccines. She was born with health issues and as a first time mom, I was really afraid of doing anything that would harm her further. After being treated in the hospital following birth she was completely fine, but I was just nervous and uninformed. I will say that she's totally normal after being loaded to the max with all those vaccines, so just giving the one dose of DTaP to Kamea is probably going to be okay if that's what you decide to do.

    I'm expecting our second in about 5 weeks and I was honestly waiting to see your posts on vaccines before making up my mind. I know that sounds dumb, but I figured that what's good for you is probably good for me and I was interested to hear your perspective before making my own final decision. (I did read all of the books you recommended on vaccines as well as a couple of others recommended by friends, so it's not like I was counting on you for medical advice, just hoping your perspective would sway my opinion one way or the other.)

    I have a list that I started while reading the books with vaccines that I was okay giving my baby and ones that I was really opposed to. Unfortunately, DTaP was one that I was undecided on because I don't think diptheria and tetanus are all that important, particularly because tentanus can be given in the hospital if I ever had to seek medical treatment for an injury in which she may come in contact with it. And who the heck gets diptheria anymore? If pertussis was it's own vaccine, I wouldn't hesitate to give it to my baby especially after seeing how much a baby who gets it suffers. Have you seen the Frontline on vaccines? I thought that was pretty informative and is what made me a little more open minded to vaccines.

    I don't think as many people would be so hesitant about giving vaccines to their children if they weren't all bundled together like they are. For example, I know someone who would give their child the MMR vaccine if they could do it one at a time and not all at once. I really hope they start to break them out.

    I live in California and I don't know one person who has been affected by this “epidemic.” I'm not saying it's not happening, but I think the media is maybe sensationalizing it a little bit. Actually, I hadn't even heard of it until Dr. Mercola posted something on Facebook not that long ago. Again, I'm not denying that it's happening or saying this isn't important, just saying the hype may die down in the next few months, much in the same way the swine flu did.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Hi! Thanks for your thorough comment. It's greatly appreciated. I'm
    honored and humbled that you think about my opinion in that way. I
    wish I had the answer for you. :)

  • http://littlehouseinbigwoods.blogspot.com/ faith

    I have an 11 year old and 9 year old. I gave the 11 year old the dead polio vaccine at that is it. Many years later the 9 year old stepped on the jaw of a fish at a lake. It pierced through his foot. He was 6 at the time. We immediately went to the pediatrician and got the tetnus vaccine. He then had to get the series of boosters. I searched North America and Canada for the tetnus only booster to no avail. It is made for adults but not for children. How could he get the tetnus vaccine at the time of contact but not as a booster? They are different concentrations. He needed a super dose to hopefully counteract the tetnus but then smaller ones to boost the immunity. This is what I was told anyway. So, this experience made me reexamine my vaccination choices. What kind of lifestyle do my children lead? The answer made me choose to vaccinate my 11 yr old for tetnus as well EXCEPT I could only get the DTap…grrrrrr…..the interesting thing is when your kids are older the schedule changes. It isn't so often for boosters. I understand that vaccines are for the mass population and that they try to give as many as possible all at once to be sure the mass population of children are getting something; to often children do not return for the rest of their boosters. My philosophy was to wait until my babies were strong enough to handle the vaccine…no matter which one it is. If that means waiting until they are 7 yrs old then so be it. They will have an easier time assimilating the toxins at that age than at 2 months. The research all agrees that vaccines are potentially toxic due to their nature and certainly invasive to the body and energy fields of the receiver…(humans, animals, plants)
    Oh and once you start the journey to NOT completely vaccinate be prepared for explainations for the rest of your daughters childhood. I have signed plenty of moral/ethical exemption forms..check your state for details on vaccine exemptions.
    In the end this decision is extrememly personal for every person involved. I take care to discuss it with certain people. I actually got a comment from a friend that went something like this, “I vaccinate my children so you don't have to….” Yikes!! Your most important resource is knowledge. Arm yourself with as much as you can.

  • http://thevegantiffin.blogspot.com The Vegan Tiffin

    Can either of you give a bit of detail on what you have given/will give to the baby before and after the vaccinations? Interesting…! Thanks!

  • Helen

    It is an interesting discussion. We are in a similar predicament. Before we conceived, our doctor recommended that we both be vaccinated with the DTaP, as parents can carry Pertussis.

  • http://www.grassfedmomma.blogspot.com grassfedmomma

    oh love, I so wanted my Sam to not have shots… but my pediatrician scared the hell out of me with the whooping cough description etc. My advice: space them out, don’t let them load her up with four at a time (shots). Be sure to get that breast milk ready, have it for her before and after if you decide to do the vaccines.

    it is a hard choice, but the thing is, many people are coming into our state (and yours!) who do not vaccinate ever… and diseases that were obsolete are now rising.
    Listen to your heart and your dr..you will know what is best for your daughter.
    xo deb

  • Angela

    Hi there, I chose not too. I would recommend attending a local free educational seminar on the suject. It is given by two local doctors–all of the info is cited from the vaccine manufacturerers and medical journals. I found it to be very eye opening. I tried to forward you the evite but it did not work. You can email drheatherwolfson@yahoo.com and ask her to send you the evite. Luckily their next scheduled lecture it on Aug. 16th at DC Ranch Community Center. Good Luck!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I am already set up to check that out in August. I know her :)

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thanks Deb xoxo

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I think… Vitamins A and C. My naturopath will provide it, plus
    anything else, if we go that route. Not sure if there is more.

  • Sara

    Hi Kristen: I totally sympathise your dilema and your baby is ADORABLE! it is sad that we have so much contradicting information. I chose to vaccinate my baby but she has an allergy to eggs and some are grown on egg whites. so the two sets that were grown on egg whites we didn't give, which made me feel so much better anyway, it was supposed to be 2 shots in each upper arm!!! on those tiny little arms!! and some are combos just like the DTaP so that is so many. anyway, the nurse advised that we wait a little but likely they would do it “because we are equipped to deal with an allergy and you have her epi pen” seriously, she figured it would be better to immunize my baby for chicken pox with something she is allergic to and PLAN to subject her to adrenaline and the epi-pen! I was so flabbergasted I couldn't speak. I also did NOT did love the way that our British Columbia Health unit was full of pamphlets about “health” sponsored by becel, and various dairy boards. I honestly don't think I will ever go back there. I am vibrating again with anger.
    on a Much happier note. I finally got your choclate book and it is freaking awesome! you are seriously a genious. I can't wait to buy your transitions book, especially since I suspect it uses daiya cheese, does it? I just found a source for it close to me from a store call Karmavore (cute).

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Hi Sara,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. “Vibrating with anger” I can
    imagine! Geez! And, I know how you feel… those tiny little arms…
    so adorable. ;)

    That's awesome about the chocolate book. Thank you very much for the
    feedback. Yes, I do have some love for Daiya in my new book! It's
    ALMOST DONE!!! I can't wait!!!!

  • K&M

    This is interesting – shots before and after! I'm going to have to look into that.

    A friend of mine recommended to see a naturopath/homeopath to get vaccine alternatives which come in oral or shots. She says they “are the same thing without the junk.” I didn't ask her what that meant… but, I'll be looking into that only briefly since I hadn't planned on going that route. Plus, I do not have a naturopath/homeopath that I see.

  • http://kurtandmelissa.blogspot.com K&M

    Can a baby be “detoxed” from aluminum?
    Does it help the baby if the mother eats cilantro/chlorella (can't remember what) and breastfeed?

    Just *thinking aloud*…

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Both of those detox but I don't know if it comes through breastmilk to
    help detox the baby.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I asked my naturopath about a homeopathic version and here is his reply: “There is a homeopathic remedy for pertussis and is sometimes given as a 'vaccine.' There are definitely no guarantees or studies on this method… It very well may not confer immunity, at least how we typically measure for immunity (antibody titers).”

  • Brooke B

    From what I have read, most of the children getting pertussis in California already have the vaccine. I don't know if you have seen the Jennifer Lopez commercial about the adult vaccine for pertussis, but it's kind of sad because she indirectly comes across as saying you are a bad parent for not getting it since you could potentially pass it on to your baby. I think it's madness that we have commercials for vaccines anyways!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I haven't seen that commercial, but I was “talked into” that vax by my
    DO (before I KNEW BETTER! ARGHH!). Although, I can't help but wonder
    if I'm buying Kamea time since I did? From now on, I will ALWAYS tell
    my doctor, “I'm going to research that drug, vax, etc and then come
    back if I want it.”

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Also, Brooke, do you happen to remember where you read that info? Very interesting!

  • Pure Mothers

    Which diseases that were obsolete and are now rising? When people throw statements around like this, it causes fear. If you make a statement like that back it up with some research.
    The media (news and tv shows) gives more coverage to murders and rape so it looks like they are up, but did you know they are actually on the decline? Read The Tipping Point and Nation of Wimps as a reference to that. Same is true of vaccines.

  • Pure Mothers

    Do you have these books too?:
    Shot in the Dark by Harris L. Coulter & Barbara Loe Fisher (of the National Vaccine Information Center)
    The Sanctity of Human Blood by Tim O’Shea
    Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective? by Neil Z. Miller
    I read these as well as Dr. Sears.

  • Pure Mothers

    Babies livers aren’t fully functioning to detox yet. That’s why organic foods are so important for children especially. When they are around 7 years old their livers can start detoxing pesticides.

  • http://www.puremothers.com Pure Mothers

    Good post! After reading many books, articles, CDC website and vaccine manufacturer labels, we chose not to vaccinate at all. People need to read up on what is happening in their area, like you did. As far as the whooping cough outbreak, read this Mercola article:

    Some whooping cough may actually be another strain that goes unidentified! (because it is expensive to test everyone – so they assume it is all pertussis).

    Look what Merck is doing (out of fear of no vaccination at all) – they are eliminating the M, M, R separate shots and only MMR trivalent will be available soon! That leaves either all or none for parents.

    Also, if mom is breastfeeding and has had these childhood diseases, then the baby is getting those antibodies and technically shouldn't need the vaccines until they are weaned.

    Our son is 3. He hasn't had a single shot. He has only had a few colds that last a day or so, 2 fevers that broke in 24 hours and he bounces back very easily. He has never been on antibiotics or any medication except homeopathic teething tablets!

    I recommend for moms to nurse as long as possible (I did for 2 years) and use nutrition and homeopathy to boost immune systems. Now, if we moved to an endemic area, I would reconsider certain vaccines, but the risk in most First World countries is too low for us to
    risk injection toxins, mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde, chick embryo, aborted fetal tissue, monkey kidneys, etc, etc. into my child's blood stream.

    If you're interested, here's a post about vaccines I wrote a while ago:
    The “V” Word

  • http://www.grassfedmomma.blogspot.com grassfedmomma

    wow, you seem very angry. Ok, let me name the ones I am aware of in California:
    TB, Whooping cough, measles, mumps.. is that enough?
    getting angry does not help anyone. I can do the research but I am sure Kristen will do it herself. Or you can too.

  • http://gingeristhenewpink.blogspot.com/ Lauren519

    I haven’t done a lot of research yet because I am not even thinking about vaccines until she is a year old. My mother in law sees a naturopath that told her a bunch of books for me to read. I know I am going to probably give the the ones she has to have for school, but they will be spaced out and only if absolutely necessary. Nothing at birth or in the first year.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I did not know that about MMR. F*#k!

    Thanks for the links. I saw the Barbara Fisher video last week on his
    site. It's scary that “Over half of the 2,480 awards for vaccine
    injury and death totaling $2 billion dollars made under the 1986
    National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act involve pertussis vaccine.”

    I'm off to read your post about V :)

  • Karla

    Unfortunately I’ve seen just that happen twice in my career as a NICU nurse. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong to vaccinate – that is a personal decision, but in both cases the infant “caught” pertussis from an adult (one a grandmother and one a mother) and both sadly died.

    We decided to only vaccinate for life-threatening illness or debilitating like polio. That didn’t by the way include Hep A or B as they are passed by blood and body fluids and hopefully my little ones won’t be exposed to that for a very long time! :)

  • http://isledance.blogspot.com Isle Dance

    You know, the more I read this…the more I think my adult vaccines have probably contributed to or created…some of my mysterious health issues!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Lol! I have 5 books and the only one in common is Sears. I'll check
    those out. I'm familiar with some of the titles.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Wow, The Sanctity Of Human Blood isn't cheap.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    As if I don't have enough, I just bought Make An Informed Vaccine
    Decision by Eisenstein.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Organic is all we do and all I've done now for about 7 years.

  • Michaela

    This is a difficult subject, I know. On the one hand, there are no real epidemics in the U.S. But that wasn’t always the case and vaccinations have erradicated many diseases which is WHY we don’t have rampant epidemics in the U.S. Look at many African countries and you’ll see what the lack of vaccination has caused in tens of millions. So you don’t need a clinical study to demonstrate the positive effects of vaccine use. Are there too many vaccines on the schedule – ABSOLUTELY! And though herd immunity has shielded most children who’ve not been vaccinated, this is growing into a problem in areas where children are commonly not vaccinated – voila! herd immunity is gone. And then you’re just left to pray. When I was a child, three adults had polio as children that I knew of. Their lives were radically affected. I just don’t know what to think other than the risk/reward ratio by which I try to live my life. If my child suffered a serious disease that catastrophically impacted the rest of their life or even took their life, would I be able to forgive myself for not having vaccinated? No, I actually couldn’t. And that’s how I was able to decide. But it’s still a tough call. Good luck.

  • Anonymous

    What a topic to make one’s head spin. I’m not a mother so I’ve never been in this situation, but I have spent the past several years researching. That’s all I do on everything that interests me. Health is one of my favorite topics.

    Kristen, you put such intent and time in living a healthy lifestyle, you had a home birth, your daughter’s sole source of nourishment is the best immune-builder there is. Plus add stress. CA is on the verge of financial collapse. How many people who make up the statistics that are scaring you have done the same?

    The little ones are the most sensitive to these energies.

    Personally I wouldn’t take a vaccine unless I were tied down and it was forced on me. I moved to a village in India, a country about which I had seen a documentary in grade school on tropical diseases. I was scared. I had nightmares for weeks on that doc. And here I was moving to one of the countries that has the very diseases I saw. I had an awful diet. Just the worst and just before I moved there. I lived out every fear. I had researched vaccines recommended by the CDC. I figured if I got all those diseases for which they recommended being vaccinated against, I’d be dead. I didn’t vaccinate.

    I drank the local water. I ate the local food. I walked through the lakes of excrement that the roads turned to during monsoon. I also got lots of sunshine. I didn’t know about the powerful effects of sufficient Vitamin D intake.

    It was the most glorious time of my life. I cleansed a few times, as everyone does eventually there, but I got nothing that required medicine or vaccines. It’d go back in a heartbeat.

    But I was in my 30s not a newborn.

    Here are some other sources you can see by experts in the field. I know your time is short and others have also suggested some terrific sources. But at least you have these if you are interested:

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6890106663412840646&q=vaccine+autism&hl=en – “Mercury, autism and the Global Vaccine Agenda” 1:31:16 long




    While I appreciate your naturopath’s views that he could give Kamea things before and after administration of a vaccine, that seems odd thinking. That’s like saying I’ll eat a Twinkie but take a vitamin pill to make up for what the Twinkie doesn’t provide.

    I turned my terror of germs from that grade-school doc on tropical diseases to being informed. It’s not a pleasant picture but you don’t have to be a victim.

    If you decide to vaccinate against the flu, be sure you know about the attenuated version because you could get the flu from Kamea.

    You’re a great mom, Kristen, and I applaud you in being open-minded.

    Love and hugs,

  • Mkercheva

    Can someone recommend a naturopath in the Chicago area? I’d love to take my daughter to one. We are too looking for answers for the DTAP vaccine. I’m really nervous about the side effects…

  • Ilana

    I was allergic to the “P” part of the vaccine as an infant, so I have not been vaccinated against whooping cough. It was never an issue until a childhood friend was actually quarantined for whooping cough- how strange, right? My parents just watched me for signs, when I didn’t show any symptoms, we knew I was okay. Because I’m not vaccinated for it I try to keep an ear out for such news (like the outbreak in Cali), and I’m unfortunately just a little limited when planning travelling (but since the likelihood of me travelling somewhere where whooping cough is prevalent is USUALLY slim – save right now!! – it’s not so limiting). I’m 23 years old now, I live in New York City and come into contact with germs and tons of people every single day. The best that I can do is be aware of my personal health and what is going on around me as far as public health. I’m not a parent so I don’t have any insight as to what to do as a parent but this is my personal story – my parents decided not to risk the allergic reaction and chose not to vaccinate me for it, and it’s definitely not debilitating to my life.

  • http://swamimommy.typepad.com/swamimommy/ sara

    This has been weighing quite heavily on our minds too. We have an 11 yr. old- never vaccinated and has never been on an anti- biotic. We have a four year old- not vaccinated. We also have a three month old baby who has just received the DTaP and the rotavirus. I believe things have changed a lot with vaccinations since I first researched them with my first born 12 yrs. ago. I found Dr. Sear’s book to be extremely helpful. I think he is swayed to vaccinate, but does not pretend that there are no risks involved which I appreciate. Pretty much everything else I have read has been swayed toward not vaccinating. Two weeks before my youngest was born, my 4 year old was admitted into the pediatric intensive care unit at our local hospital. He had caught some type of bacteria that had entered his blood stream and got caught up in his knee joint. His knee swelled up and he got a fever. Swollen joint and fever = very bad combination. We luckily caught it very early on and took him to the ER, but had we waited even a day longer, he could have lost his leg or even died if the bacteria got into the blood stream. He had to have knee surgery right away and was on morphine, tylenol with codeine and motrine for the first couple days. For three days he was on 3 (!) antibiotics by IV and then after his release from the hospital, he was on a very strong oral antibiotic for three weeks. It is going to take us a long time to get his gut back to health, that is for sure. This same son had another incident when he turned three where he got a bacteria infection behind his ear and we had a very traumatic experience at a urgent medical care center (because we didn’t vaccinate, the doctor that I had tried to establish a relationship with denied us help when we needed it). He was on an antibiotic for a week with that incident. I don’t know why my older son seems to be like an ox never catching more than a common cold, while my younger son picks up these strange random bacterias? My younger son is also more prone to eating raw foods, loves the green smoothies, green juices, nori, etc.
    I guess I am sharing this story because it is definitely background as to why we decided to vaccinate now. I am going to vacciante with HIB and pc because even though those aren’t the bacteria strains my son was attacked with, it was pretty crazy at how fast things happened once he picked them up. I know with some things like rotavirus (I had the same thoughts as you, it is just diareahha), but if they caught it and had to go to the hospital for several days from dehydration, well now I know that it is not fun to have your child in the hospital for several days. In fact, it pretty much sucks. We actually home school and I breastfed my first for five years and my second for four years, so I know risks are lower for us. But we do go to a church where all of the children are vaccianted and I am not sure if we will never choose to use the nursery or not.
    Anyway, we have decided to go with the select, delayed schedule that dr. sears recommends. I was able to get the brand of vaccine that I wanted through my doctor. We gave our daughter baby vitamins prior to the vaccine to help make her immune system stronger and we treated any discomfort after the vaccine with homeopathy which I found to be very effective. My two older sons have appointment this week to get the DTaP (well, my older son will get the adult version) and my husband and I will get it as well- I guess being players for the “herd immunity.” Another reason why we chose to go with the DTaP is also because my older son may make a trip to China with his grandpa in the next few years and I have always thought tetnus might be a good idea because I have two rowdy boys who like to be barefoot outside. Ultimately though, I prayed a lot for guidance and feel that we made the right decision for our family. It is very hard to make. I definitely understand folks who choose not to vaccinate, but I also understand those who do.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I'm going through your blog now… we sure have a lot in common. :) It's a pleasure to meet you!

  • http://www.loveveggiesandyoga.com/ Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga)

    “I’m learning that with children, you can think you have it all figured out but it can change pretty quickly once your precious little baby is in your arms.” —YES indeed! I remember reading your blog when you were preg and knew you’d have some lightbulb moments once baby is in arms; it’s what we do as mothers, as women, we change our minds!

    That said, remember the measles outbreak in San Diego 2 yrs ago? Those families were our friends, our homeschooling and natural parenting friends and neighbors. We didnt vaccinate, we breastfed til the age of 3+ yrs, used good hygiene and handwashing, have clean drinking water, eat clean fresh produce (not all organic either :) ) and we trusted in the human body and you know what, it all worked out. No measles.

    I vaxed Skylar w/ a few shots up til she was 6 mos old b/c I was in a new motherhood haze and didnt even know what I was fully doing. She has had none since then and up til then, only a handful. Like polio, we did do that one.

    Whooping cough? Are you kidding me? No, I would not vax for that, at all. And I am in CA hanging out with dirty hippy types :) and am not worried. I use common sense, I wouldnt bring her around kids with WC on purpose but I also dont quarantine us. We go hang out w/ homeschoolers and organic lovin families, most of whom don’t vax.

    If i were you, id breastfeed kamea, wash your hands, make a nice green smoothie, get proper rest, dont put her in germy daycare in your gym or anything like that :) and would just carry on and trust in her immune system! and the immunity you are giving her thru the entero-mammary pathway (that which you are exposed to, you are making antibiodies, and transferring to her via your milk :) )

  • Amy Bizzarri

    Both of my children have been vaccinated following the schedule, and we’ve had no problems at all. Also, we travel significantly (Africa, Asia), and it’s absolutely necessary to be vaccinated when you are in other parts of the world, (but also here at home). My husband is a medical professor and he finds people who don’t vaccinate absolutely nuts, while I do understand the fears. I personally believe that autism has appeared to skyrocket not because of vaccines but because of advanced maternal age and rise in babies born via fertility treatments (research has proven that there is a link between both)

  • Stacey

    Wow, you have quite the decision to make. I'm not sure my story will make it any easier, but here it is.

    I vaccinated my now 6 year old mostly on schedule until 10 months when she had her 2nd round of DTaP and had a reaction. Out of the blue, her nose started running constantly (clear, suggesting an allergy) and he personality changed- she began to withdraw. I didn't know anything about vaccine debates back then, so I wasn't looking for something to happen. It just did.

    Her nose continued to run for months- no matter what I did. She was a bf baby until 18 months and I followed the http://www.superbabyfood.com/ schedule for introducing foods. Finally, out of the blue almost a year later, I took out yogurt because I was on vacation where I couldn't get organic yogurt and her nose dried up instantly.

    I don't know that the dairy allergy/sensitivity can be blamed on the vaccine. I only know that she had not been exposed to dairy in any other form than vaccines and she still has a dairy sensitivity- although she can have small amounts of dairy without a reaction.

    To make matter crazier- around 18 months she started this cough that went on and on and on for months. It just would not go away. The pedi wanted me to give her coughing meds and allergy meds and meds and meds and meds. I asked for a pertussis test but she refused. Finally, after doing my own research and working with some naturopaths, I decided she did in fact have pertussis. I treated it myself with high doses of vitamin c with success.

    So…even though there was no outbreak, my little one still got pertussis. And she is doing fine. I know there is a difference between a toddler and an infant, especially with respect to pertussis. But, knowing what I know now, I would not, and did not, vaccinate my second child with DTaP. If there were on outbreak in Texas, I would just stay home and take a home vacation.

    Best of luck!


  • Brooke


    I went back and tried to find the website I read that info at and I can't find it. I did find these articles though:


    I'll post the original article if I ever find it.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thanks for sharing. It does help. :)

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thanks Averie :) (lol – dirty hippy types)

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    It's curious, isn't it.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thanks for the articles, I'll check them out. :)

  • http://www.puremothers.com Pure Mothers

    No, sorry. Not angry. Inflection is lost and I was quick to type (3 year old wanting my attention). But, it is offensive when you write comments about “people” coming into “our” state (like you are the only people (vaxed) allowed to live there) who don't “vaccinate ever”. I took that as you are not very happy about people like me (who don't vaccinate and trust our immune systems and are grateful for clean water, improved sanitation, less crowding – the real reasons childhood diseases declined.)

    Whooping cough may not actually be on the rise. Go to Mercola's website. Some pertussis is actually another strain that Dr's won't test for b/c it is too expensive. And did you know that CA (the state with the “epidemic” has, according to latest CDC stats, a 79% childhood vaccination rate? That puts CA in the top 10 states with the HIGHEST vaccination rates for these diseases.

    I only want respect for my choices. Our bodies are free and if any science “forces” another to do something they are against, it is not sound science, in my opinion. If you need a herd and can't stand alone to make personal decisions it is not viable.

    Again, didn't mean to come off sounding angry, but I do get hurt feelings to be judged for making a very informed decision based on ethical and scientific factors.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne


  • http://www.todayslesson-theartofbalance.blogspot.com Lauren M

    Just curious as I have a daughter with dairy/egg sensitivity. Did you consume dairy while BF? My daughter can also have foods with small amounts of dairy occasionally, such as restaurant food, but gets digestive issues. She had all the symptoms of food allergy while I BF, but I didn't put it together until she was nearly one and I tried giving her yogurt and she had contact hives. Also, just looking at your time line, did the clearing of the cough coincide with the time you stopped the yogurt?

  • Elainie

    Parents get coerced ito vaxxing- it's part of big pharma's game. I have 5 children, none of them have had a vaccine- their father has a total of 8 children, all born at home, raised on organic whole foods and non vaxxed. The oldest is 33 now and has her own child not vaxxed……
    I never even took my children to a doctor or well baby checkups (I was trained in alternative medicine though and have a degree in TCM). I just trusted myself and nature. And it's worked. My 19 year old is proud she's never had a Tylenol let alone anything worse and thanks me daily.

  • Elainie
  • Elainie

    Mothers and Vaccines: Saving or Destroying Children's Lives?

    The Summer 1996 issue of “Mothering” magazine contained a well-intended article discussing the “risks and benefits” of vaccinations. The article's context, however, was dangerous to the public's health and welfare. Immunization critics were labeled “radical.” Is this truly a radical position?

    First, many intelligent parents recognize the manipulative power of the media through what it often provides–eighty percent truth and twenty percent distortions supportive to U.S. Government and allied industrial interests. For lack of a better term, and running the risk I might too be labeled “radical,” let's call them the “military-medical-industrial complex (MMIC)”.

    In the “Science of Coercion” (Oxford Press, 1994) author Christopher Simpson exposes the insidious and destructive manner in which “psychological warfare” has been scientifically honed and practiced on world populations, particularly scientists in academia, by covert intelligence agencies working through a few academic and private institutions with principle funding from the Rockefeller Foundation. The result has been the development of very subtle and sophisticated communication methods by which humans are systematically brain-washed into holding certain beliefs that effect every aspect of what people think, say, and do. Ergo, Hitler's immortal proclamation that “the greater the lie, the more people will believe it, ” has direct relevance to the often touted belief that “vaccines are safe and effective.”

    Mothering magazine's risk/benefit tables provided a good example of this counter-intelligence activity, typifying the subtle way in which the MMIC's official research data are biased for public persuasion. Critical readers, of which there are few, can notice that the risk of death from non-vaccination, for instance with pertussis, is expressed as “1:100 . . . in infants under 6 months” who get the disease. The average lay reader interprets this to mean an extraordinarily high risk, unaware that annually, the total number of children who get whooping cough in the U.S. is low, and more than 95% of these kids heal themselves quite well.

    Compare this to the way in which vaccination risks are displayed. For example 1:10,000 for a “severe brain problem” from DPT vaccine. Here it appears as though the risk is very remote–misleading because you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Additional misinformation in this issue included that “the United States Medical Research Institute changed from biological weaponry research, which was outlawed, to developing protective vaccines and controlling lethal microorganisms.” The Church Committee hearings of 1975 documented otherwise. Investigators learned that George W. Merck, head of the Merck pharmaceutical company, also directed America's biological weapons industry, an industry rooted in Nazi biomedical research.

    A my new book, Emerging Viruses: AIDS & Ebola– Nature, Accident or Intentional? (Tetrahedron, LLC, 1996), I show documents that the OSS, and later the CIA, exfiltrated chief Nazi medical officers to serve the U.S. military following WWII. Included was Erich Traub– Hitler's chief biological weapons developer who pioneered California's Naval Biomedical Research Laboratory, which, a decade later, became one of the few National Cancer Institute (NCI) suppliers of cell cultures for cancer studies and viral vaccine research.

    More recently, internationally known, highly respected scientists, Garth and Nancy Nicolson and Peter Behan, independently determined that Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) appears to be microbiological in nature and very plausibly the result of experimental vaccines administered to our service men and women. Within days of their reports to the press, a major media blitz persuaded Americans otherwise– that GWS, and related chronic fatigue, was the result of “drug interactions.” Later, the government, after severe grassroots pressure, acknowledged the possibility of biological weapons exposures as well, but to date, no mention has been made of military vaccine manufacturer culpability. Documents indicate that Tanox Biosystems–whose major investors included former Secretary of State James Baker II and Past President and CIA Director George Bush–tested an experimental vaccine in Huntsville, Texas prisoners. This vaccine test subsequently led to an outbreak of GWS in the inmates, prison guards and their families long before the Gulf War. The doctors conclude that vaccines most plausibly initiated immune suppression and illnesses consistent with the outbreak pattern and symptomatology.

    Vaccine manufacturers and their supporters use traditional psychological warfare fear appeals to argued the need for more immunizations. Mothering, for instance, wrote that “the HIV epidemic has shown how a disease can spread in a susceptible population.” and suggested that since other diseases do the same, more vaccines are urgently needed. During the XI International AIDS Conference in Vancouver this summer, my colleagues and I presented evidence that HIV-1 and its relative HIV-2 evolved either accidentally or purposefully from cancer virus investigations and vaccine studies involving African primates. Specifically, this work led to the 1974 experimental hepatitis B vaccine trial in which 200,000 humans in New York City and Central Africa were given contaminated vaccine that most plausibly delivered AIDS to the world. All facts considered, this best accounts for the near simultaneous emergence of AIDS in 1978 in New York City and Central Africa.

    A Mothering spokesperson asserted, “Literally thousands of studies have been done showing the efficacy of vaccines. The FDA and similar agencies require these studies prior to approving a new vaccine.” This too is false and misleading. The FDA does not assure vaccine safety. Nor do they even report to the medical-scientific community, or the general public, all of the risks inherent in live viral vaccines. Studies that show potential problems, including the contamination of monkey viruses in currently required live polio vaccines, have had little impact on the viral vaccine approval process. Apparently, FDA regulators, themselves, are denied certain critical information belonging to the vaccine industry. Specifically, FDA regulations are written so as not to compel industry to reveal pertinent information regarding vaccine lots that are not submitted for clinical use, but have major ramifications in assessing a vaccine's safety. Moreover, since vaccine development information is considered proprietary–protected by non-disclosure policies–government officials and researchers must shield potential safety issues from public scrutiny. This censorship is additionally rationalized by the all too persuasive argument that vaccines cannot be criticized lest the public become non-compliant in taking them. In the end, health care professionals and the general public do not learn of all the dangers of live viral vaccines.

    Finally, the issue of monkey virus contamination of the live polio virus vaccines represents the most urgent and striking example of public health risk and information suppression in the vaccine industry. That carcinogenic monkey viruses contaminated, and continue to taint, or oral polio vaccines has been suppressed since the early 1960s. In 1972, on the eve of Nixon's war on cancer, a joint Lederle Corporation/FDA Bureau of Biologics study additionally showed that eleven test monkeys, otherwise destined for polio vaccine production, tested positively for the simian cytomegalovirus (SCMV)–a herpesvirus, of monkey origin, researcher have found associated with patients suffering from chronic fatigue. The continued reluctance of the FDA to act on this matter was revealed in a corporate memo delivered the following year. Sadly, over the past quarter century, virtually nothing has changed. Even in 1996, following reports to FDA officials concerning patients infected with a SCMV-derived virus, no new in-house testing of polio vaccines for SCMV has occurred. Moreover, specific requests for vaccine material to undertake the needed safety tests, at no cost to the government by W. John Martin, M.D.,Ph.D., were denied on the basis of protecting “proprietary” interests.

    In light of this information, Mothering's prediction that the CDC would likely approve the recent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendation that the polio vaccination series consist of two doses of inactivated vaccine followed by two doses of live oral polio vaccine (Lederle's product) does not adequately address the issue of live vaccine contaminants. Recent studies published in “Virology” and the “Journal of Environmental Pathology” found simian virus (SV40) genes associated with brain tumors in children too young to have received the polio vaccine. Meaning? The infants likely contracted the monkey virus from people who had received the polio vaccine, possibly their parents. The viral genes could have spread from parents to children either through environmental exposures or through genetic inheritance. Thus, the “radical” doctors' most horrifying fears have come true. Potential cancer causing animal virus genes now appear to be circulating throughout the human race.

    As British poet Tennyson wrote, “lies containing part truths are the hardest matters to fight.” Mothering's well-meaning issue supported the MMIC's mass persuasion method of including the “radical” opposition's view, but confused the debate with misinformation. Like the MMIC, Mothering's FEAR messages were hurled loud and clear, e.g., high death rates among non-vaccinated children, along with the prescription for allaying the concerns of misinformed parents–mandatory vaccination. Mothers beware! Your most precious blessing– your innocent child's life_teeters on your decision to vaccinate. Following blindly and depending solely on unreliable sources of information in this regard is the unfortunate path too many thousands have thus far taken.

    Leonard G. Horowitz, D.M.D., M.A., M.P.H.*

  • Sarah Anne

    Thanks for opening such a thoughtful discussion. I personally don't
    believe in herd immunity and have a hard time with comments like 'we
    vaccinate so you don't have to' but am used to hearing it. My
    partner's brother had a left sided seizure within an hour of receiving
    the DTaP shot. The pediatrician on call did not believe my mother in
    law when she called him, until the baby stopped breathing and had to
    be rushed to th ER. Even then, while she knows he was an otherwise
    healthy baby and the shot was the only other factor, no doc will say
    he is vax damaged. Since this time, she has dealt with a child with many food and
    environmental sensitivities and started her own business at home so
    she could spend more time working with him. He has suffered many
    learning disabilities, behavioral issues, chemical sensitivities and his mom spent her life doing neurological boosting activities and tutoring for him. She has had to write letters to schools, and to make sure he knows he can never have that shot (or a tetanus shot) ever again, since she doesn't know if it was the D, T or P. It could very well risk his life.

    I also remember a patient coming into our chiropractic office sobbing
    because she had been bullied by her doctor to give her child the
    tetanus shot. She felt like a bad mother and when her child seemed
    out of sorts afterward she felt so much guilt. What if it got worse?
    Why hdnt she stuck to her guns? When your parenting comes under fire
    by professionals I think it is hard to stay strong! Bullying like that
    is quite common, by doctors, by parents, and it does not encourage
    free thought or those genuine conversations to happen, which I think is the most important thing. We have to be able to COMMUNICATE, both sides of the story and learn from experiences as well as the research. Professionals need to LISTEN to all the people that are coming back saying “My child is not the same…” and learn from them, rather than shut those conversations down and label the people wanting to talk. Fear is a
    powerful motivator but should not be used by others to get you to do
    what THEY feel is the right choice. Only YOU know what is right.

    We need to be backed up, educated on how amazingly strong our immune
    systems are and other ways on boosting our personal immunity. I may
    believe in community, but I sure as he'll won't be making such a
    terribly important decision for MY child;s health and life based on other people.

    I think many decide that it us a safe choice for them and at one point
    I did. However since finding out about my partner's brother my mind
    has changed drastically. Knowing someone close to you who is vaccine
    damaged sure does take it to another level, of thought and emotion and REALITY. I
    just have seen the negative effects and I can't help wonder what our
    health would be like without these vaccines. would we have stronger
    immune systems naturally? Would there be less ADHD? Soooo many
    questions that I wish we had answers to!

    Again, the thing that upsets me about the “vaccine issue” is that people are looking to take our CHOICE away. From states trying to mandate certain childhood vaccination schedules to places like NY mandating Flu Vaccine for healthcare workers. As I said before, these types of conversations NEED to happen between consumers, between
    doctors, between patients and anyone who will listen if change is
    going to happen. No one is intentionally harming their children, everyone simply wants to do the best for their own family and for those they are trying to protect. Each side truly believes they are doing the very best for society, and it is
    such an emotional topic largely due to that fact. No one wants to
    think they haven't made the best choices for their child or patients,
    but there needs to be more honest conversations.

    Thank you Kristen for bringing this up! Sorry for being so long winded!

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Oh, I'm so sorry to hear about your partner's brother. Thank you for
    sharing. And, don't apologize for the length. You wrote a great
    response… many good points to consider. I appreciate every word.

    My motto at a doc's office when they want to administer something is,
    “I'm going to go home and research that more. I'll come back if I want
    to do it.” Then, if I feel bullied, it's time to find a new doc. I
    have been bullied in the past and it was then that I decided my new

    Cheers to having a CHOICE!

  • Carmen

    That’s funny bec. my son was diagnosed with Autism and I had him at 19yrs old and no fertility treatments.

  • Anais

    I haven't read all the comments, but wanted to share two points who made our decision so easy. Our daughter is now 4 1/2, and we just gave her the second tetanus booster. We did that since we moved to Hawaii and she is running around barefoot all day long. I still don't think the risk is really high since she usually shows me if she gets hurt, but better to be on the safe side. She hasn't had any other vaccines and she won't get them for now. We used to live in Seattle and I was a full-time working mom, so I had to leave her at daycare and later preschool, she was always exposed to lots of social contacts. We did a lot of research about the vaccine issue, and I vaguely remember the one for whooping cough being one of the more aggressive ones, so our Naturepath at the time advised against it. When she had to enter daycare, we panicked and the daycare lady didn't know what to tell us. We ended up calling the Department of Health. The lady my husband spoke to said that their interest is in getting people vaccinated because that will avoid spreading of the diseases. However, after a long talk and my husband arguing that the individual safety of our child seemed just more important to us at that time than the “herd immunity,” she said that we were doing the right thing, and that as long as we were informed and watching out for outbreaks in our community (and not necessarily in the state or in other states), we were not really running lots of risks. That was of course a discussion between the two of them, and I'm sure she was not allowed to say those things.

    Second, some time later I got to talk to someone who works in a facility in Spain where they actually produce some of the vaccines administered these days. Guess what, his kids are not vaccined and they will never be! THAT MADE OUR DECISION SO MUCH EASIER!

    Whatever you do, you should stop worrying at some point. The more you focus on all the things that can go wrong, the more will go wrong. Focus on what will go right. Eat right, breastfeed her for many years, carry her around, and give her lots of LOVE and hugs and mommy time! That will give her emotional health, and strengthen her immune system. We tend to forget about those things, being so rational all the time…..

    And I think the worries will never end once you have kids, they just grow bigger with your kids ;-)

  • Anais

    Forgot two things: My chiropractor actually told me about one of this clients' baby boy getting symptoms of autism some weeks after receiving the MMR shot. That was something else that freaked me out.

    Except for the recent tetanus at 4 /12, our daughter hasn't gotten any shots and has been eating raw food for the first 3 years of her life. Her diet is now very clean, almost no dairy or meat. She has been sick with a fever once in her life only! So, I believe trust in our bodies and attachment parenting are the magical things, not the shots they are trying to sell us.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Interesting! Thx for sharing :)

    Hawaii??? wow! Are you still there? I'm curious… Seattle to Hawaii?!
    Quite a change.

  • Dreyerx4

    The vaccinations being given are untested, unsafe and create brain damage. My husband works with autistic children and ALL the parents believe it was from vaccinations. Even worse, vaccinations are being created to control the population, watch this http://www.infowars.com/establishment-media-pus….

  • nicole

    I'm definitely fearful of vaccinations. I don't feel 100% about them either way. On one hand I saw my son in the ER with 105.3 degree fever 4 hours after his one year old shots. That 1 year visit has a lot. BUT on the other hand, I saw a news report about a baby that died in his mom's arms on the way to the hospital with Whooping Cough. I CANNOT even imagine watching my child struggle for breath until he died, all because of Whooping Cough.

  • Anais

    It is quite a change ;-) But my daughter loves the running around with no shoes… And I love being 8 months pregnant again and not working ;-) We are on Big Island and too close to the volcano, though. I have terrible allergies, and reflecting about the vaccine issue I realized I started having allergies and really bad (but BAD) hayfever after getting the necessary round of shots we needed to spend a year in East Africa when I was a kid (for my dad's job). I never realized that it started the same time… And now that can turn into such a nightmare for me, too bad! We sure didn't know better at the time.

  • Lively

    Hey Kristen! I'm a bit late but wanted to know if you checked out any material by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny. I am in the midst of the same decision and have found her research pretty compelling.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I'm not sure.. maybe she is the author of one the books I have? I'll
    have to check.

  • Lively

    I have a couple videos of her presentations. I actually got them from a raw foods website but I can't remember where- just found her site where you can get them:http://drtenpenny.com/default.aspx
    Thanks for bringing this up! It has been great to read everyone's responses…

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thx :)

  • Lively

    Ah! Here is the presentation I have- I didn't see it on her website: http://www.amazon.com/Vaccines-Benefits-DO-Sher… She addresses some topics like disease eradication, “group immunity” and others with research I hadn't read elsewhere.

  • Kejana51

    I don't have children and don't really know too much about vaccines.
    I grew up in Germany and there seem to be much less vaccines than here. I'm already freaked out about even having children here since it seems you always have to fight your doctors, starting with the flu shot while your pregnant, inducing and then they want to give the newborn the hepatitis vaccine just moments after being born…

    I also had whooping cough and chicken pox as a child, I think I was six, my sister was three and my brother was one year old. We all made it.
    However we had it all in a short period of time and it wasn't easy on my mom for sure.

    My sister also had the measles. For some reason my brother and I didn't catch it.

    However we also did get vaccinated for polio, tetanus, rubella and a few others. Actually all girls in school were on a schedule for rubella and I remember that there was a bus coming to kindergarten where everyone got the polio vaccine, it was some red liquid on a sugar cube.

    A coworker of mine got diagnosed with a brain tumor and the doctor told her that they see an increased risk of brain tumors for people that did not have chicken pox (which she didn't have). Think of it what you want, but these diseases are not necessarily killers.

    I do have to say I got the swine flu last year and it was not pretty…..while going through it I often wished I would have gotten the vaccine. Maybe I would say the same about chicken pox and whooping cough if it wasn't that long ago that I had them.

    I was forced to vaccinate for everything that I didn't have or wasn't vaccinated for before immigrating to the USA. They are very strict about it.
    I know a couple that immigrated with a baby and they also had to do it even though they're anti-vaccination as well. It was that or not coming here…

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Interesting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience.

  • Julia

    I was born 30 years ago in Europe. Got, I think, 10-11 vaccinations throughout my life. I had chickenpox measles and mumps, no hospitalization. I do not understand why, here in US, they make you believe that if you get any disease you will die or end up with hospital stay and lifelong complications. They younger you get those diseases the better (of course I am not talking about newborns here) and you have lifelong immunity. With all those sh**ty vacc. you have to do booster after booster. I vacc’ed my child until she was 9 moths old but every time my child was just not himself, no major complications.
    I am pregnant and my second will get NO vaccinations or shot of vit. K in the hospital.
    I am not scared of the main diseases such as MMR or chickenpox.

  • Rebecca G.

    Your comment was the very best one, and caused me to breathe a sigh of relief. My daughter turned four months old on August 8th, and got a DTaP vaccine today. I, like you, was on the verge of tears but she handled it like a champ. I was the baby! All day I have been feeling regret…not sure if I made the right decision, yet plagued by the thought of her getting Whooping Cough and feeling terribly guilty if she wasn't at least somewhat protected from it through a vaccine. Your post makes me think this will probably be the only vaccination I ever give her. I am relieved it will provide roughly 65% immunity and that if she still got it, it is more likely to be mild. But yes, if only Pertussis were offered separately! I just hope I got her this vaccine at a good age to do so… Anyway, thank you “Sayward”! :)

  • sour_sadie

    The only vaccines I would not get her are the flu (honestly, the only time anyone should get that vaccine is if they have a compromised immune system, have respiratory problems that would have them hospitalized if they came down with the flu or if they're senior citizens[again, depending on the person]), chicken pox, or the HPV vaccines. The only vaccine you should worry about getting is either the MMR or the DTaP, imo. I'd opt out of the ones I listed, though. I hope you aren't concerned about Kamea contacting autism because there has been NO definitive link between vaccines and autism. Plus, I'm speaking as someone who's on the spectrum of autistic disorders and it's infuriated me to no end that there are some people who use their fear of getting a neurological disorder that is only inherited through genetics as a reason to opt out of getting a vaccine. If there's a known family history on your side or your husband's side of your families of any relative being on the autism spectrum of disorders or having autism, then you should speak with a doctor about any good neurologists who might be able to diagnose. When it comes to medicine, I always believed in combining alternative (or naturopathic, homeopathic, etc) and traditional medicine. As far as the outbreak goes, I'd definitely vaccinate against those specific diseases. The choice is yours, and I hope I didn't get too preachy there on the subject of vaccines and autism.

  • Michelle


    I'm new to your blog but wanted to say I think it's great. I too am I huge fan of research and preparation before having children. So much so I am not even married to my boyfriend or remotely ready to TTC yet and already have my home waterbirth for our first all planned out in my head lol :S I love that you explore and combine different philosophies of healthcare, I really think that so many people would benefit from doing this with their own families.

    Anyway on the topic at hand, the more research I do (which admittedly is still only really basic internet searches – although I do have a reading list compiled that could rival the one for my thesis!), the more my mind has been blown with things that I never knew. I am actually getting a bit angry that this information isn't more readily available to the general public.

    But I digress, in terms of vaccinations, I have pretty much been convinced not to vaccinate myself whilst pregnant or my babies at all. There are a few compelling arguments against them that in my opinion have not been successfully countered scientifically.

    - Almost from their conception, there has been opposition to the mandatory use of vaccinations in an entire population particularly as they are not designed to be used in infants (at the very LEAST in babies under 6 months). I believe this is where the argument of “herd immunity” comes in as the majority of a population are “protected” so the vaccines do not need to be given to pregnant women and babies.
    - There (to my knowledge) has STILL not been a study with compared the health of non vaccinated child (such as the Amish) with that of vaccinated ones;
    - In a study I read vaccinated children were as like or even more likely to catch the disease they had been 'immunised” against;
    - The administration method of the vaccines, particularly the injection is of a huge concern to me as this is not the way in which the body would naturally catch the disease in the first place. Therefore this in my opinion works against the natural processing method of the body;
    - Finally, there is the whole aspect of the composition and pasturisation of each individual and combination vaccine. Apparently, only one or two of the toxins have been studied in relation to Autism and even if they don't cause Autism I do not understand how injection toxins into newborns could be anything but a BAD idea.

    I strongly believe that (full term healthy unmedicated birthed) babies should not have ANYTHING but their mother's milk at the breast (be it medicine, grip water or especially artificial non human milk) for AT THE BARE MINIMUM the first 6 months of life. The more I learn to question the world and trust my body, the stronger my belief grows that our bodies are designed to be able to fight disease if given a decent chance. Common sense and continued research and education is really what is needed here.

    But those are just my two pence for what they are worth :)

    PS. Belated congratulations on your precious little one.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I love that you're
    preparing and researching as much as you are. I think I started
    researching birth, babies, and being a mom well before getting
    pregnant so we're kindred spirits. ;)

    Good luck with everything!

  • http://www.kidsmusicmarket.com Amanda

    someone once told me that we wouldn't have these outbreaks if people would just get vaccinated. but…for me…i wish they would stop combining these vaccines….heck…i wouldn't give my kids three different medicines at once…especially not injected directly into their system…..


  • http://gingeristhenewpink.blogspot.com/ Lauren519

    Hey Kristen, I'd love to know which ones you are planning on doing (or not doing)..if any? If you don't feel comfortable posting (I've already gotten some weird reactions on this topic), please email me when you get a chance. I am looking into vaccines..but I really need more research, and advice from a smart mommy is always helpful! :) XO

  • Sarah

    What are your thoughts on getting yourself immunized with pertussis vaccine in order to protect your child? It is normally caregivers that spread the Whopping Cough to infants.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    I think it depends on the amount of exposure parents get in normal daily life and the odds of them getting it. We vaxed my husband after she was born only because he was going to meetings with people and it was going around. I had the vax too, but a few years ago when I didn't know better. Today… Personally “I” wouldn't have needed it because I wasn't leaving the house, etc.

  • guest

    So new studies have come out urging everyone to get re-vaccinated regardless of schedule, every ten years because they are finding that the vaccine protection wears off. If this is the case, then wouldn’t everyone over the age of 40 be involved in an epidemic of these diseases? Why aren’t there masses of 60 year olds dying of measles? Or rubella? Statistically not emotionally is how I try to focus on these issues. And you’re right, there is no U.S. government sponsored study to unite autism and vaccines. But there is not study to disprove it either. When the cause of autism is finally revealed we will all be shocked that correct info wasn’t given to us, just like the thalidomide era.

  • http://GreenMommyBlog.com/ Kristen Suzanne

    Thanks for chiming in!

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Kristen Suzanne is a Raw food chef and author who blogs about all things green and mommy-related! More...

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