I know, this is going to come as a shock to quite a few people. I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I’m very open about my allergies and sensitivities to chemicals. I’m a massage therapist, holistic medicine lover, nutrition enthusiast, yoga instructor, certified aromatherapist, reiki master, health nut, fitness-a-holic, organic veggie loving and a free-spirited bohemian type person. For these reasons, many assume that I’m completely against vaccinations…but, I’m not.
As I write this, I am 24 weeks pregnant with my first child. You know how pregnancy goes; the moment your friends (and even quite a few strangers) find out you’re pregnant, they ask and comment on all sorts of things that aren’t their business. That’s fine. I’m an open book, but I do feel how people choose to care for their children is their choice. Not everyone’s health, living situation, family situation, beliefs in health care, etc., are the same. For that very reason, I have not previously spoken about my opinions on vaccinations.
I see where both sides are coming from. Anti-vaxxers (I’m generalizing here) feel we’re exposed to chemicals and young children receive too many vaccinations, many of which may be unnecessary. Doctors preach herd immunity, among other things. They both are correct in my eyes.
Why I’m Not Opposed To Vaccinations?
Here are some reasons to vaccinate your
Travelling Frequently To Major Cities And Countries
We live in a very international world. I’ve always known this fact, but moving abroad has really opened my eyes to what extent and frequency people are moving around the world. You never know who you will be coming in contact with and where they’ve recently been. Under the right circumstances, I wouldn’t feel the need to vaccinate my children. If I were going to stay living in a somewhat rural area, not travel internationally or frequent any major cities, and perhaps also stay home with my children for the first few years of their life, I would not feel the need to vaccinate. That’s not the case for us.
Holistic Way Of Living
The holistic way of living has already been my lifestyle for 15+ years and is also the career field I have chosen. This career requires constant education and study. I know the necessary tools for preventative medicine and where to find the answers to the things I haven’t learned yet. So many that choose not to vaccinate are not armed with enough information yet and are not fully living that lifestyle. That bit worries me. I’m sorry if that sounds snobby, but that’s not my intention.
What I mean to say is that it takes so much work in all the areas of our lives to maintain that lifestyle. It is a lifestyle, not just eating organically and omitting vaccinations. It takes having correct informational resources and professionals to rely on. It absolutely can be done, but starting to learn that stuff while you’re pregnant, or after your child is born isn’t going to arm you with enough information unless you have a knowledgeable practitioner to hold your hand for every single step.
Cleaning Up Chemicals In Vaccinations
Our demands for cleaning up a number of chemicals in vaccinations have been heard! Does this mean vaccinations are toxin free? No! But, some have been cleaned up a bit.
All that being said, I am so thankful for where I live right now (Finland) because they follow a practice that I can fully get behind.
- Babies rely on their mothers in the early months of their lives for their immunity, assuming the baby is breastfeeding (which I plan to). If not breastfeeding, then the baby’s immune system has to build up on its own.
- Pregnant women’s immune systems weaken during pregnancy for multiple reasons. The body views the growing fetus as a foreign object. The mother is providing immunity for 2(+) people now, instead of 1. And, just the sheer volume of change that happens in the body with hormones, sleep deprivation, nutritional changes, is enough to bring immunity down.
- Birth is stressful for babies! They’re being ejected from their nice cozy cocoon, so many new sensations, having to learn to eat a different way, etc. It’s a lot to adjust to!
Choosing The Right Time To Vaccinate
Personally, I do have bad reactions to chemicals in food, skin products, and vaccinations. I have been vaccinated as an adult. I get horribly sick every single time. I truly believe these types of allergies and sensitivities are genetic.
For my child, if we were living in the US, I feel the right decision for us is to postpone vaccinations until some natural immunity is built up, but not do the catch-up schedule. Just simply push everything back. Finland doesn’t vaccinate in the hospital at birth unless you come from a country that has a disease that has been eradicated in Finland. Considering we are from the US, we will not need to have any vaccinations right away.
Finnish people are very respectful of personal space. They don’t come over uninvited and don’t touch others. It’s just not their way. For these reasons, I feel safe postponing for as long as our practitioner here thinks is safe. However, we will be moving back to Houston after the first year, so with international travel, and a large international city, I do not want my children to be without proper protection for their health.