Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Scoop On Vaccines...Can We Compromise?
If you want to start some blood boiling in the realm of parenting, be sure to touch on education, "religion" or the "v" word (vaccines).
It's true. Every parent will break out into "Mother Hen Mode" and watch out!
I thought with all the hype in the news right now, I'd share a little of what we've learned as parents and what we've implemented for our family. Let me assure you that I AM a supporter of vaccines, HOWEVER, I support with caution. When our first child was born, we vaccinated "on schedule" according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. She received shot after shot with each doctor appointment (she was our sickest baby by far, ear infections, severe asthma and ER visits, viral infections, etc. She was also not breastfed long due to me working) and although something inside me cringed, I hadn't broken out of the assembly line yet, evaluating what and why we do things as a family, not just taking everyone else's word for it and falling in line.
After our second was born, I started to do some research. I read and read. I asked questions and then more questions. I became very skeptical of vaccines.
However, as I've researched more and more about vaccines, studied homeopathics and nutrition, I will share with you where I am now.
I don't think it's the vaccines. I think it's the food.
The doctors that I do trust and have talked this out with also agree with me.
Our food system is so different from even just 100  years ago. Our immune systems depend on our core, the digestive system. The gut flora if you will. You wouldn't think that asthma, dyspraxia, autism, ADD, ADHD, depression, dyslexia or schizophrenia would have much to do with the gut, but they have everything to do with it and because our guts are filled with fake food, our bodies are screaming that they want to fight things off, but can't.
It starts from the first hour of birth. The gut flora is "set" when a mother decides to breastfeed or not. That colostrum is crucial. It's a LIVING food. Formula is not. You can spend hours on Weston A. Price's website and if you haven't yet bought THE BOOK (Nourishing Traditions), it's a MUST. I don't have many cookbooks, but this is one of them.
If you can't breastfeed, for whatever reason, there's a great video HERE, complete with recipe for homemade, raw milk baby formula. Grass-fed cow's milk is preferred. If you live here in Florida, Jersey Acres is a wonderful source!!  
As this gut flora grows and develops as the baby is introduced to new foods, the good bacteria are EVERYTHING. It sets the tone for life.
There's no doubt that vaccines have saved the lives of millions of children world-wide in the last century, but they are becoming dangerous thanks to changes in our LIFE STYLES. (McBride, p. 69).
So many thought that years ago, the MMR vaccine was "the devil". The vaccine that triggered childhood autism and other problems. With 1 in every 68 American children having some form of autism, that's an alarming number that shouldn't be ignored. Yet, the parents who are scared to death to vaccinate are being ridiculed. We personally know a family who had their son vaccinated one morning, slept the rest of the day and woke up a completely different child. He was later diagnosed with autism. There's something to be said about that.
I'm not going to get into Big Pharma, the money and scandals behind the making and mass selling of these vaccines, because we'd be here all night (and I'd like to go to bed...grin).
I've read too many books and watched too many videos on the subject, but one book really sparked my interest. It's called The Gut and Psycology Syndrome book by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, MMedSci (neurology), MMedSi (nutrition).
 In chapter 8, she discusses the fact that it was very common to lose 1,2, even 3 children to diseases/illnesses long ago. Natural selection occurs in nature, animals and it did in people until just recently. The survival of the fittest if you will. No loving mother would wish her child to perish due to measles, mumps or rubella. However, today, we are able to treat these illnesses in just about any patient, allowing the strong and weak to survive. (This is taken from her book, I've just "summed it up" for you readers. After reading, I'm thinking she's not a believer, but is still an amazing physician. Just wanted to mention that.)
We can't abandon vaccinations altogether unless we're willing to accept the Laws of Nature. We need to come up with "a rational approach to vaccinations".
"The number of immune-compromised children in developed countries is enormous and growing every day. It is time for the medical professionand governments to review their attitude to vaccinations. the rule to vaccinate everybody has to change! In this book I propose the following procedure: a comprehensive immunological survey should be performed on every baby before a decision about vaccination is made. This survey should include:
1. A questionnaire to assess the health history of the parents and the infant.
2. A comprehensive stool and urine analysis to assess any risk of gut dysbiosis in the baby.
3. A test to assess the infant's immune status.
These questionnaires and tests have to be put into an appropriate prevaccination panel for all babies and the results of this survey have to play an essential part in the process of deciding which of the following steps to take:
No vaccinations at all. An infant born to a mother with ME, fibromyalgia, digestive problems, asthma, eczema, severe allergies, autoimmune disorders or neurological problems should  not be vaccinated. An infant presenting with eczema, asthma, digestive problems or any other disorder which would indicate compromised gut flora and immunity should be a red flag not to vaccinate! Younger siblings of autistic children, children with severe eczema, asthma, allergies, ADHD, epilepsy and insulin dependent diabetes should not be vaccinated. At a later age these children can be retested, and in those cases where the child does not have immune deficiencies, vaccination with single vaccines only may be considered. These single vaccines should be spaced at least 6 weeks apart.
Delayed vaccination until the results of the tests are better. This would apply to infants who have generally healthy mothers and do not present with any particular health problems but on testing show abnormalities in their immune systems. These children should be retested every 6-8 months and vaccinated with single vaccines only when they are ready.
Standard vaccination protocol with single vaccines only. This would apply to healthy infants who have healthy parents and whose tests show normal immune development." (McBride, pgs. 69,70)
"Concerning our current standard vaccination protocol there is a strong argument to administer single vaccines only rather than combined vaccines, like MMR and DPT. In a natural situation a child would never be exposed to measles, mumps and rubella at the same time...in view of GAPS conditions reaching epidemic proportions we have to review our old policies. It is very likely that combined vaccines will have to be abandoned altogether." (p. 70)
I was talking with a dear, new friend recently about how we are so unprepared as parents today (with parents and children being separated so much...school, church, sports, hobbies, etc.). The home economic classes don't exist anymore in schools, having a large family is "weird" and thus not many children learn how to take care of younger children, and we don't practice home remedies any longer. Homeopathics used to be practiced in most homes before a call to the doctor and a dose of amoxicillin was prescribed. (We've treated so many things at home as we learn of homeopathics, but are thankful for medical doctors for the emergencies.) Where are the classes teaching mothers (and dads) how to naturally treat an ear infection? (garlic oil drops or colloidal silver are stellar by the way!)
If I were going to vaccinate my children (which we will shortly begin vaccinating our youngest, Isaac has had Tetanus), I would first strip sugar out of the diet as much as possible. Take them off of white flour and processed products, feeding them with lots of raw fruits and veggies, freshly-milled whole grain breads that have been SOAKED (to get the gluten out...I have a great recipe I must share!) and then...
Make an elderberry syrup with honey, giving them a few Tablespoons a day.
Make a tea with Echinacea and honey and give them as much as they'd like. 
Our children are homeschooled and although we attend a small church and have play dates from time to time, we aren't usually in large crowd situations. Our kids are very rarely sick. Our risks are much more slim compared to the average child in a traditional school involved in lots of sports, extra curricular activities, etc. We love that our kids are homebodies and like just hanging out in our woods and around the farm, exploring new skills. Our days FLY too!
The "one-size-fits-all approach" is not the answer. Some families have a much higher risk than others and some have a much smaller risk. Parents just need to be EDUCATED.
Our kids are currently putting together a notebook (we heart notebooking!) about nutrition and no, I don't just mean they're learning the nutrition pyramid about how many grains and veggies to eat each day. It goes beyond that.
Do we enjoy eating goodies and processed foods from time to time? Yes! It's fun to have treats!! I think the past 6 months have been our most difficult in keeping with eating healthy. Building up a farm takes SO MUCH TIME and effort that I've slacked in the kitchen. There's only so much time in a day, ya know? We're getting back into the swing of things though. {grin}
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY over your kids. I've read some neat testimonies from The Kids ABC Herbal book by Steven H. Horne (author is a believer) about how prayer has healed beyond any herbal or modern medicine fix. This is one of my FAVORITE books and the number 1 book I turned to when my kids get sick. I'm currently creating a notebook alongside my children regarding Homeopathics and natural, at home treatments using this very book. It's a great quick reference. When baby has a fever, "bam" I'm ready...elderflower and peppermint tea will have them sweating it out in no time by the way!). Never underestimate oregano oil (mixed with olive oil) on the balls of the feet!!! We've knocked out viruses in such short time spans.
Know your vaccines! I love Dr. Shonda Parker's book Mommy Diagnostics which goes through each vaccine offered and you can evaluate your risks with each one. It lists the options you have in terms of preservatives as well.  
Find a pediatrician that will work for you! You're going to be seeing him/her a lot in the coming years. Make sure you're working together as a team and if you're not 100% comfortable, shop around. We used to work with a pediatrician's office in our old hometown and got "kicked out" because we delayed vaccines. Before leaving that practice, I would get nervous weeks before our visits. They were a one-size-fits-all approach with no exceptions. THEN, we found a new pediatrician who we loved and was fine with our family's decisions to delay vaccines. He appreciated my input, listened and prayed with us. We now attend a new pediatrician that we're still getting to know, but her own son has autism and she has studied vaccines in depth and respects our decisions to delay.
I think the most important thing is that our vaccines are still left up to the PARENTS. Best wishes as you pray and consider the very BEST for your family, your children and each lifestyle represented.


Rachel E. said...

What a great post! Our most recent is about 19 months old. She is our first to not be vaccinated. The others were all vaccinated as babies and I allowed them to taper off as of 2012. None of my kids have had them since then.

I like how you approach the subject. I have a child who went in for vaccines and shortly after, lost use of the few words he knew. He is now 14 and had been diagnosed with ODD, ADHD, and OCD.

I truly believe, as you do, that diet has a lot to do with it. I will have to look into some of the articles and books you mentioned. I have decided to be very selective in my kids' vaccines.

I found a pediatrician who has been very nice about our decision to not vaccinate. She has never thrown a fit or tried to persuade us otherwise. She says anytime we want to - then come on in. The last time I was in, I asked about what was the biggest problem. She said whooping cough and menningacoccal (sp). So, I have appoinments and will probably look into individual vaccines.

I wish I was more knowledgeable about such things. I think it's difficult enough raising children. It's even harder to be surrounded by conflicting information.

Crys said...

I just purchased two of the books you recommended cannot wait to get them :) I already have McBride and nourishing traditions. I love your blog! agree with so much that you do and say it is refreshing these days to find others that give hope in these times! This makes 3 books I have purchased that you recommended this week! Bless you and your family.

rootsong said...

I enjoy your blog so much! You're a great writer and always share such interesting things. :) I particularly enjoyed this post and look forward to reading some of the books you recommend.

I agree that our diets are tearing our bodies apart in this country. We work hard, like you guys do, to raise much of our food and milk our own cow and all, but it still can be soo difficult to keep all the processed junk out. Especially during certain seasons of our busy lives (like your move, or just after c-sections!)

I very often think of mothers/wives in the past that didn't have a grocery store full of convenience foods nearby. They managed to keep their families fed without crackers and tortillas from the store. But, they didn't homeschool, have 1800 square foot houses, a zillion pieces of clothes to wash, bins of toys to pick up, and endless *things* to dust, polish, and scrub. I'm sure not insinuating their lives were easy, what with carrying water, cooking over fires, washing clothes in freezing creek water, etc. BUT, it's interesting to analyze what the heck it is that keeps me from being able to make every little thing from scratch like our foremothers did....I just can't manage to find the time!

Anyway. thanks for your blog! :)