Thursday, March 15, 2012

Books I Love: The Vaccine Book

OK, so I don't actually love The Vaccine Book, but if it were up to me, each baby would be born with this book.

Did you know you have choices when it comes to what vaccinations you give your baby and even when you give them? I know many, many, too many parents leave all of their children's health care decisions up to the "professional" but YOU know your baby better than anyone and YOU are responsible for your baby's health. The AAP has a recommended vaccination schedule that a group of doctors and the vaccine manufacturers came up with together. The schedule is purely a recommendation and thank God, it is not law. You can actually pick and choose your vaccines, even different brands of the same vaccine, and pick your own schedule. The Vaccine Book by Dr. Robert Sears puts vaccination decisions back in the parent's hands by informing parents of each vaccine.

The book lists each vaccine out on the market today and tells what disease the vaccination targets, how common or rare the disease is, if it is serious, what the vaccine is made of, what the controversial ingredients are, what you should consider by getting it or not getting it, and then a small personal note on the way he sees it. This book is about as unbiased as you are going to get with straight facts (and a sentence or two of Dr. Sears' opinion.) You are not going to get this kind of information at the doctor's office. The doctor is going to tell you what the recommendation is, nothing more, nothing less. They may give you a pamphlet of the vaccines that is made by the manufacturers for parents and only lists what they want you to know. It is going to be completely biased and you are not going to get good information. If you want to really know about vaccines you have to do your own research and this book is a great place to start. In fact, it may be all you need to make your own decisions.

Doctors often do not take too kindly to being told what to do, so you should really shop around for a doctor that fits your philosophy and will treat you, the parent, with respect, and leave the decisions up to you. This is also why they recommend shopping for a ped while you are still pregnant. Not just so you can "get in with the good ones" but so you can find one that fits your parenting philosophies.

Happy reading! Truly making informed decisions about your baby's health is really difficult. You must weigh everything- the facts, your gut instincts, and when you have to make a decision about something so controversial you must pray, pray, pray! After you have weighed all the options you can choose to vaccinate with all the recommended ones, on the recommended schedule, you can choose to vaccinate some on the recommended schedule, you can choose all on a delayed schedule, you can choose some on a delayed schedule, and finally, you can choose none. There are endless combinations and possibilities so don't let anyone else, not your mother, friend, sister, mother-in-law, or even your doctor, decide what you should do. And finally, if you aren't 100% sure, then wait. Don't let anyone jab your baby without your full informed consent. You can always get the vaccine later, but you can never take one back once given.

Further reading, and a preview: The Vaccine Book's Website