The good mother, bad mother debacle has a new frontier, or perhaps an old one: to vaccinate or not. There is so much judgment and hype and craziness, not to mention judgment! Throughout pregnancies mommas are often told to do something or not to for the sake of their child. People in white coats, or elders in your lineage of women (your own mother or grandmother, sister or aunt), perhaps even your partner, they all hold the “baby card” over you, proclaiming that if you don’t follow societal norms, you are a “bad” mother. I find these labels to be rather useless, and actually quite distracting from the heart of the matter: the journey of motherhood is just that. It is a journey. It is a learning experience for each individual to take as it comes.
One person’s positive or negative experience should not delineate what another woman’s experience is going to be. That said, vaccinations tend to bear down some of these boundaries. The fear is that if one woman chooses to not to vaccinate her child, then she is messing with everyone else’s safety and security. Thus that wild, brazen, amazon woman must be exiled to the bad momma island and most likely the karmic weight of her actions will smack her with a measly, mumpy, sick kid. And the mommas who choose not to vaccinate their children might look at the moms who do and judge them quite equally for putting their kids through trauma of shots and the after effects, and thus the karmic weight of their actions are going to smack them with food allergies and fussy kids. Seems like a lose-lose, judge-judge situation to me.
I don’t have kids myself, and I have no idea where I stand on the spectrum. So I asked around and got a bit of information for all my new mommas, who kept asking me whether they should vaccinate or not. I think whether you vaccinate or not should be like everything else in your life—a choice. Knowledge is power, so I’d like to present you with as many reliable sources as I can so you can feel empowered to make a choice for yourself based on the information. Big thanks go out to Molly Paterson and Anne Kinsey for some direction on good resources. I encourage you to know what is going into your baby and what isn’t and to develop your own ideas on the subject. I will say I haven’t read everything on here personally, so just go with your gut. I think a good opinion comes from reading a little bit of everything, so there is stuff here on the pro-vaccines camp, stuff from the anti-vaccine camp, and the government and CDC recommendations.
Author: Cait Allison