Mommy wars wouldn’t be mommy wars if verbal daggers could be set aside and a perspective of understanding could be adopted. But, it seems that there's one conversation that brings out the most polarizing opinions—vaccinations.
Nowadays, complete vaccination schedules and even delayed ones are widely accepted as long as little ones fill every checkbox eventually. However there are some families that don’t fall into either of those categories and have decided to decline all vaccinations completely.
Those in the non-vaccinating camp are scoffed at for their alternative views. After all, they’re counterculture. They’re rare. And, well, they’re different. And often, different is scary.
So in an effort to understand their decision not to vaccinate, I decided to chat with a few moms who chose that route and asked for their unabashed thoughts. Their reasons and insights. The things they want to say, but rarely voice to pro-vaxxers. When vaccination discussions get heated, most anti-vaxxers tend to hover in the background rather than be bombarded by the more common pro-vaccine talk. They know all too well that no one’s mind is changed on a Facebook thread.
RELATED: I'm a Vaccine-Wary Mom
But today, they’re coming out.
So take a moment to hear their hearts, their research and their perspective. Often, there's something valuable to be learned from those who believe differently, even if it's not the way you would do it:
"Vaccines never sat well with my gut intuition, even before I started researching and questioning their efficacy and safety. The emotion that drives the vaccine industry is fear, the same with the modern birth industry—both very lucrative businesses! Women now fear birth as a medical emergency when this is what our bodies are designed to do! Our immune systems are designed to deal with common childhood diseases. You cannot shirk the responsibility of your child's health by vaccinating them and then feeding them crap. Feed them whole foods, support their immune systems and put the trust back into our bodies." - Christine D., mom of two
"Please don't assume that 'not vaxxing' means 'I've stuck my head in the sand and am completely unaware of science, medical advances, or modern health care.' On the contrary, I find myself going down many rabbit holes of research, books, conversations with medical professionals, articles, and websites on both sides of the issue. I would much rather be informed from all angles of a decision, and then apply it to my family's specific situation." -Jinger D.*, mom of three
We must be free to choose. We absolutely must. Because that is a right.
"If your pediatrician is the only one who you’ve received vaccination information from, you cannot say that you’ve done adequate research." -Rose E.*, mom of three
"Our choices were based on three things: personal testimonies from people whose child had experienced adverse effects, the ingredients listed on the CDC website, and scholarly sources. We felt our family would be better off to research how disease works, and the specific diet and remedies to promote the immune system and fight disease. This has worked very well for us. We recommend everyone does their own research and come to their own conclusion on the matter." - Carrie K.*, mom of 4
"I strongly believe that I can protect my children’s health in many other ways that do not include the toxic and sometimes damaging—or even deadly—consequence of vaccination. We must be free to choose. We absolutely must. Because that is a right." - Summer B.*, mom of four
"We started out as pro-vaxxers. My now 17-year-old has been fully vaccinated with all the childhood vaccines. When my second child turned 3 (she's now 12), I started to question them. She had been vaccinated up until age 3. I began researching. When I learned about the ingredients I began to question why we would inject these poisons but we would be appalled to spoon-feed it to our child. I began to research the big pharmaceutical money connection. I began to question the connection of severe autoimmune diseases that have increased dramatically since we've added many more doses of vaccines. My youngest is now 6 and she has had zero vaccines. I'm happy with our decision to stop vaccinating based on our research. -Jenn K.*, mom of three
RELATED: 7 Vaccines Moms Wish Existed
"We are all parents loving our children. I don't look at vaccinated families with contempt. Even when they snag the live vaccine and are around one of our babies, i always try to show grace because what you don't know, you don’t know.
If I could convey these few facts it would change the conversation:
A) Vaccines are not 100 percent effective nor do they last forever so why are you so fearful for your child but not for yourself?
B) While each vaccine is different, you should also compare vaccine quantity and dose with you toddler and preschooler to say a 10-year-old. Does that change?
C) Herd immunity only works if every one has 100 percent immunity. That would require titers and quarantining and eliminating the population that the vaccine doesn't take to.
D) Vaccine reactions are more common than the medical community will admit to. "
- Kiki K., mom of three
"We are losing our body’s natural immunity and causing brain inflammation from chemical overload. Does it even work long-term? Many fully vaccinated adults were tested and found that on average 60 to 80 percent were no longer effective. That is too much risk for too little results in my book. You can always get vaccinated, but you can never undo a vaccination. If you don’t know what to do or if you have a sickly child, DON’T do anything. Wait and study." -Kelley P., mom of five
* Name has been changed