There are so many emotions and feelings associated with the birth of a baby. Joy, amazement, love…and sheer terror! For new parents, fear of the unknown world of parenting can begin even before that first ultrasound and can be overwhelming at times. For nine-months, countless hours are spent reviewing all the highest-rated safety must-have items to make sure that sweet little one will be safe in their new surroundings. After all that preparation you would think there would be nothing left to fear, but let’s face it, you will always find something to worry about. Even after I decided that vaccinating my son was the best way to protect him, I still entertained the idea of a delayed vaccine schedule. I simply assumed that spreading out his immunizations would somehow be a safer alternative than giving them on time as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). After talking to our pediatrician, she informed me that there have never been any scientific studies to support my concerns. In fact, studies have shown that delaying vaccines can actually be harmful. Children who have received vaccinations as recommended not only showed no ill effects compared to those who delayed or opted out of vaccinations, but also performed higher on tests including speech, language, verbal memory, and a list of others.
Dr. Ari Brown, author of the well-respected books, Expecting 411, Baby 411, and Toddler 411, puts it plain and simple:
“Parents who choose an ‘alternative’ vaccination schedule to somehow protect from autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders listen up: you are not doing your child a favor.”
She goes on to explain that by choosing to delay or stagger vaccinations on a homemade schedule, parents are leaving their children, who are most vulnerable, at risk of contracting potentially life-threatening diseases.
It is only natural that new and seasoned parents alike have concerns about the well-being of their children, but don’t let that fear negatively affect the health of your family. By keeping your child up-to-date on his or her recommended immunizations you can cross off a list of worries concerning vaccine-preventable diseases. I had to look past my unsubstantiated fears and rely not only on reliable medical professionals but also on scientific proof that advocates for life-saving preventative vaccinations. Don’t let fear stand in your way.