My mission with Positive Postpartum is to increase your health and comfort as you grow into parenthood, minimizing stress and maximizing joy. As we enter into the Autumn months I wanted to share with you valuable information about pregnancy and vaccines. I mentor families during preconception, pregnancy and postpartum. Discussing the nitty-gritty topics like vaccination is advocating for my clients' health and comfort around this hot topic. I support families by educating and understanding them so they make the best decisions for their families to lead healthy lives.
First and foremost, why am I writing this blog article as a postpartum doula professional? Because being informed about vaccine safety matters and the health of our families depends on it! I don't offer medical advice, I offer education, support, and resources around this very important topic. My life journey as an Auntie, researcher, health specialist, wellness coach, postpartum doula, and wife of a nurse has inspired me to take vaccination a lot more seriously and offer support to my clients during preconception, pregnancy and postpartum.
Grab a cup of tea and read further.
Here's my story on why I advocate for vaccine safety...
I’ve worked with many different families, over the past 10 years. I have seen children that experience everthing from typical developing trajectories to mood disorders, autism spectrum disorder, cognitive delays, attention deficit disorders, brain trauma, and psychological disorders. All of these experiences have fueled my passion to support parents from the very beginning in order to educate families early about preventive health, early intervention and holistic, healthy living.
From 2011-2013, after receiving a Bachelor's degree in Developmental Psychology, I went to Yale Medical School to work in a Neuroscience Lab at the Yale Child Study Center Autism Program. I had many encounters with very sick children and heartbreaking stories from parents about how they were never the same after being vaccinated. Imagine, working at a prestigious medical school and being unable to answer numerous questions around vaccines, autism, and related topics surrounding the MMR, DTaP and flu vaccines over and over in private parent interviews. Tears filled my eyes on many occasions after long days in the lab. I couldn't even bring up the subject in my workplace and was ridiculed by co-workers for not getting a flu shot. This got me thinking and I started to research vaccination, immunity, toxicity and research funding all to find out the many truths including the links between pharmaceuticals, the CDC, the NIH and research.
In 2017, my nephew suffered from vaccine injury from adverse reactions at his 6 months check-up. I got the frightening call and my heart dropped. I had tried everything in my power to prevent this occurrence by sharing resources, guides and helpful information to my family. He broke out in hives, had a high pitched scream and high fever. They rushed him back to the pediatrician to be told it was normal and that he was overreacting to the antibiotics that he was prescribed.
Why any pediatrician would vaccinate a sick baby is beyond me! You must always make sure your baby is 100% healthy for weeks on end before giving any vaccines!
He went on to have reoccurring ear infections, repeated antibiotic prescriptions, a speech delay and sensory problems as a young toddler.
My journey has motivated me to advocate for the mother and baby. All the medical interventions during pregnancy, birth and during the young years of children's lives aren't always necessary. When I found the Childhood Vaccine Safety (CVS) community in 2016 I joined parents, midwives, researchers, naturopathic doctors, pediatricians and medical doctors study immunology, childhood infectious diseases, risks and benefits, solutions and options. These are all considered when giving parents information. I partnered with Dr. Megan Hammel at Children's Naturopathic Center of Colorado to mentor me as well.
Most people vaccinate out of fear. People who don't vaccinate or do a delayed schedule, do so out of knowledge.
I share this information with so much health and love to you and your family!
Thoughts on Pregnancy and Vaccines -
We will review some basic information regarding vaccination during pregnancy from a medical perspective and then discuss the flu and TDap vaccines that are routinely recommended to pregnant women. In conclusion, I will end with some holistic ways to boost your immune system.
Vaccination may be recommended for a few reasons: anticipated travel to an area where a disease is endemic for which vaccine is available or exposure to a disease or poison for which immunoglobulin is available.
The question is, how will vaccination impact the fetus?
The fetal immune system is quite immature. Induced maternal antibodies may cross the placenta and provide temporary fetal/newborn protection, although such passive immunity may interfere with the developing immune system of the baby especially if the parents decide to choose to vaccinate their newborn.
Toxic maternal side effects of the vaccine may affect the fetus by impairing blood flow and transport of oxygen and nutrients to the uterus and placenta or by incapacitating the mother. Side effects from additives and impurities (thimerosal, formaldehyde, aluminum, polysorbate 80, fenton medium containing bovine extract, etc.) in the vaccine may adversely affect the hypersensitive fetus as well as the mother. Live vaccines harbor the theoretical risk of crossing the placenta and causing fetal infection and damage as well as abortion or stillbirth.
Due to these considerations, maternal vaccination is warranted only if she has been exposed to a risk which carries significant changes of severe morbidity or death for herself or the fetus. The risk of exposure should be greater than the possible risk of vaccination.
Immunization triggers the vaccine recipient’s immune response. That is what it is designed to do. The intention is to create the same lasting protection that an infection would create, without any of those nasty symptoms that make a person feel sick. Unfortunately, this can only be done through activation of the body’s immune system defenses. So what happens when the vaccine recipient is pregnant?
Known risks of vaccination during pregnancy...
Several studies have concluded that activation of the maternal immune response adversely affects fetal brain development.
Vaccination during pregnancy guarantees the fetus will be exposed to a maternal immune response. Since vaccination is intended to provide the same protective immune response yielded through infection, the same attendant risk factors to the fetus need to be taken into account. It is the immune response, not the infection, that directly affects fetal brain development. This phenomenon must be considered when making any decision regarding the vaccination of pregnant women.
The manufacturers of flu and Tdap vaccines warn against their use for pregnant mothers since their safety has never been established.
Vaccines, like all other medications, given to pregnant women can have significant health impacts. Please urge all pregnant women you know to investigate thoroughly before they accept any ‘routine’ medical procedure.
Concern and caution are warranted!
Any doctor who has not read and explained to you the entire package insert, which lists all possible adverse events and the cautions about use in a specific population (i.e. pregnancy), is in non-compliance with the FDA.
"IN PREGNANCY, LESS IS MORE"
"We have clear evidence that the flu is usually not dangerous to pregnant women, but we have no clear evidence that the flu shot is safe for them. What we do know is that the less we interfere with a pregnant woman’s bodily integrity, the better the outcome. When you look at the scientific data showing that pregnant women are at no more risk from the flu than non-pregnant women and that the flu vaccine can be ineffective and may
actually cause harm, it is difficult to understand how the government could recommend that pregnant women be vaccinated against influenza."
Read the full article from Peggy O’Mara.com written by Jennifer Margulis, the author of The Business of Baby.
I recommend avoiding immune-activating events during pregnancy if at all possible and boosting your immune system naturally, as nature intended.
As far as boosting the immune system?
Sleep, nourishing foods, probiotics, vitamin d, zinc, herbs, and immune-boosting supplements are a few ideas on how to boost immunity naturally. A healthy holistic diet with proper nutrition for pregnancy, hand washing, fresh air, and a positive outlook will also help keep the mother healthy. For most babies for around the first six months, passive placental immunity and maternal breast milk are known to provide immune protection via a transfer of living maternal cells. Nature has designed protection naturally when you don't interfere, allow and trust in your body to do what it's naturally supposed to do.
I am here to empower you and advocate for the health of you and your baby!
If you're interested in having an in-depth consultation about vaccination then let's schedule a call. I can ensure you that I will increase your health and comfort around this very important topic Vaccine Safety and Optimization service. Sign up here: https://www.positivepostpartum.org/vaccine-safety
Knuessel 2014, Konat 2015, Tsukada 2015, Weir 2015, Baumann 2014, Cordeiro 2015, Giovanoli 2015]
Holistic Midwifery Anne Frye, Veronika Kolder, Robbie-DavisFloyd
McClellan, H., Miller, S., & Hartmann, P. (2008). Evolution of lactation: nutrition v. protection with special reference to five mammalian species. Nutrition Research Reviews, 21(02), 97-116.
Piper, K., Berry, C., & Cregan, M. (2007). The bioactive nature of human breastmilk. Breastfeeding Review, 15(3).