"You can't call yourself a hippie momma if you vaccinate!"
Unfortunately, I have read this comment in a mommy group; I was so disappointed when I read it. I felt like such a comment gave hippie or crunchy mommas a bad name. Being a hippie to me has a lot to do with peace and non judgment. That comment above however, just screams "I'm better than you!" That doesn't seem so peaceful to me. I was curious about what other mothers in the hippie momma groups thought about this topic, so I decided to start a conversation. The responses I got just proved to me that every parent has their own reason for vaccinating their child or not. There is no "one shoe fits all" type of argument.
Many of the mothers I talked to chose not to vaccinate their child. These mothers think that their decision aligns right with their hippie parenting ways.
There are many reasons hippie mommas choose not to vaccinate their children. It doesn't mean the parent is uneducated or neglectful, it just mean they decided for various reasons not to vaccinate their child. These parents research and believe they are making the best decision for their child.
One hippie momma shared why she chooses not to vaccinate her child.
Here's her story:
"Why I’m a Conscientious Objector"
By: Rhiannon James
Many years ago before my husband and I were married we started feeling like we were ready to have a baby. Having grown up with only the mainstream information on vaccines, I dutifully booked an appointment with my GP to get any ‘booster’ shots I may need before becoming pregnant. I was so proud of myself for having the DTaP (Diptheria, Tetanus and Pertussis) vaccine, believing I was doing the best thing to protect my future baby. A few months went on and we had not yet fallen pregnant, and given more thought about our situation we decided we would prefer to get married and honeymoon before settling down to start a family. It was over this period that I began really preparing myself for pregnancy and motherhood. I somehow stumbled across Attachment/Gentle Parenting resources, learned about the Non-Aggression Principle, and how this ties in with changing the world for the better starting at home – with one’s children. I was amazed when I learned the truth about routine infant circumcision (another practice I never questioned and even said I would do should I have a son) as well as the hidden truth of vaccination. I never knew that vaccines (like circumcision and other detached parenting practices) carried serious risks and possibly life-threatening side effects. As I learned about the ingredients used in vaccines and their effects on the body and reading the stories of families broken by vaccine damage, the dots started to connect and it all started to make more sense. How could injecting tiny babies with chemicals, viruses and foreign micro-organisms be health promoting? I continued to research.
Seven months after our wedding we were excited to learn that we were finally going to have a baby! I spent hours upon hours learning about natural birth, breastfeeding and the fourth trimester period. My son was born at home in water and has never had his skin pierced by a needle or scalpel – he is completely vaccine-free and intact. At thirteen months of age, he is a healthy, robust and intelligent toddler. There are many reasons why I feel he has always been so vitally healthy including home birthing, exclusively breastfeeding, delayed solids, bedsharing/cosleeping, babywearing, non-use of sitting or walking aids, and so on, but high on that list is protecting him from vaccines. I am living proof that you can question what you’ve been told, you are entitled to learn and think for yourself, and make evidence-based decisions that align with your instincts. Had I had my son five years earlier, things could be a lot different, but I’m glad I took my time until I was able to make informed decisions. There is no degree that teaches Mother’s Intuition and there is no child more important than your own. There is no need to risk your own child for the sake of another, contrary to the logic used by many vaccine advocates. I know parents who did sacrifice their child for the ‘the greater good’ concept. Vaccines can cause death, but those deaths don’t make the news and are instead swept under the rug, often written off as ‘SIDS’ or ‘Shaken Baby Syndrome’, where some parents are actually charged with murdering their own children who were in fact killed by vaccines. The lack of transparency when it comes to vaccinations is astounding. However, there are some red flags that aren’t all that hard to spot if you look. The vaccine manufacturer package inserts state that they can cause anaphylaxis, long-term seizures, lowered consciousness, brain damage, autoimmune dysfunction and death. I trust that our natural immune systems are capable of keeping us healthy, especially when looked after. Modern medicine has its place, but if it isn’t broken, I won’t try and fix it. I choose not to risk giving vaccines and instead focus on supporting natural health and immunity. Being a Conscientious Objector is just another way in which I am a natural hippie momma.
Although I am anti-vaccine for my family, I simply wish for others to take some time to make an informed choice for theirs, instead of blindly following doctor’s orders, or bowing to societal pressure, before making a decision that could affect them forever. You can always choose to vaccinate later, but you can’t take them back. My advice to other parents is ‘research everything, and follow your instincts’.
Reasons to investigate before you vaccinate (from http://whatisvaccination.com/):
1. There are serious concerns about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
2. Detailed information about vaccines is not made readily available to enable people to make an informed decision.
3. The incidence and death rate from infectious disease declined dramatically before vaccines were introduced, because of improved sanitation and nutrition.
4. Vaccines are grown using animals and human tissues and are contaminated with foreign proteins and DNA that can cause severe allergic reactions, as well as viruses from other species.
5. Vaccines contain toxic and known cancer ingredients including formaldehyde, aluminium, mercury, antibiotics, borax and MSG.
6. Vaccines represent an un-natural exposure of the immune system to modified bacteria and viruses, can cause the disease they are supposed to prevent and lead to new diseases and conditions.
7. There have been no double blind studies to prove that vaccines work, studies into their long-term side effects or to determine who might suffer a serious adverse reaction.
8. Infectious diseases of childhood are beneficial to the immune system and protect against auto-immune and chronic diseases later in life eg. arthritis and cancer.
9. Vaccines do not offer any long-term protection against diseases, even if booster shots are given repeatedly.
10. There is not compensation for damage causes by vaccines in Australia.
(In the US, however, over one billion dollars have been paid out to families who have suffered injuries and deaths caused by vaccines.)
VACCINATION IS NOT COMPULSORY IN AUSTRALIA AND MUCH OF THE UNITED STATES, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ALL GOVERNMENT BENEFITS AND CHILDREN CAN STILL ATTEND SCHOOL IF YOU CHOOSE NOT TO VACCINATE.
So what about parents that do chose to vaccinate? Can they still be considered hippie mommas? Other mothers, in the Facebook group, chimed in with their opinions over this topic. These mothers believe vaccinations are the best for their child, and say they still considered themselves "hippie" or "crunchy" despite vaccines not being natural, as some other mothers have said.
One mother, Kristin Katz, said that she vaccinates her children on a slightly delayed schedule and still considers herself a hippie momma.
"We did vaccinate, on a slightly delayed schedule, because I looked at the costs vs benefits of vaccinating, and luckily my son tolerated it well. I try to limit his exposure to toxins in so many other ways, that I'm willing to expose him in exchange for protection from deadly diseases. I felt a little uneasy about it the more research I've done, and I'm definitely not the hippiest person on this page. I just do the best I can to eat organic, vegetarian, healthy cleaning supplies to limit toxins in the home, etc. and hope it all works out ok. It's impossible to be perfect at it and protect him from everything."
Here's what other mothers had to say about being a pro vaccine hippie momma.
"After researching and being on the fence we decided to do a delayed schedule and no flu shots. I have an aunt who has severe complications from contracting Polio as a child, that among other things made me decide to vaccinate (on our terms.) The Dr. my children see is wonderful- he never tried to pressure us into vaccines and he was totally on board with delaying them as long as we want(ed). I'm still very much a hippie because myself and my family are peaceful,vegan, environmentalist and open and liberal minded. I totally understand and support families that do not vaccinate"
"When my son was 2 months old, at his first round of shots...he had a reaction.very minor, but still scary to my husband & I so for the following 8 months after that, I researched & finally came to a conclusion that we would vaccinate.so we started at 10 months old & now my son has 2 more & he's completely caught up.I don't believe not vaccinating makes me any less of a hippie though. We practice peaceful parenting everyday. That's like our goal in life. To make sure our child is at peace with himself & the earth of course. We strive to make this world a better place everyday. We can see the change. And we try to be the change we want to see in this world. We are very much vegan.& barefoot is like our favorite pair of shoes. :) anything eco-friendly and/or grown in my back yard is the best thing to me! 😆 coconut oil is my go to. For almost everything. I believe in it whole heartedly. & we are from a small town called Gadsden, Alabama , so I'm constantly judged & very much called a "hippie mama". That's why I joined this group!& then fell in love with all the other sweet mamas on here!"
I'm pro-vaccine because vaccines save (thousands and thousands) of lives and have an extremely low risk profile. I'm pro-vaccine because my mother vividly remembered the measles to me and her own mother's fear of losing her sister to it. Though my aunt lived, they both lost classmates to the illness. I'm pro-vaccine because hippie values and culture shouldn't require me to sacrifice my child's health or the health of other (some of them newborn and too young to be vaccinated) kids and people.
I consider myself still to be a hippie because I value mother earth and believe we have a responsibility to future generations. Because I believe we were not meant to live alone and that we are naturally a communal people. Because I believe the organic structure of attachment parenting, including staying close to your child, lovingly touching your child and breastfeeding (where possible and desired) to natural weaning are good for children and for families. I'm a hippie because I think we need simpler lives and disconnecting from a culture of disconnection may be the best gift we can give ourselves and one another. And I'm a hippie because I genuinely believe in the power of love to push out war from our hearts. Hippies believe in peace in our hearts, our homes, our neighborhoods and our communities."
So what do you think? Do you agree with these mothers? I would love to read your opinions in the comment section!