By the 6 week vaccination date, any sane parent who has caught on to many Doctor's lack of evidence based practicing would be running for the hills when presented with a vaccination consent form that says the only side effects are a temperature and small rash.
If patients can't trust their doctors to give them non-biased, evidence based information, outlining the risks and benefits of ALL possible courses of action equally, whilst taking their personal situation into account, then why are we surprised that vaccination rates are falling fastest amongst well educated parents?
I will never blame, attack or otherwise vilify a parent for choosing not to vaccinate their child.
And yet, my child is vaccinated, on schedule, and I believe that vaccinations are an important and useful public health measure.
I am not anti-vax. I am however, pro-information.
The funny thing about anti-vaxers? A lot of them are pro-information too.
In my opinion being pro-information is 100% necessary in order to be a good parent. Nothing else has as much impact, as much potential to transform lives, to break negative cycles, to connect you to your children, to allow you to make good choices for yourself and your children as information.
A knowledge seeking mindset can overcome so many risk factors, from poverty, to mental health, to obesity, to violence. So I am completely happy to say that anti-vaxers are good parents. They have made a decision based on information.
The problem is in knowing which information you can trust.
And this responsibility lies with government, media, journals, and most importantly the Doctors.
I do not put one ounce of blame for choosing not to vaccinate on the parents shoulders.
Where do I think the blame lies? 90% Doctors, 10% Government.
It's not really a surprising revelation that people don't trust governments. They are well known for spin and lies. So when the government tells you that something is completely safe and has no potential side effects beyond a slight fever or rash, it is not at all surprising that anyone who pays attention to the rest of government's lies would question the accuracy of those claims.
Doctors, however, tend to be held in higher esteem.
There is still a fairly common belief that a Doctor will only recommend or undertake a treatment if it is what is best for you, or is otherwise medically necessary. We expect that doctors are making their recommendations based on sound, proven, unbiased and up to date scientific knowledge.
As a result of this belief, many people never question their doctors actions, policies or beliefs. They hand over the responsibility for making knowledge based decisions to the doctor, believing that "they are the expert" or "I don't go to medical school, and they did, so of course they know what they are talking about."
But if you approach your life from a position of wanting to make your own decisions, based on your own knowledge rather than blindly trusting someone just because of a qualification they have; you soon discover that trusting doctors to give you evidence based treatment and advice, is a bit like trusting a lion not to bite if you put your head in its mouth.
Here is a list of topics that a knowledge seeking parent may have discovered that many of doctors can't be trusted on, by the time their child is 6weeks old and ready for their first vaccinations.
That there is such thing as a due date
That pregnancy dating methods are accurate
That ultrasounds are 100% safe, and necessary
That hospitals are the safest place to give birth
That hospitals are sterile
That home birth is like playing Russian Roulette with all but 1 chamber loaded
That most women are incapable of physiological birth
That induction and augmentation of labour are safe
That induction and augmentation of labour are necessary for the majority of women
That anything past 39 or 40.0 weeks is overdue
That labour has a timeline
That "premature" rupture of the membranes is bad if it happens naturally, but great if the doctor does it to "kickstart" labour
That birthing on your back is required
That lying on your back is safe during labour, when it wasn't safe for the whole previous trimester
That walking around, eating or drinking, are dangerous and not allowed in labour
That a medically drugged baby is healthy
That your baby is too big to be born vaginally/ your pelvis is too small
That your baby will die if you go over 40 weeks
That your baby will die if you do not deliver within 24 hours of PROM
That Electronic monitoring, IVs and Catheters are necessary
That episiostimys are needed, or are better than an natural tear
That water birth is dangerous
That breech births require cesarean
That twins require cesarean
That they (your OB) will actually be there for your birth
That your induction and subsequent Csection at 4pm on Friday was done for medical reasons
That you are not entitled to your notes
That you are not allowed a doula
That you are not allowed to film your birth
That by entering the hospital/signing a general consent form, you have no rights to refuse any interventions
That refusing an intervention will result in your baby's death, or a CPS investigation
That they can get a legal injunction to force you to have an intervention
That they "saved" you and or your baby from danger
That they are VBAC friendly
That after a VBAC you have to be cut open to check the quality of your scar
That you are too fat to have a vaginal birth
That uterine rupture can only happen in labour
That uterine rupture is more likely than placenta acreta
That there are no risks to repeat (and primary) Csections
That you can't have "delayed" cord clamping with a Csection, preemie or instrumental birth
That blood can't pump uphill, and thus delayed cord clamping can result in the baby loosing blood because the blood in the baby could rush out back down the cord
That you can't have skin to skin contact with a Csection or preemie
That baby has to be taken away to do the weighing and tests immediately
That that antibiotics are needed for PROM babies, babies born early term/just off term
That if you haven't had a successful breastfeed within 48hours your baby must have formula
That circumcision has medical benefits
That formula is as good as breastmilk
That babies should be fed on a 4 hourly schedule
That babies should sleep based on a schedule
That babies should never sleep on parents because they will form bad habits
That picking up your baby when they cry is detrimental
That bedsharing is like putting your baby in bed with a carving knife
That sleep training is safe and necessary
That babies can and should sleep through the night by 6 months no excuses
That babies can and should sleep through the night from birth, and do not require overnight feeds
That babies can manipulate you
That 5th, 10th or even 25th percentile babies need fattening up
That rice cereal is nutritious, and necessary
That rice cereal and solids introduction will cure night waking or reflux
That reflux can only be treated with medication and formula/rice cereal (rather than finding the cause)
That solids can be introduced at 4 months, or earlier
That reflux is non-existent
That you are not making enough milk
That your baby is allergic to your milk so you should put them on formula (rather than finding the cause)
That milk sharing is dangerous
That formula is your only and or best option if you "can't" breastfeed
That tongue ties don't affect breastfeeding and lip ties don't exist
This list, which is by no means exhaustive, is just the crap that so many doctors, nurses, m(e)dwives, and child health visitors tell you, imply, or threaten you with in the 10 months of pregnancy and immediately post birth.
By the 6 week vaccination date, any sane parent who has caught on to their lack of evidence based practicing would be running for the hills when presented with a vaccination consent form that says the only side effects are a temperature and small rash.
Is it any wonder why they are desperately seeking the whole story? Is it any wonder that they accept questionable science when they have learnt the hard way that doctors are not trustworthy? Is it any wonder that they are scared to death of people's accounts of vaccine injury being ignored, laughed at or swept under the carpet?
Unfortunately there is a lot more pseudo-science out there in the literature on vaccines than there is on Birth and Breastfeeding. So whilst it is relatively easy for someone with no understanding of statistics and scientific studies to get decent, evidence based information on birth and breastfeeding, when it comes to vaccinations, its a bit of a minefield.
But if we want to fix that, if we want people to believe in vaccination programs, and to feel they can trust them - then we need doctors to take a damm good hard look at themselves, and ask themselves "can my patients trust me to give them non-biased, evidence based information, outlining the risks and benefits of ALL possible courses of action - equally, and taking their personal situation into account?"
If they can't - then you, Doctor, are the problem.
Hi I'm Nicole