Parents Speak Out in Support of Immunization
Dec 28, 2011

While we all make personal decisions regarding how we will raise our children, it’s also understandable that we often seek the support, as well as the advice of others to help us in formulating our decisions.  Whether those decisions revolve around childbirth, nutrition choices, sleeping tactics, discipline techniques, or even vaccination, parents are often eager to find a community that is supportive of their choices and that can help them to navigate the many challenges of parenthood.  Perhaps that is why one of our most popular posts from 2011 explored the concept of “attachment parenting” and how these philosophies relate to immunization decisions.  
Back in May, I observed a conversation that occurred among several parents on our Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page.  While I was encouraged to hear these parents relating to each other in a very personal way, I was also concerned that their decisions to vaccinate their children were eliciting such criticism among the various parenting groups that they had been participated in.   I wrote the blog post below to highlight the concerning trend of vaccination refusal among parents who practice attachment parenting. Since then, this particular group of concerned parents has created a growing support network of their own.  Ultimately, their common concerns have united them in a way that now enables them to support one another and stand strongly behind their convictions that immunizations offer good health for their communities. 
I hope our new readers will appreciate this blog post and understand that part of our mission here is to provide a forum for parents to discuss accurate, science-based immunization information. On our  Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page, parents continue to connect with others who support immunization and discuss current immunization news. 

When Did “Attachment Parenting” Come to Mean Vaccine Refusal?

Our Vaccinate Your Baby Facebook page is not only a place for people to connect, it has also become a place for people to take action.   This diverse community – of over 20,000 “friends” – consists of parents, concerned citizens, health care providers and public health advocates who want to stay informed and educated regarding immunization news.  We are proud to announce that several of our members have even established a new pro-vax parenting group called “Wear ‘em, nurse ‘em, and vax ‘em, too!” as a result of connecting through our page.
During the course of their online discussions, our Facebook friends often share their personal opinions and experiences with one another.  In one scenario, we were concerned to hear that parents were being ostracized from a well-known parenting support group as a result of immunizing their children.  Each of the women involved in the discussion had been committed to a style of parenting referred to as “attachment parenting”.  Some of the child rearing behaviors commonly encouraged by Attachment Parenting International (API) include breastfeeding, babywearing and co-sleeping, among many others.
According to the API website their philosophy is about “forming and nurturing strong connections between parents and their children”.  Their mission statement is to “educate and support all parents in raising secure, joyful and empathic children in order to strengthen families and create a more compassionate world.”
While no one was arguing that this is an admirable mission, these parents were concerned about the  anti-vaccine influences that have become prevalent in the local API support groups.  Even though these women were dedicated to the principles of API, they were chastised at local meetings based on their pro-vaccination views.
(Click here to continue reading one of our most popular posts from 2011.)

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