Hi, I am really struggling with the vaccination thing the more I read about it. My baby is 5 months and we have had one doctor visit with vaccines so far.
I had a home birth so we avoided them early on. Though the doctor did answer my questions, there did not seem to be much of an option to decline.
It seems the largest purpose of the mandatory well-child checks is to administer the vaccines.
My question is this: is there any alternative to seeing a “traditional” doctor for my baby? He is so far perfectly healthy and I am doing everything in my power to encourage that through natural parenting and a healthy lifestyle. Do babies ever see holistic practitioners for well child checks, or when they get sick?
I do have a general mistrust of doctors and pharmaceuticals anyway, and it is hard for me to think of an instance where I would want to turn to then first.
Thank you for your help.
Many holistic practitioners will see babies for well-child checks even without giving vaccines. During these checks they weigh and measure the child (usually plotting growth on a curve). They also observe for proper reflexes and development. Usually they also ask you a lot of questions to assess how well your child is doing developmentally.
Some parents do not like well-child checks, and feel like they can observe how well their baby is doing just fine without and arbitrary check every few months. I respect this opinion and have never felt that well child checks were “vital.”
However, I also think there's merit to establishing a relationship with a doctor or practitioner you can trust in case something does come up for your child (either health-wise or developmentally). For that reason I take my babies to their well-child visits.
I do think that it's important to find a provider you feel comfortable with and will at least respect your right to delay/forgo vaccinations if that's what you've decided.
In my old city I had a doctor who made it clear that she thought vaccinations were best, but she also respected that I was the parent so she was OK seeing my children without having them vaccinated as babies.
We have a wonderful doctor where I live now and she's very open to not vaccinating. So I'm very fortunate in that regard. I'm glad to have a relationship with her since Galen has some developmental issues with feeding and her referrals to the pediatric feeding clinic have been invaluable to him.
I think it's worth seeking out a practitioner who thinks like you do – or at least respects you as a parent. Then you can take your little one for well-child checks to keep track of weight gain and development – without the stress of being pressured into a vaccine you may not want.