Here’s our Part 2 installment from new mom blogger Catherine.  A few weeks ago, she wrote this post about some common postpartum issues.   Enjoy!



The next issue is a major one – the Vaccine Issue. My husband and I had been warned that there were some controversies around vaccines (mercury content, unnecessary vaccines, bad side effects, possible autism links, and so on). We did our best as new parents to look into this, research it with our friends, and read about it. But, of course, we are busy people so we don’t have time to read all of the literature about vaccines. We came across the Dr. Sears book (aptly named “The Vaccine Book”) which, for us, was the most balanced look at vaccines written for laypeople. We decided to follow Dr. Sears’ alternative vaccine schedule for our son. In this schedule, you get all of the recommended vaccines, just in a different order and staggered differently. From our first pediatrician visit, I warned our pediatrician that this is what we wanted to do. I offered to set up a special meeting with her where we could talk about the vaccine schedule that we were going to follow. Nevertheless, at our two-month visit, she had the four regular shots prepared to give him and was offended when I told her that we were not going to get those because we were doing something different. She harrumphed and made a photocopy of the Dr. Sears schedule. She then told me that what we were doing was against all medical protocol. I said, “OK, but that’s what we are doing nevertheless.” She was disgruntled for the rest of the appointment and I started thinking seriously about changing pediatricians at that point.


The final issue that made me switch pediatricians is not really a single issue. After the vaccine visit, I had other new parent issues and questions come up. Are his grunts normal? Until when should I swaddle my son? Is the red around his bottom a diaper rash? What kind and what’s the best treatment? Will the white bump on his face go away? He hates being on his tummy, is his neck really weak now? These and many other questions. I realized that I didn’t want to bring up any of these little questions with his pediatrician because I did not trust her. I was afraid that she wouldn’t respect my desire for a non-interventionist approach to raising my son – i.e. as few prescriptions and medications as possible. I was afraid that if I brought up an issue, she would bring out her prescription pad. 


This was the point where I realized that I trusted the Internet more than my pediatrician. I could go on the Internet to look up diaper rash, for example, and choose to read the information that accorded with my desire for natural methods (rubbing breast milk on his bottom – a natural solution that really worked!) And the Internet was full of information and never condescending to me. I didn’t have to withold information from Google because I wasn’t afraid of what Google would think of me as a mother.


So why not just have the Internet as your pediatrician, you might ask? (You probably wouldn’t ask that, but just for the sake of argument…) Well, looking up diaper rash and swaddling is one thing, but what if he becomes really ill? I don’t want to be keeping that information from my pediatrician and hoping that WebMD will be able to diagnose him remotely (“Please click here once you have placed your baby on the scanner.”) I realized I needed a pediatrician who I could trust, who would respect my wishes for a low-intervention parenting style, and who would understand that I’m trying to do the best I can for my son. I think I have found the right practice – one town away – and I hear they are friendly to alternate vaccine schedules. We have our first appointment tomorrow.