As I sat in a Natural Childbirth Class at the hospital last week, already feeling the need to run from all the information on hospital protocols that are anything but friendly to those wanting to labor drug free, I was shocked by the next bit of information. The nurse was simply going over details about newborn shots and tests, which ones can be bypassed and which ones are mandatory, when it came up…. the vaccine / autism topic. Why this was necessary among a room of mothers just trying to labor drug free, I have no idea, but it seems to be coming up again at the most unforeseen moments.
The nurse explained that a parent could sign a waiver, opting out of the hep b shot for her newborn baby, but she had no idea why anyone would. (Personally, I have no idea why anyone would NOT. But we can do that topic another day). The next line was what threw me. She went on to say, “I guess it is because of the autism fear but all of those studies by that doctor… what was his name… were proven to be wrong.” She went on to say, “Yeah, he’s in jail in Europe….” To which I calmly replied, “No he is not. He lives in Texas. Dr. Wakefield.” I decided to spare the other moms, many first time moms, the rest of what was spinning in my head, and to just let the class finish.
Please understand that we do not know what causes autism. No one knows. More and more studies are linking environmental factors to autism, both before and after the birth of the babies, including medications and maternal vaccines. And more and more doctors are saying that they simply do not know if there is any link to vaccines 9as opposed to blindly saying that their is no link). In addition, studies have been discovered that proved an increase in developmental disorders, speech delays, autism and other disorders, that correlate with an increased vaccine schedule. Proof? Not necessarily. But certainly enough that the vaccine debate should continue.
In addition, I too was horrified to hear that the studies of Dr. Wakefield were all a fraud. That this doctor had coerced innocent families and fabricated studies to concoct a big story about autism being caused by vaccines. However, it took VERY LITTLE research to learn that his studies were never debunked. No one ever proved he was wrong. In fact, quite the other appears to be true. Children were stolen from their parents for years, fed foods that made them sick, doctors were hired to claim these children were all perfectly fine and finally, mothers were told that they could only have their children back IF they signed affidavits claiming Dr. Wakefield lied. That, of coarse, is a paraphrase of the situation but far from a research study proving anyone, except a determined establishment lied.
If I sound frustrated it is simply because, I AM. Three out of five of our children are on the autism spectrum. All three of those children had vaccines and I only took a basic prenatal in pregnancy. My younger two are not on the spectrum, in any way shape or form, did not have those early childhood vaccines and I took very good supplements, including omegas, probiotics, soy protein and more. I cannot say that the vaccine caused autism, perhaps a trigger in little bodies that could not handle them, but I simply am tired of having ignorant people, who claim to base everything they do on real research, spout off information based on an article that got passed around the break room. I do not base the treatment of my children on random articles, and I sure would hope that the establishment would be more concerned with truth than dispelling what they have been taught MUST be truth.
Mother/ Author/ Nutrition Consultant