New mothers get a ton of unsolicited advice. And yes, motherhood is a very individual journey. Kat Von D, makeup mogul and tattoo artist, is receiving a lot of push-back for admitting that she doesn't plan to vaccinate her unborn child. In a lengthy Instagram post, Von D explains that she has been receiving a lot of unsolicited parenting advice. No matter how much we as pregnant women may admit that we're not interested in it, advice just comes. And of course many people mean well, but it can be difficult when you get advice that doesn't align with your personal beliefs.
I knew the minute we announced our pregnancy that we would be bombarded with unsolicited advice. Some good and some questionable - unsolicited none the less. I also was prepared for the backlash and criticism we would get if we decided to be open about our personal approach to our pregnancy. My own Father flipped out on me when I told him we decided to ditch our doctor and go with a midwife instead. If you don’t know what it’s like have people around you think you are ridiculous, try being openly vegan. And, if you don’t know what it’s like to have the entire world openly criticize, judge, throw uninformed opinions, and curse you - try being an openly pregnant vegan on Instagram, having a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations. My point being: I already know what it’s like to make life choices that are not the same as the majority. So your negative comments are not going influence my choices - actual research and educating myself will - which i am diligently doing. This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey. Feel free to follow me on here if you like what I’m about - whether it’s tattooing, lipstick, Animal Rights, sobriety, feminism, ridiculous gothiness, black flower gardening, cats, or my adorable husband. But if you don’t dig a certain something about what I post, i kindly ask that you press the unfollow button and move the fuck on. So before anyone of you feel inspired to tell me how to do this, I would appreciate you keeping your unsolicited criticism to yourself. More importantly, for those who have amazing positive energy to send my way, I will gladly and graciously receive it with love! X
But here's the thing about Kat Von D's personal beliefs that is dangerous; not vaccinating your child isn't merely a personal choice. Vaccinations aren't something arbitrary like piercing your kid's ears, or choosing to dress them in gender neutral clothing. Not vaccinating your child becomes a public safety issue. Vaccinations are to keep your child healthy, and not spread diseases that could be life threatening. So by choosing not to, she is not only endangering the life of her own child, but other people he will come in contact with.
While it is totally normal for first time parents to have concerns about the health and well being of their babies, that's why there are medical professionals. A pediatrician will be able to walk you through the American Academy of Pediatrics' list of recommended vaccines and a vaccine schedule. They will be able to help you understand any questions you may have. While Von D is claiming to have done research about vaccines, she does not say where she is receiving her information from. There are plenty of places on the internet that will give misinformation, so unless she's been talking to a medical professional, she is in dangerous territory.
In her post, Kat Von D also mentions that she desires to have a home water birth and work with a midwife and doula. These are not unrealistic goals, many women are now incorporating these elements into their birth plans. They have many added benefits, and if done correctly aren't dangerous. "My own Father flipped out on me when I told him we decided to ditch our doctor and go with a midwife instead," she claims in the post. She's also planning to raise her child as a vegan, which makes sense because she herself is a vegan. Of course, it may be difficult, but people do raise healthy children in this lifestyle.
"I already know what it’s like to make life choices that are not the same as the majority. So your negative comments are not going influence my choices," she adamantly states. Many have been quick to point out the dangers of not vaccinating her son. Hopefully as she does more research, she realizes that she is making a very dangerous decision.