A pregnant woman denied her family of anti-vaxxers visitation rights until after her newborn has had her 6 month vaccinations.
Even though the conversation was deeply upsetting for her family, she decided she would rather protect her newborn from the risks of measles, whooping cough, flu and other diseases.
"For a bit of background info my family is anti vax, and are very firm in this belief. I had to get vaccinated after I was an adult because of this."
"Now I'm 30 weeks pregnant with my first child, and my husband and I decided we don't want my unvaccinated family around our daughter until she has at least had her 6 month shots."
"I recently told everyone this and there has been some major guilt trips and articles messaged to me."
"My aunt believes that my daughter will be scared of everyone since she won't meet them until she's older ( I think this is bs)."
"And my sister keeps saying how much she will miss me and how upset she is that she won't be able to see me or the baby for 6 months."
"She also says that my baby will be around unvaccinated people regardless, and that it doesn't make sense to keep family from seeing her."
"Now my other sister isn't even talking to me, and my aunt is saying it's cruel to keep the family away."
"They told me they have been so upset that they are crying all the time, and are really hoping I change my mind. Apparently my aunt is so depressed by this that she hasn't been sleeping well."
"I do feel really upset that they are hurt, but my husband and I believe we are doing the right thing for our family. I'm definitely feeling like an a**hole though."
She shouldn't feel that way because Redditors agreed that the OP was NTA (Not the A**hole) for prioritizing her child's safety.
"NTA. Your child, your choice. I agree with you too." – mysterrys
"Your child, your RESPONSIBILITY."
"You owe it to your children to keep them safe until they can do it themselves." – bewildered_forks
"NTA - Your parents made choices for you when you were a baby, now you are making choices for your baby."
"Your baby will not be scared of them after meeting at 6 months. That is crazy."
"I live far away from my nieces and nephews, and they were never scared of me. I would only see them a few times in their first year."
"Please do not let them bully you into changing your mind. Your husband and yourself are putting your baby first." – jdubs1984
Some suggested that 6 months was cutting it close for the baby to meet the family.
Advice columnist Amy Dickinson of the Chicago Tribune advised one concerned mother in a similar situation that:
"You should be aware of the risks and consider limiting contact with unvaccinated children, possibly until your child is a year old."
"But obviously, you should speak with your child's physician regarding this risk, including recommendations about what constitutes "contact."
"I was gonna say, 6 months is way too soon. Personally, I'd wait until the baby was a toddler." – terra_terror
"Agreed! Baby doesn't even get their first MMR shot until 12 months." – terra_terror
"Yeah I'd wait til 12 months so she can get MMR. Your family's gonna be upset anyway, so you might as well minimize the risk to your daughter."
"Imagine how hard you'll be kicking yourself if she spends some time around your
disease riddenfamily and contracts something she would've been vaccinated for in a few more months." – YuukoRomelo
"NTA, and in my opinion 6 months is too early as they don't have all their vaccines still. They will have to accept their are consequences to such recklessly ignorant choices." – DM_Doug
This Redditor assured the OP was not being "overprotective" and that it would actually be "irresponsible" in exposing a vulnerable child to measles.
"NTA, and also what you propose is not in any way unusual or overprotective."
"My kids have never met their un-vaxxed cousins, and mine are older and have the full series of childhood vaccines."
"Measles is one of the most contagious diseases we know of, and it can be deadly to babies. It's present in the US with recent outbreaks. Unvaccinated kids hang out with families with similar beliefs and outbreaks can happen at any time."
"It would be absolutely irresponsible to expose an infant too young to be vaccinated to this."
"Imagine explaining it to your daughter: 'I'm sorry about your neurological damage, but the chance was only 1% and I wanted my mom to stop texting me.'"
Here's the thing about anti-vaxxers:
"Antivaxxers don't understand (or maybe care) that their decision affects other people, specifically people with compromised immune systems. Keep them away."
"My youngest didn't meet most of my family for probably 4-6 months because she was born in the height of a pretty nasty cold and flu season. She was not afraid of any of them when she meet them, and i have quite the boisterous family."
"You need to do what you think is best for your child. It's your job to protect him or her."
"A giant NTA over here." – Flukie42
"If a family member chose to be anti-vax they would not be around my child EVER. They are purposely CHOOSING to ignore scientific evidence, putting your child at risk on purpose." – liz_lemon_lover
"Honestly? I'd say tell them they have to either get their vaccines or wait until your child has all of theirs. They're the ones choosing to be idiots, don't risk your baby for their feelings." – AirierWitch1066
This user shared some unfortunate experiences as a result of exposure to unvaccinated people
"100% agreed. I caught measles before I was old enough to be vaccinated, and ended up with eye problems."
"Even worse, my cousin's kids have caught whooping cough after being exposed to unvaccinated kids - the younger of my cousin's sons is on track but due for his next round in a couple of months, and the older one is behind on his vaccination record because of congenital heart disease."
"He's one who is supposed to be protected by herd immunity, and irresponsible fuckwits have put his life at risk because they believe a bunch of lies spread across Facebook."
OP is absolutely NTA.
"Absolutely. Whooping cough also kills babies. And measles targets the immune system's memory cells, so in addition to all the other horrible things it does, it can decrease a person's immunity to diseases they've already had or been vaccinated against." – NorbearWrangler
Technological advances in communication is a blessing.
"Also, they can always Skype or facetime the kiddo."
"This way there's 'contact' and introductions without being in the same physical space and risking her health. Technology is a great thing."
"We did a fair bit of Skype with my MIL because she was lives out of country half the year." – handofpalpatine
One family managed to come around after being given an ultimatum.
"NTA. My wife and I did the same thing to our aunt/uncle. We were polite yet firm and said 'every risk we can avoid is one we're willing to take and that includes avoiding those without vaccines.' We asked them to consider what was more important, staying anti-vax or seeing our son."
"They chose our son and got vaxed."
"It's pretty dumb your family isn't willing to wiggle." – donutshopsss
Some infants do receive the measles vaccine as early as six months if they are going to travel to areas where measles are known to be active. The CDC encourages this.
However, it is important to discuss your child's needs with a pediatrician before making a decision.