Tuesday, November 11, 2008

KS La Leche League Conference Review

Sean's been sick with a cold, so I haven't had a chance to blog for a few days.

The KLLL Conference was great! I love spending the day with like-minded mommas. I attended two of Dr. Sears' sessions, one on Vaccines and the other on the Science of Attachment Parenting. He had a third session on Fathering that I missed to go to a session on the Curative Properties of Breastmilk. The day ended with the session I spoke at, Breastfeeding & Employment.

Dr. Sears' talk on vaccines was very informative. I've read about his book and approach to vaccines, but haven't read the whole book yet. So this was a live and fast version of it. He went over the illnesses that the vaccines protect against, the likelihood of your child contracting that illness, what the vaccines contain that may cause harm to your child and why his vaccine schedule is a safer way to protect your child from illness and avoid harmful vaccine reactions.

When Aidan was a baby, I didn't question vaccines at all and he was vaccinated on the standard schedule. He developed Reactive Airway Disease when he was 2 and has had respiratory issues triggered by colds or environmental allergies since then. When researching vaccines, I have come across information that says that sometimes the standard vaccine schedule can cause children to develop RAD and environmental allergies. The standard schedule exposes the developing immune system to so many illnesses at such a rapid rate that the body doesn't always process the vaccine correctly. I felt it was important to keep him on the standard schedule since he was in daycare/preschool and now kindergarten.

When it was time for Sean to begin getting vaccines, I specifically asked my doctor if the schedule should be different for him since as a child with Down syndrome his immune system is weaker and he is more prone to respiratory illnesses. My doctor looked into it and said there wasn't any information from the AAP about changing the schedule for kids with Ds. So again, we followed the standard schedule. Sean has also had respiratory illnesses. Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is due to Ds, the vaccines, or daycare/preschool. It just is what it is.

While pregnant with Ella, I did more research on vaccines and alternative schedules. God willing, I plan on staying home a couple more years, thus avoiding daycare for her. Combined with extended breastfeeding, I hope her immune system has a stronger start and we can avoid serious illness with her. I do still feel more comfortable vaccinating than not, so we are following Dr. Sears' alternative schedule. His website doesn't have a copy of his schedule on it, but he does blog about it. I have a copy on my computer of his schedule, you can email me if you want to see it without buying the book. But you should buy the book or check it out at the library to understand why he organizes the vaccinations this way.

As for his session on AP, it was very well-rounded and gave a lot of research info backing the philosophy that so many parents for centuries have instinctively followed. One thing he said that stuck with me: "the best gift you can give a new parent is a sling or similar baby carrier. It opens the door to the AP philosophy. If you can get a parent to wear their baby, breastfeeding success will go up, they will respond to their baby's needs and respect their baby's cries, they will want to keep their baby close."

Attending a LLL conference is a great opportunity to see lots of babywearing. A hotel employee commented on Ella snoozing in my Moby Wrap. He said, "It's so cool to see so many moms using these! My people in Jamaica have been using them forever." Yep! I'm glad I got mine out to use this weekend, Ella has been loving our pouch sling, but the Moby really helps distribute her weight better and my back appreciates that! Aidan took this photo of us one morning:

The session I spoke at went well. We had a few LLL leaders attend to get advice on how to help working moms at meetings and how to attract more moms that breastfeed and work out of the home. We had some WOH moms attend to get advice on how to get their employers on board with their need to pump at work. One of the other speakers had experience establishing a lactation room at her job site so it was interesting to see how she campaigned for that. I talked about bringing your baby to work programs as well as adjusting to daycare and extended pumping.

I was happy but exhausted by the end of the day. Ella was a wonderful little baby to take along. She did a lot of napping and got a lot of snuggling. The boys had a great day with daddy. He took them to see Madagascar 2 on Friday evening and Saturday the went to hang out with Uncle Curt and Cousin Kenzie. Doug said they got along great and the house wasn't in too bad of a shape when I got home. :)

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! I'm reading Dr. Sears vaccine book right now. I wish I'd read it a few years ago.