When I first became a parent, there were so many things that I was concerned about from the minute my daughter was born – is she warm enough? Is she getting enough to eat? Does she love me yet?
The love that I felt was instant as she stared into my eyes. I had never felt more fierce than I did in that moment. I promised her that day that I would protect her from whatever I could, a lioness and her cub, from birth right up until she decided it was time to spread her wings and take on the world without me.
Making this promise forced me to face up to challenges that I had not previously been faced with, including immunisation. There were no hesitations when the nurse asked if she could vaccinate my daughter before she left the hospital – my husband and I knew that we wanted her to be fully vaccinated, I was protecting her. But what I later learned was that I wasn’t just doing the right thing by my daughter, but also for all of the people that she would encounter throughout her life, young and old.
The first vaccinations were tough. She cried that heart-wrenching delayed cry, the one where they look you in the eyes as if to say ‘why are you doing this to me?’ My heart hurt every time she had to endure the needle pricks, so I started looking into ways to make the immunisation process easier – for both me and her.
After doing some reading online, speaking with my doctor and crowdsourcing from my amazing group of family and friends, I adopted the below tips and tricks and they really changed the way our time in the Dr’s office played out.
1. Get informed.
Any decision in life is easier and feels right when it is an informed decision – and vaccination is no different. It is important to know the facts about vaccination, what it prevents, and the safety and effectiveness of vaccination in Australia. I was not up to speed when it came to the exact diseases that vaccinations prevent, as well as why so many people were telling me not to let people kiss my daughter when she was born. Reading up on these things really solidified my decision to vaccinate. Ask your GP or childhood nurse for more information or visit the Government’s new Get The Facts website to learn more so you can feel educated on your decision to vaccinate.