Being a new mom all over again with Noah means we have gone back to our well baby visits that we have gone through with David when he was still a wee little Santos. We love both David and Noah’s pediatricians. They’re both very engaging and are very patient with all of our questions. They also both have great handwriting so we could understand everything they jot down in our kids’ baby books
Well Baby monthly check-ups are part of our routine once again. In case you’re curious why Well Baby check-ups are done here are some reasons why pediatricians need to see our babies monthly:
Make sure baby is feeding adequately
Monitor weight, length and head circumference
Monitor of jaundice (if baby is jaundiced)
Deal with other concerns
Noah’s health is very fragile because he was born a preemie and because kids with Down syndrome are at a high risk for certain diseases. So, sometimes we see his doctor/doctors a few times a month just to be sure that he is thriving well.
When Noah was finally discharged from the NICU after a month and a week, his doctor told us that one of the main reasons for NICU babies being readmitted was Pneumonia, thus we took all the necessary precautions. We didn’t take Noah out at all. I was on maternity leave at that time and so I was tethered to my little boy all the time. We wanted to keep him healthy until he finally gets his Pneumococcal shot. So Noah got a lot of breastmilk and a lot of TLC. For his therapy sessions, we went on days when there weren’t too many other kids in the therapy area. If there were, we transferred to the center’s gym so that Noah would not be exposed to the other kids.
But then, people at home started getting sick and eventually the virus found its way to Noah. He got sick, started throwing up and on the 2nd day of him not taking in anything, we rushed him to the ER at St. Luke’s where he was eventually admitted for 3 days for Pneumonia.
That was probably a month or two before we got his Pneumoccal shot.
After we were discharged and we were given strict instructions to stay indoors and to avoid crowds, it was finally time for Noah’s Pneumoccal shot. After that, we asked the pedia if it was ok to bring Noah out. Dan and I had to restrain ourselves from yelping “WHEEE!” when the pedia said yes.
So, when I attended PLAY (Protection, Love and Activities for Young Kids), which was a talk on Disease Awareness, I was more than familiar with Pneumonia, which unfortunately is te leading cause of death among Filipino children. It takes the lives of 37 Filipino kids (1-59 months old) daily. PLAY was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and the highlighted disease that day was Invasive Pneumococcal Diseases or IPDs. IPDs is the #1 killer of children less than 5 years of age worldwide. IPDs include meningitis, sepsis, bacteremia, pneumonia, acute otitis media (also known as middle ear infection which could lead to hearing loss if left untreated) and others.
Pneumonia is preventable. Dr. Carmina De Los Reyes who was the speaker that day listed the ways on how Pneumonia may be prevented:
Exclusive breastfeeding during the 1st 6 months of life
Reduce low birth weight
Reduce indoor air pollution
Of course, vaccination also provides adequate protection against this nasty disease although apparently there are a lot of strains of pneumonia out there, the IPD vaccine insures your child against the deadlier types of this disease. IPD also prevents Acute Otitis Media, which is more commonly known as “luga” or an inflammation of the middle ear. 25 percent of Filipino children with Pneumonia also have otitis media.
We follow the schedule for Noah’s vaccines. We also did the same for David. I know that vaccination is a hot topic for moms as there are those like us who choose to follow the schedule and those who choose to give the bare minimum to their kids. But we did however bring up our concerns when David was old enough to be given his MMR which was linked before to Autism by a study which has now been debunked (you can read the report here)
The decision how you should vaccinate your child is an entirely personal choice that should be discussed and agreed upon by you and your health care provider. We are lucky to have worked with doctors who are engaging and open-minded. Our decision to follow the schedule is our own and no one else’s.
Should you choose to follow the schedule, here’s what you should expect your child to get:
Between birth and 6 months:
Shots: BCG, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, Pneumocococcal
Oral: Polio, Rotavirus
If you wish to learn more about vaccines, you may visit this site: http://www.mommymundo.com/vaccinate/
The SoMoms are PLAY advocates. Visit their blogs, to see what their take is on vaccination and disease awareness.
How about you, what approach do you take in your child’s vaccination schedule?
Big thanks to Michelle for the pictures!!