Mom reveals she refused to donate breast milk to an anti-vaxxer
Over the past few decades, the anti-vax movement has become a worryingly prevalent one. Parents are refusing to vaccinate their kids against life-threatening illnesses due to spurious science reports saying that doing so could harm them.
Many of these rumours stem from one 1998 paper which claimed that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination caused autism. This was, as Healthline confirms, based on "faulty data" and the study's findings have never been replicated.
In fact, Healthline states, "no other medical research has shown a link between vaccines and mental disorders" in the last 21 years. Despite this, people still believe that inoculations carry the risk of causing autism or other neurological conditions.
With this in mind, one woman ran into something of an ethical dilemma when an anti-vaxxer asked if she could have some of her breastmilk for her newborn.
"I’m part of a breast milk donation group on FB as I make excess amounts of milk that would otherwise go to waste," the woman, who goes by the username 'sayyestodogs', explained on Reddit. "Often I’ll make a general post offering to donate anywhere from 60-100 oz to a baby in need."
She continued: "There is a woman who always messages me. The first time she told me of her story and her baby, I was prepared to give her that particular stash. Then I clicked on her profile - oh boy. Filled with anti-vax propaganda and just disgusting things.
"I can’t explain it, but I get this awful, icky feeling thinking about giving her my breast milk. So I tell her someone else already claimed it. This happens about three more times over the course of several weeks and I keep telling her, sorry someone else has claimed it."
After managing to avoid the anti-vaxxer for a short while, however, 'sayyestodogs' faced a direct challenge about her behaviour.
"I made a post two days ago and she literally messaged me asking for it mere seconds after posting. I replied with the same response. She called me out this time and says she feels like I always say that to her and that she thinks I have a problem with her," the mother said.
She continued: "So I tell her that I’m extremely uncomfortable donating my milk to someone who refuses to vaccinate her child (who is a sick baby, btw, and born very early as per her first message to me) as well as spreads misinformation about immunizations.
"Well as you can guess, she got very upset and basically called me an awful person. Kind of went on a tirade about how we don’t know what’s in vaccines and the ingredients we know about are poisoning our children.
"I almost asked her how she was okay with accepting everyone’s home-pumped milk for her kid when god knows what’s in it. Whatever. Not sure why I’m posting this but I felt super butt hurt about the whole exchange."
The woman worried that she was a "terrible person" for refusing to help out the mother, but other people in the comments backed up her decision.
"Not a terrible person. I would do the same," said one fellow mother. "If she wants BM for the 'antibodies', she should get her child vaccinated so they get the antibodies in the most effective way possible."
"You donate your milk and probably don't even take money for it. YOU have taken the time to pump so that those babies get breastmilk," added another. "That means that YOU are the one to decide who you give your milk to. She has no right to call you awful for not giving it to her. Don't feel guilty - trust your gut feeling. If you don't want to donate to her, she has to accept that. End of story."
Ultimately, most people agreed that it was the anti-vaxxer's responsibility to ensure her little one was vaccinated. After all, even if that child manages to avoid the deadly illnesses it ought to be immunised against, they will still grow up to be a danger to immunocompromised individuals (such as pregnant women or those with autoimmune diseases), meaning the mother is potentially harming many more people by ignoring science and refusing to vaccinate her baby.
Hopefully, posts like this will make more anti-vaxxers realise that the only way to take proper care of their kids is to get them the shots they need when they're young.