Watching TED Talks is a popular pastime at CN&CO. We visit regularly to clear our heads, have a laugh or get inspired. TED Talks open our minds, spark new ways of thinking and can lead to some very interesting conversations. Each week we pick a favourite and publish it on a Tuesday, because we like how “TED Talk Tuesday” sounds. This week’s talk was posted by Josie. Here’s why she chose it:

The internet, social media, coffee room chat, doctors, midwives, moms groups…. who and what the hell do you believe? I can sympathise with the mothers out there who are resisting vaccines. The plethora of information that is spewed at you the day you discover a precious little soul has taken root inside your body is a minefield. The way the internet works, you search one mother or pregnancy related topic and BOOM, for the next 18 years topics ranging from drug addiction, to childhood depression, to schooling, to maternal depression, to aggression to behavioral issues are literally lambasted at you every time you look at your screen. It becomes difficult to see the wood for the trees.

One of the most controversial of these topics is the growing resistance to vaccines. I literally will see a post or an article about this once every single week. People feel strongly, they judge aggressively and I tend to steer very clear of any of the conversations that take place online. I made that mistake once…

Perhaps this is one arena where we simply need to trust scientific medicine? What does your doctor advise? I guarantee that 99% of doctors and Paediatricians out there still advocate very strongly in favor of vaccinating.

I found this TED talk to be a very interesting slant on the topic.

When I am sitting in a Paediatric ICU, or cradling my sick child at home at three o’clock in the morning, obsessively pointing my R1000 temperature checking devise to their burning forehead begging the temp to come down a degree or two, I literally thank god for modern medicine. For my access to healthcare, for vaccines that protect my babies.

In those dark and very long hours between sunset and sunrise when you have a sick child in your arms, I always find my mind wandering back to a time when mothers would lose a child to influenza, or the plague, or whooping cough, or cholera, and my heart bleeds for those mothers who were helpless, who could only sit and wait for what fate would issue them. I also think about rural parents in parts of the world today that are war-torn or too remote to access health care and offer a silent mother prayer to them and thank my lucky stars for my station in life. My access to doctors, medicine, vaccines, and the wealth that makes keeping my babies alive more possible.

Grace sick with a bug – This was the same day that I went into labour with Frances.

What does the growing resistance to these vaccines, and the outbreaks that are being seen around the world, of diseases that should be ancient history mean for the safety of our children? I carry antiseptic spray with me everywhere. Its in my car, in my handbag, in my nappybag. I spray and wipe my kids like a woman possessed, in doctors waiting rooms, in airports, in shopping carts and centers and I certainly check with schools for their stance on accepting kids on condition of their vaccinations. I think Grace could say the word “germs” before she could say “bicycle”.

Good luck out there mums and dads. The internet can be a major friend in guiding how we parent… but just be careful of whats opinion, and what is fact.