Pregnant vegan star Kat Von D has revealed that she is planning to not vaccinate her unborn child - leading to some controversy.
The post about her pregnancy plans follows last week's wedding to Leafar Seyer. Von D donned a lavish red gown and headdress for the 'Heaven and Hell' themed nuptials.
After sharing a host of images from the wedding and honeymoon on Instagram, the celebrity tattoo artist and makeup entrepreneur took to the platform to talk about pregnancy, revealing that she has been 'bombarded' with unsolicited advice since announcing the news, saying there was 'some good and some questionable - unsolicited none the less'.
She wrote: "I knew the minute we announced our pregnancy that we would be bombarded with unsolicited advice. Some good and some questionable - unsolicited none the less.
"I also was prepared for the backlash and criticism we would get if we decided to be open about our personal approach to our pregnancy. My own Father flipped out on me when I told him we decided to ditch our doctor and go with a midwife instead.
"If you don’t know what it's like have people around you think you are ridiculous, try being openly vegan."
She added: "And, if you don’t know what it's like to have the entire world openly criticize, judge, throw uninformed opinions, and curse you - try being an openly pregnant vegan on Instagram, having a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations.
"My point being: I already know what it’s like to make life choices that are not the same as the majority. So your negative comments are not going influence my choices - actual research and educating myself will - which i am diligently doing.
"This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey.
Feel free to follow me on here if you like what I’m about - whether it’s tattooing, lipstick, Animal Rights, sobriety, feminism, ridiculous gothiness, black flower gardening, cats, or my adorable husband."
She ended the post asking people to 'press the unfollow button and move the f*ck on' if they don't agree with something she has posted, adding that she would appreciate commentators keeping unsolicited criticism to themselves.
She concluded: "More importantly, for those who have amazing positive energy to send my way, I will gladly and graciously receive it with love!"
Many followers supported Kat Von D's post - acknowledging her freedom as a woman and parent to do the best thing for her unborn child - as well as acknowledging the immense pressure the star is under from social media users judging her choices and sharing unpleasant opinions.
One wrote: "I was pregnant last year...people obviously know the way better than you, at least that's what they project on you from THEIR point of view. Be embraced by loving people, live your pregnancy and life your own way. You know better what's best for you and your amazing family."
Another added: "At the end of the day .. it is no one else’s decision .. it does not matter what the public opinion is .. you bring your child into the world how you want to .. end of discussion."
But a number of commentators were troubled by Kat Von D's position on vaccination - and her plans not to vaccinate her child, with one Instagram user saying: "You don't have to share anything about your birth preferences or whether or not you'll vaccinate your kid (for the record, you should)."
Another wrote: "Be vegan and all - that's good I agree with that, but please for the love of God vaccinate your child. If you don't, you're not only putting YOUR child at risk, but every child they interact with. Watch the video of the one man in the world who still uses an iron lung- that's what we're bringing back if we ditch vaccines. Please."
A more strongly worded response came from a commentator who said: "Vaccinating your child is important, what a shame that you’re taking this route. It has consequences for other people just because of your selfish ill-informed views.
"Things like measles, mumps and whooping cough are becoming more common because of idiots like you. If you're happy to let your child get these illnesses then I hope you’re planning on homeschooling and keeping a mask on the child at all times when you're out. Why should someone who has a weakened immune system catch something that could kill them because of you?! There is no reason to not vaccinate, none at all. "
Different parents have a range of reasons for choosing to vaccinate - or not vaccinate - their child, a decision that often flies in the face of conventional medical advice. According to Dr. Claire McCarthy, MD, a pediatrician at Boston Children's Hospital: "There are many reasons, including the rapid spread of misinformation through social networking sites and the Internet, and a general distrust of the medical profession."
Speaking to Medscape she said these reasons include the belief that 'illnesses as polio and measles have been eradicated or aren't serious; that vaccines cause autism or have side effects; that children are receiving 'too many' vaccinations at once; that preservatives in vaccines are dangerous; that pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and the government are engaged in some type of nefarious conspiracy; and that friends and family are more trustworthy than medical professionals."
UK health body the NHS says: "There are three good reasons to have your child vaccinated: vaccinations are quick, safe and extremely effective, once your child has been vaccinated against a disease, their body can fight it off better, and if a child isn't vaccinated, they're at higher risk of catching – and becoming very ill from - the illness."
PLEASE NOTE: Plant Based News is not a doctor. Do not use any information in stories as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with a medical professional around healthcare issues.
Maria is the head of written content for Plant Based News. Also a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
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