Hudson Valley Parent

HVP July 2016

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22 Hudson Valley Parent n July 2016 real thing," he says. "However, the whole system is in place so that, in the event if and when the real thing comes, the antibodies kills it." When a baby is born, Woodley explains that its immune system is a blank slate. Although he generally recommends breastfeeding to help transfer antibodies to the baby, Dr. Woodley says that he has gone one step further and started also recom- mending that parents and any other family caretakers get certain immu- nizations before the baby is born as an extra layer of protection. "We've started recommending that the parents get a flu vaccine and a pertussis vaccine before the baby is born," he says. "The immunization from the pertussis vaccine is going to wane over time. If Grandma has a cough caused by pertussis, maybe it is not affecting her breathing, it's just a cough, but if a baby is exposed to grandma's cough before their im- munity to pertussis has kicked in, the condition is most devastating." Parents are often worried that the other vaccines start as early as six weeks, then at 4 and 6 months. There are more vaccines when the baby is 9, 12 and 15 months, includ- ing the combination measles, mumps and rubella shot, and chicken pox vaccine," Dr. Schiskie says. Dr. Walter Woodley, a family practitioner at the Family Practice Center of Kingston says that the job of vaccinations is to trick the im- mune system. "This disease is coming so the im- mune system ramps itself up to fight, even though the vaccine isn't the By LISA IANNUCCI T hirteen years ago, Evelyn Massulo of Wappingers Falls made sure that her daugh- ter, Leeza, was immunized against childhood illnesses. Now that she's a second-time mom to six-month-old Alexandra, she didn't think twice about following the schedule for shots again to help to strengthen her baby's immune system and fight against preventable illnesses, like measles, mumps, rubella and pneu- mococcal disease. "It's important to keep your little ones as healthy as possible," says Dr. Melissa Schiskie, a family practice provider with The Institute for Fam- ily Health in Hyde Park. "Vaccines have resulted in the decrease of incidences of many diseases, such as polio and smallpox." From the beginning Those immunizations usually begin right after baby's birth. "Typically, a Hepatitis B vaccine is given in the nursery and most of (Continued on Page 24) "As a parent there are always concerns, but I'm a strong believer in keeping them as healthy as possible." EVELYN MASSULO Vaccines for baby

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