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Advice about childhood immunisation with Dr Miriam Stoppard

Childhood immunisation

It's debatable who finds immunisations more painful - you (who knows what's coming) or your baby (who actually has to have the injection). If you're anxious about your child's immunisations, Dr Miriam Stoppard has advice on how to make it less painful for both you and your baby. 

"As a doctor I feel immunisation to be vital, but as a mother and grandmother I understand the distress and anxiety mums can experience during the immunisation process. Anxious mums make babies anxious so I think it is vital that mums understand what is going to happen during and after immunisation," says Miriam.


Top tips for childhood immunisation from Dr. Miriam Stoppard

If you're taking your child to be immunised, Miriam recommends:

  1. Distract your child so they look the other way and are not concentrating on the needle. Try blowing bubbles at them or bringing their favourite puppet or toy.
  2. Hold your child securely, and ask the nurse to approach your child from behind so they don't notice the needle.
  3. Speak to your local pharmacist or practice nurse for advice on products to use both before and after an injection; different treatment options are available to help your child cope with immunisations.

If you're feeling anxious about the impending jab, then:

Vaccination advice on Mumsnet
There's more information about vaccinations in our Babies section 

And if you'd like support from other Mumsnetters, our child health Talk topic is the right place to get advice and support. 
  1. Allow yourself plenty of time for the appointment - this will give you enough time to reassure your child and familiarise them with the surroundings.
  2. Talk to the nurse giving the injection - they're used to seeing anxious mums before immunisations and will be happy to answer any queries. The nurse would much rather you ask questions and feel calm yourself as this will help to keep your child calm.

Click here if you would like to listen to Miriam talking about her tips for easing the anxiety of immunisation

Research in late 2009* found that:

  • 48% of mums worry about taking their child for routine immunisations
  • 43% believe immunisations affect parents more than their child
  • Younger mums are particularly susceptible to immunisation anxiety - more than half experience anxiety prior to child immunisations, compared to just a third of mums aged over 45
  • 16% of younger mums have delayed their baby having vital vaccinations due to concerns about pain, compared to just 6.7% of mums overall

*Conducted on behalf of AstraZeneca with more than 500 mothers




Last updated: over 3 years ago