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‘Infant Cocooning’ Becoming More Popular Among New Parents

By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Angela Keizer and Brian Miller are counting the days until the birth of their baby girl. “This Baby is very unexpected and very special,” Angela said. They didn’t think they would be able to have a baby and so they are taking no chances when she arrives. “We are going to request that family members vaccinate before they see her,” Brian said.

They want to make sure everyone is up-to-date with their pertussis, diphtheria and influenza vaccines before they meet the baby. It’s called infant cocooning and it is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. According to Dr. Dennis Murray, the idea is to immunize everyone who comes into contact with the baby. “It is an attempt to protect the youngest infants from various types of infectious disease,” he said.

One of the greatest concerns is the pertussis or whooping cough because babies can’t get vaccinated until they are two months old. “The latest data would suggest that for those surrounding infants, only about 5% of adults have been vaccinated against pertussis,” Dr. Murray said.

Pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown believes asking friends and family to get vaccinated is a reasonable request. “It’s a fine policy as a new parent to say, ‘I don’t want you to come visit unless you are in fact protected,’” she said.

Brian and Angela say none of their family members have resisted. “If they do that, they would not get to see our baby girl,” Brian said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says parents should also make sure all child care workers are also immunized.

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