Juniper Russo

When Juniper Russo began her adventure into motherhood, she already knew exactly the kind of mother she would be. As an avid nature lover and environmentalist, the culture of “crunchy” parenting– of cloth diapering, extended breastfeeding, room-sharing, and gentle discipline– was her default. Being young, idealistic, and frightened by misinformation, she had initially believed the reassuring lie that “childhood illnesses” are mild and insignificant, and that a healthy lifestyle would eliminate the need for the trappings of modern medicine.
She was wrong.

As time wore on, Juniper became more aware of the dangers of forgoing vaccines and eschewing conventional medicine. And, while she stuck to her guns when it came to other parenting decisions, her daughter’s eventual diagnosis with autism forced her to reevaluate her original– and flawed– belief that vaccines were harmful. Now a (much wiser) mother of two, Juniper has become a vocal and outspoken proponent for evidence-based parenting decisions.

Juniper’s advocacy for vaccines, and for autism acceptance, have awarded her acclaim from various media outlets. Her story about parting from “crunchy” culture appeared on NPR, About Pediatrics, Jezebel, Al Jazeera America, SBS, the Wall Street Journal, Chattanooga Pulse, and the Toronto Sun News, and her experiences as a young freelancer were featured in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Juniper’s vaccine-advocacy writings have reached millions of viewers through Brain, Child Magazine, Voices for Vaccines, and her own private blog, Skeptical Crunchy Mom.

You can visit Juniper’s website at or follow her on Facebook to get to know her a little better.