ORIGINAL POST (June 14th, 2009)
I’ve been a vocal supporter of home birth for many years.
As a childbirth educator I felt it was my job to tell pregnant women the truth, even if what I said was uncomfortable and painful for them to hear.
A few months ago I read a blog post by Heather Armstrong AKA Dooce. Heather is considered an expert on post partum depression and motherhood. She is also a liberal ex-mormon – sort of the anti-Jenny Hatch. She regularly stands against just about everything that is important to me.
I found that she was an articulate, smutty, sometimes funny but mean spirited blogger. And that those who tended to comment on her blog also used tons of profanity and were hostile to my LDS religion.
I was intrigued by the amount of conversation going on about Antidepressants. It felt like her readers were asking her drug consultation questions as if she was some sort of a medication guru. I was extremely dismayed to read that she was pregnant with her second child and had been taking anti depressants during her pregnancy.
But as with all of my personal judgements around issues with pregnancy etc al…I did not feel the need to contact her personally and let her know how deadly and damaging her choice would prove to be to her unborn daughter.
I get annoyed when others write me emails telling me how I am a bad mother for giving birth at home, and I am a very live and let live person.
When she wrote a vitriolic post about Freebirth on friday, I read through the comment section and decided to jump in the pool, as I usually do when unassisted childbirth is being discussed in the blogosphere.
I defended freebirth and shared some links about orgasmic birth.
In the post and the comments we were called stupid, crazy, and some of the language was extremely insulting to our home birth community.
My inner childbirth educator decided to share the facts about antidepressant use in pregnancy and how it is a BAD thing for the baby and then linked to several sites where readers could learn more. Heather has a loyal following of dedicated commenters and many became indignant that I would heckle her for her lifestyle the same way that she had judged me and my friends in the home birth community.
“Heather has chosen to be a shill for Big Pharma by loudly proclaiming her addiction to Prozac and her use of this dangerous drug during pregnancy….do I care? Sure, I feel bad for her unborn daughter, and any potential heart problems she may have, but does that mean I am going to go on a campaign to convince or tell her I won’t tolerate her lifestyle? No.”
I summed up the conversation by explaining to those reading that we all make choices every day that impact the health of our kids. Some choose to give birth medically and use drugs for all that ails them, and we who give birth at home have decided that the medical people don’t have a whole lot to offer our children.
But ultimately I said that we should all live and let live.
Before Dooce locked the thread to more comments, a few more readers were talking about anti-depressants andthe tone was this almost pleading tone in the comments…”Dooce, take the blue pill, please oh please, take the blue pill….Dooce tell me I’m on the right meds, tell me I’m doing the right thing. Tell me the reality Jenny Hatch has just described does not exist….help me to know that the drugs I am eating every day are not deforming and killing my child…”
The emotion was real, and Heather did not respond, perhaps because she is at the hospital right now birthing her second child.
All I know is that I completely agree with Peter Breggin and his wife Ginger who in July of 2007 at the Huffington Post made the case that PREGNANT WOMAN SHOULD NEVER TAKE ANTI DEPRESSANT DRUGS.
They summed up their excellent post with these words:
“No one can or should blame the parents. But when the mother has been taking an SSRI antidepressant, increasing her risk by 240%, we must hold responsible the doctor who prescribed it, the drug company who manufactured and falsely promoted it, and the medical establishment that covers up and minimizes the drastic hazards associated with these toxic chemicals, including risks to adults, children and the unborn.”
I don’t judge ignorant women who eat antidepressants while pregnant, but I do have a sense of wanting to smack them upside the head and scream “how dare you judge me and my mothering choices when you are killing your child every single day with the toxic POISON you are eating! Wake up woman!”
I would like to challenge Heather Anderson to take the red pill and find out how far down the rabbit hole goes in terms of the truth of the coverup surrounding pregnant women taking antidepressants.
The media largely trashed Tom Cruise when he suggested alternatives to drug therapy to a mentally challenged Brooke Shields. And millions of women daily dope and numb themselves with chemicals designed by thieves who have made billions from the mental challenges of birth traumetized women. And here we are a couple of years later and come to find out in the Wall Street Journal this week that the very scientist charged with conducting the government research on antidepressants for pregnant mothers is getting paid hand over fist by the drug company that makes the drugs.
“In a letter earlier this month to Emory, Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) said he learned the school had informed the NIH last summer that Dr. Stowe had financial conflicts of interest. The senator said records he obtained from GlaxoSmithKline PLC, the maker of the antidepressant Paxil, indicated Dr. Stowe was paid $154,400 by the drug company in 2007 and $99,300 during the first 10 months of 2008. The totals included payments for at least 95 promotional talks on behalf of the company. A Glaxo spokesman was unavailable for immediate comment.”
Parents, it is time to wake up and throw the shackles of medicine off our backs!
I wonder about Heather….and how this next postpartum will go for her and her child. See, it’s not just about the mother and her feelings. It is about the health and well being of the baby too. And if the baby is born without a frontal lobe, or has a heart defect or painful drug withdrawal for days in the NICU, I think a Self Righteous, know it all blogging Mom perhaps needs to accept just a bit of responsibility for her choice to eat deadly toxins and live as a psychiatric slave.
I wonder if she will take the blue pill – go back to bed, wake up, and continue with psychiatric care for her emotional issues. I wonder if she will continue to be a loud voice for drugs, gleeful in her mania, confident that none are as funny, wise, and all knowing as she in her “all is well in ZION” psychedelic high, and I wonder if she and her readers will continue to judge, hate, and mock us homebirthers and psychiatric survivors for our choice to live free.
Time will tell.
Blue Pill/Red Pill reference from the Movie: The Matrix
It appears that Heather Armstrong is eating her doctor approved blue pill and perhaps even the zoloftian, “breastfeeding friendly”, light blue pill…
But hey…she’s happy and free…
“So he made a minor tweak to my meds and asked me to come back and see him in two weeks, and I am not even kidding, I felt better that night. In fact, better does not do what I was feeling justice. I felt free.”
I’m glad Heather feels free on her meds. I was court ordered to take my toxic cocktail and it felt like slavery to me.
“So what about breastfeeding? That’s what you’re all wondering, I know, and this is what I’m going to say: he thinks that what I’m taking is perfectly safe to take while breastfeeding. He’s prescribed it before to women who are breastfeeding and everything has been perfectly fine. No, I’m not going to talk about what I’m taking because one, it’s no one’s business, and two, I don’t care that you think I’m poisoning my baby. I also think that anyone going through this needs to consult their own doctor and make an informed, personal decision about their individual situation. And then go on and live a better, happier life.”
Since I was the only person on Heathers blog who mentioned antidepressants being toxic in the comment section of her Freebirth post, and since I shared links to articles that proved this was the case, I can only presume that she is responding to what I wrote when she says that she does not care what I think.
That’s cool, I also do not care that she thinks I’m “stupid” for being into Freebirth. But she may want to pause for a sec and think about how her daughter will feel about her casually taking toxic poison every day while she is pregnant and nursing, and she may want to consider how her husband might feel about her eating her big bowl of prozac flakes with zoloft milk every morning while nursing her daughter, especially when true healing is to be found at the local Whole Foods market.
“Sorry hunny, I know you can’t put two thoughts together in order to solve that math problem and you started menstruating when you were five, and now as a sixteen year old you are growing a beard… but it was just so important that I not be panicked when you were a newborn, and dammit, only stupid people ignore doctors advice and go looking for alternatives to drugs.”
Hey, to each her own.
“I’ve been on the new meds for over five days, and I haven’t had a panic attack once. I feel like a regular person who has an infant and can handle it, and during my pregnancy that was exactly what I was aiming for. Turns out I needed a little help, a tiny adjustment, but here I am and I am loving it. I love what it has done to my relationship with Leta, what it has helped me see and appreciate in Jon, and I love that I can barely stand to be away from that baby for a minute. Jon has been watching Marlo so that I could write this, and a little bit ago he came rushing downstairs with this kicking, yelling, hungry bundle in his arms, and it was like I hadn’t seen her in years. And that yelling… that raucous, staccato, one-too-many-beers yelling… it didn’t make me cringe, it made me laugh.”
As the fake ad for Zoloft says “Zoloft does EVERYTHING!” (I’m only guessing that Heathers doc put her on Zoloft because it is considered the safest to take while nursing.)
Everyone should watch Amy Philos Zoloft movie to hear her story about that nasty drug…
Pills, Pills, Pills…
“Perfectly Safe”, according to Heather’s doctor…
Please Mommies, Heather Armstrong is NO EXPERT on drug use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. (Neither am I, I only consider myself an expert on my own body and brain.) And it sounds like her doctor has drunk the big pharma koolaid when it comes to nursing moms eating this crap.
Please take the time to research, pray, and thoughtfully explore alternatives to drug therapies when making the choice whether to eat antidepressants during pregnancy and lactation.
No amount of symptom relief from panic/depression/anxiety will help you overcome the guilt and horrifying feelings you will experience when you realize that your child has been permanently brain damaged by these toxic medications. Alternatives do work! And the biggest lie of all is that only drug therapies can be used when a Mother is in the throes of postpartum emotional illness.
Listen to Jenny Hatch
To end on a funny note: (Well, funny if you have not experienced these side effects)
I was sexually dysfunctional taking Prozac. Very, very sad place to be when you are newly married…