National Coalition of Organized Women Letter to Mothering Magazine

National Coalition of Organized Women

From Laboring Women to Labor Unions, We Move as One

From the desk of the Director:

Letter to the Editor, Mothering Magazine            November 23, 2010

Because of the risk of certain side effects that could occur in a nursing infant the manufacturer of Zyprexa does not recommend taking the drug while breastfeeding.  There have been reports of a problems when breastfeeding mothers took Zyprexa since it is a known fact that Zyprexa passes to the infant from breast milk.

The Obamacare bill funds clinical studies on pregnant mothers and psychiatric drugs not because it is the advent of an exciting new field but because the emerging demographics of 25-30 year old gals who have been vaccinated 39 times by the time they were 6 years old, with upward of 15 of those vaccine containing mercury (thimerosal), are actually vaccine injured, not mentally ill.  The Holy Grail of vaccines will not be undermined.  Consequently these gals are misdiagnosed early on in their lives as bi polar, ADHD or have bouts of depression.  They have been placed on these drugs by an errant establishment since adolescence or even pre-adolescence.  The concern by the establishment is that it is dangerous to take these women off of these drugs when they get pregnant or when they breast feed.  See: 2,500 cases of psychiatric drug related suicide and homicide:

Zyprexa is well known to cause diabetes.  Its manufacturer has paid more than a billion dollars in lawsuit claims. Since Zyprexa passes through the breast milk from a dosage relative to 140 lb women, why would it be safe for a tiny infant of 9 lbs to receive Zyprexa served up in a measurement of milk? Mayo clinic describes the following psyche drug related effects on pregnant women just for starters: Citalopram (Celexa) is associated with a rare but serious newborn lung problem (persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, or PPHN) when taken during the last half of pregnancy.  Yet amazingly so, Mayo Clinic recommends that it still be consider as an option during pregnancy; Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem) is associated with PPHN when taken during the last half of pregnancy-consider as an option during pregnancy; Paroxetine (Paxil)associated with fetal heart defects when taken during the first three months of pregnancy. Avoid during pregnancy; Sertraline (Zoloft) is associated with PPHN when taken during the last half of pregnancy. Consider as an option during pregnancy. Tricyclic antidpressants: Amitriptylin suggests a risk of limb malformation in early studies, but not confirmed with newer studies-consider as an option during pregnancy; Nortriptyline (Pamelor) suggests a risk of limb malformation in early studies, but not confirmed with newer studies-consider as an option during pregnancy. Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs): Phenelzine (Nardil) may cause a severe increase in blood pressure that triggers a stroke. Avoid during pregnancy; Tranylcypromine (Parnate) may cause a severe increase in blood pressure that triggers a stroke. Avoid during pregnancy.

Since research is still being done, I think it would be prudent not to breastfeed under the circumstances.

My Bad – Mothering Magazine Promotes “Antipsychotics” Not Just Zyprexa


For background you should read the following blog posts:

Recently John Breeding and I published an open letter to the editor of Mothering Magazine. After reading an unsettling letter to the editor which promoted Katherine Stone’s Postpartum Progress in the next edition of Mothering, I sent out an alert to everyone that they should express their disapproval with the magazine for promoting antidepressants and Zyprexa.

Even though the editor, Peggy O’Mara, had not responded to our letter when John Breeding emailed it to her (for weeks), she did choose to respond to one of the other letters to the editor (within three hours) as follows:

We have not recommended Zyprexa in any of our articles.

My first reaction was, “OMG she is so full of it, yes they did.”

So I set out to find the old article. Unfortunately, I no longer have the hard copy because I gave it away at my speech in April in Austin. I searched for everything online and then I realized that I had probably made a technical mistake. I eventually figured out how it happened – that I had mistakenly come to think of their May 2007 article as one where they recommended Zyprexa. What I found online was a categorical statement that moms can take antipsychotics while breastfeeding and that antipsychotics are required for psychosis. I then remembered that at one point, in disbelief at Mothering’s promotion of antipsychotics for breastfeeding, I went to Thomas Hale’s website and searched for antipsychotics, and found that he was recommending Zyprexa for breastfeeding. Then, over time the two pieces of advice began to merge in my mind as I talked and wrote about them. What can I say, I’ve had a pretty busy 3 1/2 years and rewired lots of brain cells to devote large portions of my mind to the task of cramming for law school finals every semester. My bad.

Continue reading “My Bad – Mothering Magazine Promotes “Antipsychotics” Not Just Zyprexa”

Mothering Magazine Publishes Letter Reaming Them for Being So “Anti-drug”


Please see an update to this entry on the following blog post:

Today I received Mothering magazine in the mail. On this month’s front cover, their motto is “Inspiring Natural Families since 1976.”

Several years ago I was a subscriber and, after a personal encounter with Mothering’s online censorship of information on the side effects of psychiatric drugs posted to their discussion board, and their ridiculous endorsement of Zyprexa for nursing mothers, I wrote requesting that my subscription be canceled. Yet they continue to send me their magazine which, honestly, I meet at the mailbox with more annoyance than I do junk mail and bills.

In the September / October edition another article was published on breastfeeding helping moms to “Beat The Baby Blues.” John Breeding and I composed a letter to the editor criticizing them for endorsing SSRIs and Zyprexa for breastfeeding. After receiving no response from Mothering Magazine, we published it as an open letter. Today I received the November / December issue. (Thanks for killing trees with the free reading materials, Peggy.)

In the letters to the editor this month they chose to publish one letter from a somewhat anonymous “Christina A.” of Ottowa, Ontario. In this letter Christina A., who cannot apparently brave the use of her own last name, claims emphatically that natural health methods cannot help PPD and she knows this because she tried them all. She says that after nine weeks without sleep (nine weeks without any sleep “at all,” she claims), she went on meds and weaned her baby.

I applaud Christina A. for being brave enough to protect her baby from drug exposure and for standing up to people who would tell her that she should have kept breastfeeding. She captured perfectly the tremendous insanity that is making its way through communities of breastfeeding advocates -that because we know breastfeeding is awesome, then we must all continue breastfeeding no matter what psychiatric drugs we decide to take.

Yet it is astounding that they chose to publish this letter which, in addition to ridiculous claims that there are not any natural health methods that can treat PPD, at the end endorses Postpartum Progress… the blog of Katherine Stone, who was exposed for financial conflicts of interest in Evelyn Pringle’s series on The MOTHERS Act.

Kinda makes you wonder if Mothering Magazine is working with Cohn & Wolfe just like Zach Stowe, or if they were just waiting for an opportunity to promote PSI and Katherine Stone.

I decided to ask everyone to send in their own letter to the editor. You can actually post it directly on their Facebook page (unless they decide to delete it). If you will send me a copy I will publish a few on the cause websites.

Here’s the information:

Activism Opportunity – Mothering Magazine tells readers to breastfeed on antidepressants and Zyprexa

I have posted our open letter to the editor of Mothering Magazine on their own discussion board. Here is the link:

To show Mothering Magazine how you feel about their endorsement of antidepressants and Zyprexa for breastfeeding moms, please go to the Mothering Magazine facebook page, and you may have to click “Like.”

Then click on the link above (assuming that they don’t delete it) and reply to the message that I posted. The message simply has a short intro followed by the open letter.

Unfortunately, Mothering Magazine has not yet published our letter, but they have chosen to publish one reaming them for claiming that natural health methods could help PPD. Apparently the only criticism that they are open to is that which criticizes them for not being even more pro-psychiatric drugs for nursing moms.

Here is our letter:

To send a letter to the editor yourself, write to:;


Please also Bcc: I will publish several on the cause websites myself.

Thanks for your help.

GAO seeks information on off label drugging of foster children

At the request of Congress, GAO is seeking information regarding cases in which state foster children have been prescribed psychotropic medication outside of federal regulations or accepted medical standards of practice.  These may include very young foster children prescribed certain kinds of psychotropic drugs, children prescribed psychotropic drugs in dosages that exceed accepted standards, children prescribed psychotropic drugs for purposes other than a medically accepted indication, or children taking numerous psychotropic drugs concurrently.  If you have information about state foster children being prescribed psychotropic medication outside of regulatory and/or medical guidance and are willing to provide details, please e-mail GAO at


Ablechild – Unsung Hero in Battle Against Psychopharmaceutical Industry

Evelyn Pringle

The founders of Ablechild, Patricia Weathers and Sheila Matthews, have earned the title of “Unsung Heroes,” as both pioneers and warriors for over a decade, in the battle to protect children from the Psychopharmaceutical Industry.

Ablechild (Parents for A Label and Drug-Free Education), is a national non-profit founded in 2001, by these two mothers who each had personal experiences with being coerced by the public school system to label and drug their children for ADHD. Patty and Sheila went from being victims to become national advocates for the fundamental rights of all parents and children in the US.

Now with thousands of members, Ablechild acts as an independent advocate on behalf of parents whose children have been subjected to mental health screening and psychiatric labeling and drugging, and as a proponent for children in foster care who are improperly treated with psychotropic drugs, many times off-label, without informed consent.

Long Battle Against Coerced Drugging

Roughly eight years ago, on September 26, 2002, then Chairman the US House Government Reform Committee, Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN), held a hearing on the “Overmedication of Hyperactive Children,” prompted by a series in the New York Post.

“It’s estimated that 4 to 6 million children in the United States take Ritalin every single day,” Burton said in his opening statement. He pointed out that Ritalin was a Schedule II stimulant under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, that research showed it was a more potent transport inhibitor than cocaine, and use in the US had increased over a 500% since 1990. The Schedule II category also includes drugs such as cocaine, morphine, and Oxycontin.

Continue reading “Ablechild – Unsung Hero in Battle Against Psychopharmaceutical Industry”

Incarcerated kids drugged with antipsychotics

Evelyn Pringle

On October 1, 2010, John Kelly reported on an investigation by Youth Today that found atypical antipsychotics were prescribed to many incarcerated youths in juvenile facilities in the US without a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the only FDA-approved indications for use with juveniles.

A wide variety of diagnoses were listed for the prescribing of the drugs including general mood disorders, intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, PSTD and ADHD.

However, Kelly reports that critics believe most of these diagnoses are simply a cover for the fact that prisons now use drugs as a substitute for the banned physical restraints that were once used on juveniles who aggressively acted out.

“Fifty years ago, we were tying kids up with leather straps, but now that offends people, so instead we drug them,” Robert Jacobs, a former Florida psychologist and lawyer who now practices psychology in Australia, told Kelly.

“We cover it up with some justification that there is some medical reason, which there is not,” he said.

The atypical drugs include Bristol-Myer Squibb’s Abilify, Pfizer’s Geodon, Seroquel from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa, and Risperdal and Invega from Johnson & Johnson.

Youth Today has been working for over a year to find out how much money individual states have been spending on the drugs for incarcerated youth, and for what reason. Medicaid records would not contain the relevant information because federal Medicaid money cannot be used to fund medical care for anyone incarcerated for a crime, whether adult or juvenile, Kelly reports.

Because funds for medications prescribed to juvenile inmates must come from state sources, each state’s juvenile justice agency was asked how much was spent, in the most recent year available, on five drugs – Abilify, Geodon, Risperdal, Seroquel, and Zyprexa – and to provide the diagnosis listed for the prescriptions.

Only 14 states provided some information on the amount spent in either 2008 or 2009, with wide variations. For instance, New Jersey and Minnesota reported spending less than $100,000 a year, while Texas, Florida and Virginia each spent over $1 million.

Only five states were able to provide a comprehensive list of diagnoses along with the amounts. The total number of prescriptions for those five states combined was 5,299, with an off-label condition listed as the diagnosis for 3,709, or 70 percent.

In Texas, nearly 4,000 atypical prescriptions were written in 2008, for a total juvenile population in state facilities of between 1,600 and 1,900, with only 29 percent diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and no diagnosis listed for nearly 25 percent of the prescriptions.

Because Seroquel accounted for so many prescriptions with no diagnosis, Texas officials feared that it had become the “sleeping pill of choice” for agency clinicians, Kelly reports. Seroquel was prescribed 2,553 times in 2008, almost twice as often as the other four atypicals combined.

Open Letter to the Editor of Mothering Magazine – Re: “Beat The Baby Blues” by John Breeding and Amy Philo


Please see updates to this letter on the following blog posts:

To The Editor:

In May 2007 Mothering magazine published an article titled “Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis.” It featured the story of a woman who nursed while taking antipsychotic drugs but eventually found recovery through alternative means. The article also featured an excerpt from Kathleen Kendall-Tackett stating that Zyprexa was a good antipsychotic to use for breastfeeding moms who go psychotic.

This month (Sept/Oct 2010 edition of Mothering) the same article promoting Zyprexa to breastfeeding mothers is referenced at the end of the Kathleen Kendall-Tackett article on breastfeeding helping moms to “Beat the Baby Blues.” Adding insult to injury, you chose to publish a graphic encouraging the use of Wellbutrin, Paxil, and Zoloft for breastfeeding as though they are “compatible.” Based on what definition of compatible?

That breastfeeding helps alleviate depression, and co-sleeping helps prevent depression, is a wonderful topic for an article. We are very deeply concerned, however, about the misinformation regarding breastfeeding on psychotropic drugs! With all due respect to the admirable premise of the article, helping to encourage breastfeeding, it is a tragic mistake to encourage the notion that mothers can safely breastfeed while taking the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa—a drug that is well-documented to cause excessive sedation, diabetes, permanent neurological damage and high rates of death. Zyprexa is an extremely toxic and dangerous drug, and decidedly unsafe for babies.

After examining the literature critically we are sure that in 2007, the existing data, including one study cited by Thomas Hale as evidence of supposed safety which examined blood samples from only six babies, did not warrant a statement by anyone that Zyprexa is fine for nursing. As just one example of why it is still the case that Zyprexa cannot be considered safe for babies, consider a 2008 article by S. Gentile (J Clin Psychiatry, 2008; 69(4): 666-73.), “Infant safety with antipsychotic therapy in breast-feeding: a systematic review,” which specifically warns against using Zyprexa in breastfeeding mothers, stating, “The drug seems to be associated with an increased risk of inducing extrapyramidal reactions in the breast-fed babies.”

A vital omission for a magazine with such a critical eye on research is to forward any information based on studies, without mentioning that the research was conducted by people under Senate investigation for financial conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies.

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett has published other misleading statements in the past regarding antidepressant effectiveness. One example was a statement in an article on PPD alternatives in Leaven magazine, which claimed that antidepressants and exercise worked at relieving depression equally, when the actual study showed that by the end of the experiment, the medication groups relapsed while the exercise groups improved.

Presumably the editors of Mothering assume that mothers must be told to use antidepressants or antipsychotics because they cannot possibly be expected to get through the horrors of depression or psychosis without taking psychiatric drugs. The assumption is that babies will miss out if their mothers wean them. We think it is a regrettable mistake to ignore the immediate risk of death to the infant in favor of a hypothetical benefit from taking psychiatric drugs.

For a magazine such as Mothering to condone the use of drugs during breastfeeding that cause infants to develop serotonin syndrome, or vomit, aspirate, suffer seizures, slip into comas and die from various toxic reactions, and to ignore the other serious nonfatal risks of these drugs is unconscionable. The wide readership of breastfeeding advocates gives your magazine added responsibilities, and we urge you to reconsider your position.

Mothering has taken seriously the topics of the risks of medicated births, vaccines, circumcision, and even chemicals in toys. In almost every respect Mothering is satisfied with nothing less than perfection in the information conveyed which can affect the way that we raise our children. But we see a blind spot when it comes to the so-called experts that Mothering endorses on the topics of postpartum depression and psychosis.

We encourage the magazine to spend some time investigating the deaths of babies linked to psychiatric drugs and breastfeeding. If you refuse to address the issue honestly you will lose not only the trust of your readers, but credibility in the much larger community of critics and informed consent advocates.


John Breeding, PhD
Amy Philo