Peggy O’Mara’s Response to Letter to the Editor of Mothering Magazine

Following the email on November 23 from Peggy O’Mara which stated:

We have not recommended Zyprexa in any of our articles.

I wrote Peggy a reply the same day. Her reply to me follows that on December 20. Since she has asked that I share it with everyone I am posting both here for your benefit so that her reply will be in context. I apologize for the delay – I have been extremely busy the past three weeks and out of town, etc. Our letter to the editor (a revised version) is being considered for the March/April edition of Mothering magazine.

On 23 Nov, 2010, at 11:31 PM, Amy Philo wrote:
Dear Peggy,Thank you for responding to this letter to the editor from another activist. Did you receive the letter that John Breeding and I sent you several weeks ago? After we received no response we published it as an open letter. I did see the letter published in this month’s issue which refers readers to Katherine Stone’s Postpartum Progress and claims that nothing short of medication can help PPD. Perhaps you are still considering publishing further, more accurate information for your readers.

I could have misremembered the use of the term Zyprexa from your article and inserted it in my mind into the excerpt which tells moms to use antipsychotic drugs and continue breastfeeding in 2007. If that is the case I apologize.  I recently gave away my copy of that month’s issue before seeing your September / October article which promotes antidepressants to breastfeeding mothers, so if I am mistaken then that is my fault for getting rid of your magazine before your September edition came out, which necessitated another letter.

I would be happy to clarify the Zyprexa issue in our letter to the editor and modify it to say simply that your magazine recommended the use of “antipsychotic drugs” if it’s true that the word Zyprexa or Olanzapine has not been mentioned in any Mothering articles / posts as a choice that moms should consider.

I do remember after reading your 2007 article, going to Thomas Hale’s website and looking for any studies relating to antipsychotics and discovering that he was recommending Zyprexa on the basis of a study of the blood of six babies.

I gave my copy of your May 2007 article to a friend at a speech I gave in April so I don’t have the hard copy. However this is what I found online regarding the information that you forwarded on antipsychotics. 

These quotes below are from the excerpt that was included with the “Losing It” article from 2007 (I guess you may have had another title like “Overcoming Postpartum Psychosis” or “Victory Over Postpartum Psychosis” or something to that effect on the cover.)

Here is the Losing It article where Sarah Fields from Postpartum Support International writes about how she was on antipsychotics while breastfeeding and refers readers to Thomas Hale.

“Self-Care: According to Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, postpartum depression can be eased by use of an “adjunct treatment to help the body heal itself, but not necessarily as primary treatment. With psychosis, medications are necessary to stabilize symptoms. After that, adjunct treatments can help prevent another episode. That would be the safest course.”8

Kendall-Tackett encourages mothers who want to continue breastfeeding to do so, even through a psychotic episode. To facilitate breastfeeding, she advises: “Mothers need a supportive environment, where mom and the baby can stay together but the baby is safe. Mothers and their care providers also need to know about which medications are compatible with breastfeeding.” The best resource for that is Dr. Thomas W. Hale’s book, Medications and Mothers’ Milk.9”

Continue reading “Peggy O’Mara’s Response to Letter to the Editor of Mothering Magazine”

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.

Motherhood is Not a Mental Illness: Bremner on TIME

(Note: I encourage everyone to send a letter of thanks to TIME and Catherine Elton at

In this post from yesterday on Before You Take That Pill, which Philip Dawdy picked up over at Furious Seasons, Emory researcher and psychiatrist Dr. Doug Bremner writes about The MOTHERS Act in response to TIME magazine’s article, “The Melancholy of Motherhood: Should All Moms Be Screened for Postpartum Depression?”

“[T]o screen all moms as if giving birth is a risk factor for depression is ridiculous. And whenever you start screening the general population, you get into problems with over-identification of people and an increase in the number of people that go on antidepressants.”

He continues:

In the case of Melanie Blocker-Stokes, she had already been treated with multiple courses of psychotropic drugs and electro-convulsive therapy, so there is no reason to think that her life would have been saved by “screening.” This legislation is typical of much that comes out of an individual tragedy, that results in an intrusion into the personal lives of individuals and the further relinqueshment of individual freedoms to the government.

The article quotes psychiatrist Katherine Wisner MD as stating ”how can you be opposed to something that will help mothers?” But an examination of the fine print from one of her articles here shows that she is on speakers bureaus for Pfizer and Lilly, makers of Zoloft and Prozac, respectively.

Catherine Elton did a fantastic job of showing both sides in a fair light. She tells the truth about the treatment given to Melanie Stokes, about my experience with Zoloft, and about screening. But this does not sit well with people who make a living marketing disorders to the public. Later on down the page in the comments section of Dr. Bremner’s blog, I get accused of paranoia and of being mentally ill by a woman named Gina Pera, whom I’d never heard of, and she also says that people like me shouldn’t get to have a say in what happens to our country:

We cannot make public-policy decisions based on the stories of people who have been diagnosed with mental health disorders and treated for them.

Sorry, but it’s true. Many mental health disorders limit objectivity, so these people are just not the best judges of what has been done to them and why. They can have their stories and they can share them. But we can’t make policy on this kind of hearsay and paranoia.

Okay, I’ve had enough of the anti-medication, anti-psychiatry, don’t-control-me crowd. It’s bad for my brain, and it seems to be swelling in ranks on the Internet. Good luck making your way in the dismal future that you are creating for others who could use — and would appreciate — legitimate psychiatric help, well administered.

OK, would she say the same for those advocating for The MOTHERS Act who are currently both diagnosed with a mental illness and taking drugs – that their experiences don’t get to count because they were diagnosed mentally ill? Or does mental illness magically disappear and the slate is wiped clean because you start taking drugs? If so, then I was never “mentally ill” because I was fine before Zoloft and apparently being on drugs makes you “sane” or eligible to participate in public debate. I expected to see comments from the folks from PSI but I guess I didn’t think about the fact that simply by opposing The MOTHERS Act in TIME Magazine, I would get to encounter disease mongerers for all of the DSM (“adult ADHD” anyone?) who go as far as attacking informed consent in order to defend all drugging schemes that they hear about.

Apparently I am “creating a dismal future” for our country just by telling my story? Sorry, U.S.A. That’s just my paranoia and selfishness you’re feeling from afar, when you think about your future and your mental health – it has nothing to do with your life situations.  Is there an anti-future-creation drug yet available? Maybe they should inject me with it. Thanks, Gina for a good laugh.

TIME Magazine’s piece on The MOTHERS Act is sure to draw a lot of people with varying levels of pro-pharma bias, and many anti-pharma survivors into this debate. But most importantly, people who would otherwise never think twice if their doctor hands them a prescription for psych drugs will see this article and perhaps be saved because of it. I can only hope that when people read the print version they will decide to get online and google me or The MOTHERS Act so that they can get some more warnings before accepting a diagnosis and meds. Information is the least people deserve.

Katherine Stone and her pro-drug friends from Postpartum Support International were not pleased with the TIME article. They’ve worked themseleves into a tizzy issuing an open letter attempting to discredit Catherine Elton’s piece. And to think I was upset because the print version had an error about me. If I were Catherine Elton I would be more than a little annoyed by the pathetic whining coming to my inbox complaining that I didn’t write the article the way the drug industry front groups had hoped.

They’ve really got their panties in a wad. Apparently telling my story in TIME is a “disservice” to the country, and they “skip facts” when stating that there is dissent about this issue.

Nevermind the fact that between 2004 and 2008 FDA MedWatch collected 1,031 reports of miscarriages, abortions, and other prenatal and neonatal deaths caused by psychotropic drugs. Nevermind the 4,154 cases of suicidal depression reported to MedWatch for Psychotropic drugs from 2004-2006, along with 2,911 Attempted suicides, 4,260 completed suicides, 2,452 other deaths not from suicide, 434 cases of Homicidal Ideation, 195 Homicides, and 1,098 cases of Mania.

An anti-information campaign letter posted on a blog of a woman who worked for Cohn & Wolfe (a PR firm employed by pharma) with 43 signatures, including that of George Parnham (attorney for Andrea Yates), who advocates with PSI for lesser sentences for infanticide, should somehow top the 53 groups, 12,588 petition signatures, and 2,311 members of the Facebook Coalition against the bill? Why? Because they proclaimed themselves the final authority and followed up their names with long titles.

I’m betting PSI would love it if nobody ever wrote about The MOTHERS Act without running it through them first. Do they speak for all psychologists? All psychiatrists? As evidenced by the post on Dr. Bremner’s blog, Dr. Grace Jackson’s work, Dr. David Healy’s work, and the activism of Dr. Michael Zampardi, Dr. John Breeding, Dr. Peter Breggin, and the ICSPP, as well as countless other psychologists, midwives, doctors, psychiatrists, and mothers selflessly working to educate the public about the risks of psychotropic drugs or to prevent this dagnerous Act from becoming Law, I think not.

Without referring to me by name, Katherine and her co-signators say that they feel bad about my story – which they believe is a rare adverse event.

“We are terribly sorry about the experience of the one mother quoted in your article, which happens on rare occasions, but we believe that the MOTHERS Act would actually go a long way to prevent what happened to her.”

Not that I want half-hearted “sympathy” from people who can’t bring themselves to speak my name, but thank you for the apology. I can only wonder if they also feel guilty for all the “rare” moms out there who are suffering because of medication, since their letter gushes about how great screening and medication are.

“As Time reported in June, the National Academies fully endorses screening for parental depression and believes it is crucial, while also emphasizing that screening is not helpful unless there is effective follow up and treatment tied to it.”

[emphasis mine]

In case you didn’t notice, Katherine stone now emphasizes and refers to screening for parental depression rather than perinatal depression, and makes a point that treatment must follow screening.

I wonder when they’ll apologize about all the dead and injured babies they have helped to drug? Perhaps not unless and until the media pays attention to their stories as well.

As I wrote in my letter to the editor of TIME, which I will share later in a separate post, anyone who wants more information should email me and I can refer you to the FDA MedWatch Adverse Event Reports to help you get all the facts.

In the comments below the “Time Magazine Skips Facts” nonsense on Postpartum Progress, this is what AbleChild had to say:

Ablechild said…
Thank God for Time Magazine, I understand the “Expert” that was quoted in the article has ties to the drug companies. Considering the Subjective Nature and the lack of an accurate test, I find it interesting that you all would get so upset about people who would actually oppose the Mother’s Act.

Well you can count our organization into the camp that opposes such a far reaching grasp of parental rights! Great Going Time Magazine! It is about time the underdogs reeived a fair hearing! Informed Consent consists of all the information, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Why not promote all the deaths associated with your proposed mental health treatments. Andrea Yates was treated and look at what she did to her kids! Stop Promoting Misleading and dangerous treatments. With great respect for human rights and free will of man!

Don’t forget to send a letter of thanks to TIME. Honest journalism is most definitely not dead.

Stay tuned.

ABC Prevents Mothers From Learning About Antidepressant Risks During Pregnancy

Today I posted the following comment on a story about Heather Armstrong, a blogger who earns about $40,000 per month for her blogging coming from advertising. She writes about her mental illness treatment and uses scathing language in her posts. Anyway, my mom saw an interview with her talking about her use of antidepressants and she was 6 months pregnant during the interview. My mom’s comment was removed within a few minutes, so I decided to post one of my own. It was removed within 30 minutes. Here is what I said.

It’s very interesting to note that my mother posted a comment on this story which was subsequently removed within a few hours. This was what she said, “I am disappointed to learn that Heather is taking antidepressants during her pregnancy. She and you should watch a video about an “Effexor baby” who died at 6 weeks of age. The link is:
There are many others.”

Very interesting indeed considering that Birdie Meyer, President of “Postpartum Support International” works with ABC’s General Hospital to formulate a story line in which Dr. Robin has PPD and “reaches out for help.” Also interesting considering Katherine Stone, board member of PSI, wrote the PSA that directs viewers to contact PSI for help. Stone’s blog, Postpartum Progress, promotes the use of antidepressants during pregnancy. Katherine Stone also has received money funelled from Pfizer through Mental Health America to compensate her for speaking on Perinatal Mood Disorders and their treatment.

Does ABC intend to censor information that could save babies from possible death?
Please go to my website for more information.

I am very disappointed that you would choose to remove my mom’s comment, and I find it not only irresponsible but insulting. How dare you prevent other mothers from learning the truth and possibly saving their babies.

Mental Health America Funnels Pfizer Dollars to Katherine Stone

I am willing to bet that Kat Stone preferred Diet Coke… A PR specialist indeed. It takes a really good one to pass off The MOTHERS Act as helpful…

Now as for MHA, a notorious pHARMa front group, and how they push drugs on moms…

Referencing the June 8, 2008 Mental Health America Georgia e-news

Investigative reporter, Evelyn Pringle reports that Mental Health America of Georgia is now offering a free one-hour “lunch & learn” called “Project Healthy Moms: What You Need To Know About Perinatal Mood Disorders,” according to the group’s June 8, 2008 e-news letter.

This special hour of learning is made possible by a grant from Pfizer,” the newsletter notes.

Pringle points out that Pfizer markets the drugs, Zoloft and the atypical antipsychotic Geodon, widely prescribed in many instances off-label, for all the “mood” and “anxiety” disorders being sold to the public via the MOTHERS Act.

The Perinatal Mood series will be presented by Katherine Stone, “former postpartum OCD sufferer and author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum mood disorders. (Postpartum Progress was named one of the top ten depression sites on the web in 2007),” e-news notes.

“Stone also serves on the board of directors of Postpartum Support International, the world’s largest nonprofit organization supporting women with these illnesses,” the newsletter states.

According to e-news, Stone had five gigs scheduled at that time, Pringle reports.

If interested in scheduling a lunch & learn, the newsletter tells people to contact Stone directly by email at or by phone at 678- 764-2141.

“These events are aimed at educating practitioners and the general public throughout Georgia about prevention of and treatment for such illnesses as ante partum depression, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety/OCD and postpartum psychosis,” the newsletter says.

“More than 800,000 women each year in the U.S. suffer from these devastating illnesses, which, if not properly treated, can have a long-term negative impact on the health of both mothers and their children and families,” it reports in identifying the customer base obviously targeted.

E-news claims attendees of Stone’s presentation will learn:

  • “One size does NOT fit all: Why postpartum depression is just part of a spectrum of mood disorders women may experience & what to look for”
  • “The wide variety of risk factors for perinatal mood disorders”
  • “Results of the latest research on these illnesses and their impact on mothers and children”
  • “Various treatment options — therapy, medication, alternative treatments”
  • “What you should know about cultural differences when it comes to postpartum mood disorders”
  • “Tools and resources available for healthcare providers”

Stone also has herself out for hire on LinkedIn. The lead off-sales pitch reads:

“Talented, award-winning marketing and PR professional returning to the workforce after brief sabbatical as full-time mom. Background includes six years creating and executing great ideas in the corporate marketing department of The Coca-Cola Company, in addition to six years managing successful public relations campaigns for such brands as Coca-Cola and AT&T.”

“Skills include experiential marketing concept development, brand positioning, marketing strategy, social networking, and public relations campaign development and execution,” she writes.

“Used break from full-time employment to become an expert at social media, creating most widely-read blog in the U.S. in her niche,” Stone reports in refererence to her Postpartum Progress blog.

At the end she writes a paragraph on her days as a agent for the Cohen & Wolf public relations firm and states:

“Prior to Coca-Cola, she was an account supervisor at the Y&R PR firm Cohn & Wolfe, where she developed PR campaigns for the Coca-Cola USA account, and also managed the account team handling media relations for the AT&T Global Olympic Village during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta .”