Take the BLUE PILL DOOCE….Please oh please, take the blue pill…


ORIGINAL POST (June 14th, 2009)

Written by Blogger Jenny Hatch

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.

My comment is found at the bottom of page one.  And I wrote quite a bit in the rest of the comment section.

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.

I said:

“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 Gingerwho 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 Armstrong 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.

Jenny Hatch

Editor in Chief of Blogging Mothers Magazine

The Paul Hatch Family in 2002 7 months pregnant with Ben

The Paul Hatch Family in 2002 7 months pregnant with Ben

Hatch Family 2011

Blue Pill/Red Pill reference from the Movie: The Matrix

UPDATE: July 1, 2009

It appears that Heather Armstrong is eating her doctor approved blue pilland 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…

ANTIDEPRESSANTS - pills, pills, and pillsANTIDEPRESSANTS – pills, pills, and 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.

Peter Breggin MD is an expert psychiatrist who has written the definitive books on Psychiatric Medications.

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.

Jenny Hatch

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…

Jenny Hatch

This Article was first Published on the Bitter Pill where Jenny Hatch is a guest Blogger

18 Responses

  1. Amy Philo says:

    Hey Jenny! Kudos to you for giving Heather over at Dooce a warning. I find it strange that anyone thinks she is an expert on anything. But the world is full of self-proclaimed experts these days.

    I sure hope her baby doesn’t have to suffer and that the baby is ok.

  2. Me too, I was just over at her blog and she has given birth to a beautiful baby girl. I don’t like cyber smacking women when I know they are just brainwashed and ignorant, but it did hurt to have her call us Freebirthers stupid, especially when I have spent so much time reading and researching these issues around birth and psychiatric care.

    I know most women will go on to have healthy babies even with anti-depressant use, but it pains me when I think of all the babes that are lost due to miscarriages, stillbirths, and death shortly after birth when Moms are taking anti-depressants, not to mention all of the horrifying side effects when the babe goes through de-tox.

    I just loved the language of Peter Breggin in that huff po piece. Here it the whole article:

    By Peter R. Breggin, M.D. and Ginger Breggin, http://www.breggin.com

    On June 28, 2007 more than 250 headlines around the world promised that SSRI antidepressants (such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Celexa) are safe for pregnant mothers and their developing babies. “Mom’s Antidepressant Use Poses Little Danger to Baby,” heralded the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Antidepressants pose low birth defect risk,” claimed Boston Globe. The New York Times ran with the Associated Press’s article titled “Antidepressants Not Big Risk for Defects.” The Wall Street Journal’s coverage was titled “Reassurance on Antidepressants in Pregnancy.” The day before the news stories broke, the Centers for Disease Control spun the news in advance with a press release headlined, “New Study Finds Few Risks of Birth Defects from Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy” (CDC Division of Media, 2007).

    The headlines and the CDC press release were incredibly misleading. In the CDC study, several severe birth defects were doubled or nearly tripled in frequency when SSRIs were taken in the first trimester. This combined with the other known toxic effects of SSRIs, including brain damage and dysfunction, make these drugs contraindicated in pregnancy.

    SSRI antidepressant use by pregnant mothers in the first trimester of pregnancy have been shown to have previously unidentified links to three birth defects in two new studies reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. One study was associated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Alwan et al., 2007) and the other with Boston University (Louik et al., 2007).

    The study led by Sura Alwan and colleagues involving the CDC showed the following: “Anencephaly–birth without a forebrain–showed a 2.4 times greater occurrence in women who had taken SSRIs in the first trimester.” This is a catastrophic, fatal birth defect that is not correctable.

    The study examined histories of 9622 cases of birth defects and 4092 controls who were infants born without birth defects. Some stillbirths (occurring at 20+ weeks gestation) were included but if anencephaly resulted in a spontaneous miscarriage or a planned abortion, these events would not appear in this study’s findings.

    Omphalocele–babies born with organs outside the body–was found to be present 2.8 times as often in the SSRI-treated mothers compared to the control group. Some media portrayed this birth defect as a small hernia of the umbilical cord–but severity of the condition varies, usually requires surgery as well as weeks to years of adapting, and can be life-threatening.

    Craniosynostosis–the premature closing of one or more sutures or fibrous joints knitting the bones of the infant’s skull–showed 2.5 times more prevalence in infants exposed in utero to SSRIs. This condition also varies in severity. It can be primarily a bone condition of the skull or it can be secondary to an underdeveloped brain in the infant.

    Craniosynostosis occurs in about four per 10,000 births according to the National Institutes of Health. A 2.8 times greater occurrence of this condition will cause 2,305 more U.S. babies to be born each year with this birth defect as a result of their mothers taking SSRIs in the first trimester of pregnancy.

    In the abstract to the report, the CDC study claimed that it found no association between SSRI use in pregnancy and heart defects in neonates. However, that’s not true. The study found that obese women who did not use SSRIs had an increased risk with heart defects and that obese women who did use SSRIs had an even greater risk of neonatal heart defects with an adjusted odds ratio of 5.9 (95% CI, 2.4-14.3)!

    The second study by Carol Louik and her colleagues did not find an overall correlation between SSRI use and the two defects, craniosynostosis and omphalocele. It did however find an association between sertraline (Zoloft) and both omphalocele and septal defects in the heart, and between paroxetine (Paxil) and right ventricular outflow tract obstruction defects of the heart.
    Louik made many statements to the press reassuring people, in effect, not to worry. She made no mention of other birth defects and neonatal problems associated with SSRI antidepressants. Her study had funding from two pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil (Seward, 2007), one of the most implicated antidepressants in regard to birth defects. The company’s money was well spent. Thanks in part to Louik’s highly publicized comments, headlines throughout the country played down the risk.

    Nor are these the only birth defects related to SSRI consumption during pregnancy. In December of 2005, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory warning that the risk of congenital malformation, especially of the heart, was increased by the consumption of Paxil in the first trimester of pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (2006) warned pregnant women to avoid taking Paxil and also showed concern about any antidepressant exposure during pregnancy. Yet the CDC and researchers are using the new studies to exonerate SSRIs. This is clearly an orchestrated attempt to reassure the public after the FDA’s and ACOG’s earlier warnings.

    The 2007 CDC study offers an illuminating discussion of other study findings concerning abnormal in utero development, including delayed ossification (bone development). “A specific role of serotonin in cardiac and craniofacial morphogenesis in the rodent embryo has also been established,” according to Alwan, et al. (2007) in the CDC study.

    Newborns also go through withdrawal when their mothers have taken antidepressants during pregnancy. One study found a rate of 30% in neonates exposed in utero to SSRIs (Levinson-Castiel et al., 2006). Withdrawal symptoms in infants reported in various studies include irritability, high-pitched or weak crying, tremors, poor muscle tone, disturbed sleep, rapid breathing and respiratory distress, and increased admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit.
    In addition, children exposed in utero to SSRIs have an increased risk of developing persistent pulmonary hypertension at birth. This disorder, which is estimated to occur in one or two infants for every 1000 live births, will occur six times more frequently in children exposed to SSRIs after the twentieth week of pregnancy. The disorder causes “significant morbidity and mortality” (Food and Drug Administration, 2006). These children have difficulty getting enough oxygen into their lungs. The two recent studies in the New England Journal of Medicine limited themselves to SSRI exposure during the first trimester; but the neonatal pulmonary hypertension studies show that some hazards will develop during exposure later in pregnancy. Again, the CDC and the researchers drew no attention to these hazards.

    Withdrawal reactions confirm further potentially disastrous consequences of SSRIs to neonates that the CDC and the researchers failed to consider in their reassuring statements. Withdrawal reactions confirm that the brain of the fetus has been bathed in SSRIs and that is has suffered significant functional changes. It should be no surprise that it is not good to bath the growing brain in toxic drugs like SSRIs. Serotonin is intimately involved in the development of the brain in utero and SSRIs inhibit normal brain cell development (Norrholm and Ouimet, 2000). It is also known that SSRIs cause myriad toxic effects on neurons in living animals, causing brain cells to grow abnormally (Wegerer et al., 1999; Kalia et al., 2000). Unavoidably, similar effects must be taking place in the human fetus exposed to SSRIs. In addition, the SSRIs cause drastic biochemical imbalances in the brain, many of them persistent or permanent. At present we have no way of measuring the harmful impact on the growing brain and the future mind of the fetus; but exposure to SSRIs is bound to be harmful in the long run.

    Also alarming is the Wall Street Journal report that antidepressant use during pregnancy has jumped from 5.7% in1999 to 13.4% in 2003 (Seward, 2007). The data was based on Medicaid patients and could be higher for the general population.

    The reassuring attitude promoted in the CDC’s press release flew in the face of evidence linking SSRI exposure during pregnancy to increased birth defects, and the additional evidence of SSRI toxicity in the developing brain. It proclaimed that the study “found no significant increase in the risks for the majority of birth defects assessed…” But I’ve never heard of any prescribed drug that increases birth defects “for the majority of birth defects.” The assertion was sheer nonsense, carefully calculated to mislead and obfuscate.

    Women and their doctors who only catch the headlines created by these studies are being grossly misled. SSRIs should never be used during pregnancy.

    Drug advocates, including the CDC, justify the use of SSRIs during pregnancy on the basis that depression has its own hazards. But these hazards pale in comparison to the upheaval that will befall new mothers, fathers and the extended families of the children who are born with profound birth defects.

    The worst hazards of depression in pregnancy are those of suicidality and, very rarely, infanticide. But the SSRIs are implicated in increasing the risks of both suicide and violence (Breggin, 2001, 2003; Breggin and Breggin, 1994). In fact, the new FDA labels for antidepressants specifically warn about SSRI-induced suicidality in youth and in young adults, the very group most likely to become pregnant (Food and Drug Administration, 2007). Now we know that the SSRIs not only threaten to cause the death of the mother through suicide but the death of the child as well through lethal birth defects.

    The CDC and other pro-drug authorities urge pregnant mothers to speak with their doctors about the risk/benefit ratio of taking SSRI antidepressants. But doctors will have read the headlines inspired by the CDC, and imagine there is little risk. Furthermore, few physicians realize that meta-analyses have shown that antidepressants work no better than placebo at lifting depression (Kirsch et al., 2002; Moncrieff and Kirsch, 2005). The risk/benefit ration weighs a placebo effect against increased parental suicide and violence, and babies with congenital defects, babies undergoing withdrawal reactions, and babies whose brains have been forever changed by being soaked in SSRIs during their development.

    There are many approaches to helping depressed people without resort to drugs (Breggin, 2001; Breggin and Breggin, 1994). Exercise has proven effective in alleviating depression. Therapy and counseling can also be very helpful, and in the case of pregnant women, family therapy involving the father of the child and other family members can be especially supportive. Pregnant mothers need to stay in touch with other mothers-to-be or to form an informal support group, and they need to plan ahead for as much emotional support as they can find for several months or more after giving birth. Anticipating help and support after the birth is one of the best antidotes to depression during the pregnancy.

    Given the casual attitudes displayed by the researchers and most of the media, it’s appropriate to conclude with a condolence letter found on the website of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (March of Dimes et al., 2006). The letter notes that there is no treatment for babies with anencephaly, that they will be lost early or late in pregnancy or die shortly after birth, a few days at the most. Addressed to parents who have a baby with anencephaly, the letter shows a heart-rending drawing of a flat-headed child with no forehead, and offers this emotional support:
    We are so saddened to hear that your baby has anencephaly. We know this is not easy for you and you may not know how to feel. That’s okay. Parents of babies with anencephaly feel shock, denial, grief, and even anger. It is all right to feel this way and no one will blame you.

    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.

    Thanks for all you are doing Amy to help defeat the Mothers Act. You are in a class by yourself!

    Love, Jen

    • Amy Philo says:

      I just read through the comments on her blog. Wow. A lot of people there like to jump to conclusions. My favorite part is when they told you you had no idea what depression is like. Um, ok!

      • Amy Philo says:

        Just checked out her page and she has a gorgeous girl. She said she had an unmedicated birth. She also said she is the happiest she has ever been in her life. It’s sad though that she is breastfeeding on Prozac, which is a drug that has been shown to cause coma and seizures and even Thomas Hale warns not to choose that one. I hope her baby remains ok.

  3. Amy,

    I think Thomas Hale is way too blase’ about using drugs while breastfeeding, so is Dr. Sears:http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/t029100.asp

    Mercola believes the drugs were tied to Andrea Yates murders of her five kids, so does Peter Breggin:http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2001/08/4/drowning.aspx

    And Ann Blake Tracy claims using our children as lab rats while pregnant and nursing is the next generations nightmare as the truth becomes evident. These poor children will never reach full genetic potential as their brains and bodies are stunted by toxins as they attempt to grow.


    It was ironic that some of the people posting said I knew nothing about emotional illness. I have researched pregnancy and post partum illness for over twenty years.

    Through all of my studies the absolute most powerful substances I have used to bring me to emotional balance has been Young Living Essential oils. I spend about a hundred bucks a month on them and they have been my key to emotional wellness.

    My favorite oils are Peace and Calming, Joy, White Angelica, and Brain Power.

    My brain functions better than ever since I discovered these oils in 1996.

    God Bless the Mothers and guide their paths. So many are on a path to destruction and disability, it is mind boggling to consider the numbers.


    • Amy Philo says:

      I’ve spent a fair amount of time over the past few weeks researching antidepressants and breastfeeding, focused on Zoloft and Paxil, which Zachary Stowe has written about extensively, which Thomas Hale has quoted. I sent a summary of my early findings to a reporter, and after I get it all better organized I am going to update the momsandmeds site / BREATH blog with new info. But any mom who is researching this should know that her doctor likely does not have the first clue about the reports of somnolence & sedation/ SIDS / seizures / epilepsy / developmental delay, hypoglycemia etc. that are being submitted to MedWatch. In fact I just realized I don’t think I ever made a MedWatch report. Here are some of my initial findings on a search of MedWatch data:http://momsandmeds.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/breastmilkexposure/

      (Zoloft has been the recommended drug for a while but now they are paying Stowe through GSK to promote Paxil – so a lot of moms are taking that now too.)

      For what it’s worth I think if Thomas Hale had access to the MedWatch reports a lot more doctors would not be prescribing this crap to nursing moms. He does mention any time there is a report of somnolence / sedation. However he is very pro-antidepressant in his attitude. If only he understood how dangerous they really are, he would not be pushing them so hard.

    • Jen, I love using essential oils too (and want to learn more about them.) I am familiar with Young Living’s. Good for you to speak out about them!
      Hopefully one day people will wake up and take some responsibility.

  4. Sheri,

    I just surfed around your blog a little bit and really enjoyed reading some of your information about menopause.

    One of the things I learned as my husband and I researched essential oils intensively for ten years is that many people who were into alternative healing eventually moved to essential oils because they are so concentrated in effectiveness. I met all these herbalists and healers who had used dried herbs for years who claimed that they could accomplish in one hour or day the same healing miracle that had taken weeks or even months with a dried product.

    This is the concentrating power of essential oils and because they are able to move through the blood brain barrier, they are absolutely perfect for elevating my emotions when I am down.

    It has been fun to use them these past thirteen years since I discovered Young Living. But I was educated enough 21 years ago that I took some Jasmine oil on my honeymoon, so it has been a long journey for me.



    • Jenny, not sure why I wrote Jen. (above) Thanks for looking around the blog. That is very interesting about the essential oils. I always heard they are very powerful but that really shows how powerful. Did you take training from Y.L? Or just learned on your own? My sis used to be involved with Y.L.

      • We traveled to Utah several times for Young Living conventions, and during the early years we spent every spare dollar on books, videos, training sessions, workshops, and OILS to learn how to utilize them in our home.

        The children are to the point where they know exactly what oils to use for the daily issues, and we have had some really fun healing experiences. The oils have saved my life several times.


  5. Angela says:

    I am the mother of 8 children with #9 due in August. I had an epidural and demeral with my 1st baby. He had to be vacuum extracted and I had an episiotomy. We had internal monitoring, a scalp infection from the monitor, I could go on. In any case, I started researching things and since then I have had unmedicated natural births. All of my children have been exclusively breastfed and weaned between 18 months and 3 years. My 2 year old was born at home in a beautiful waterbirth with a wonderful midwife in attendance. We are planning a similar birth for this baby. I am also a fan of YLEO. I also happen to be bipolar. I take an SSRI every day, even during pregnancy and breastfeeding. All of my children are happy, healthy and intelligent. I would love to try using just EO but unfortunately insurance doesn’t cover them and there is simply no way we can fit it into our budget. I have enjoyed reading your blog for a long time now, primarily because of the things we have in common(homebirth, pro-life, YLEO). I don’t like reading mean spirited anti-homebirth blogs because I feel judged. However, I feel even worse when when I read a blog that I normally am so comfortable with. I can’t help but wonder if you would also tell a pregnant mom who has diabetes to stop taking her insulin? Or a mom with chronic high blood pressure to stop her life saving meds? Also if you did decide to inform her of the possible alternatives to her medications would you also feel compelled to tell her that she is “poisoning her baby”? I personally choose to have a midwife at my births but I am not going to blog about someone else’s choice in a negative way. I don’t really see the difference between the negative, judgmental blogging about freebirthers and the negative, judgmental blogging about mom’s who choose to take an SSRI (or other medications for that matter). And I have to agree that it seems as though you don’t really have empathy or even compassion for what it is like to live through and with mental illness. There is a vast difference between reading about mental illness and experiencing it. I also am curious as to whether you have researched the effects on babies of untreated mental illness in pregnant and breastfeeding moms? I think it is great that you have had such good fortune using YLEO and I can certainly understand your wanting to share your experiences with other moms. However, I would think that if you have experienced mental illness yourself that you would be more compassionate and understanding. And please try to remember that not everyone can afford to spend an extra $100 a month. Some of us are having to choose between our power being shut off and feeding our kids.

    • Amy Philo says:


      Did you bother to read the post, or any of the comments? Both Jenny Hatch and I are psychiatric survivors, so your claim that we don’t know what it’s like to live with “mental illness” is way off base.

      If you choose to take an SSRI during pregnancy and breastfeeding we cannot stop you. But just as you call yourself pro-life and consider it your business if another mom wants to have an abortion, we consider it our business to relay information to the public about MedWatch reports on the risks of toxic psychotropic drugs for unborn and nursing babies as well as for the mothers themselves. Perhaps you think it would be better if all women didn’t have any access to information about risks and alternatives? Perhaps the only information that should be allowed to be posted would be that which goes through an approval process by a committee of women taking SSRIs during pregnancy who choose to continue despite the risks? That way we could make sure not to offend anyone and minimize hurt feelings…

      On the contrary, nothing hurts as much as losing your own baby or your spouse or mother.

      You can call us judgmental as much as you want. I think you are being judgmental towards us but I really don’t care. I would much rather someone who does care about getting information get that information, and save their child’s life, than see more babies like Indiana and Matthew die from Effexor poisoning, or babies like Manie born with Paxil heart defects, or people like me get poisoned with drugs that can make them kill their kids.

      I survived my experience with Zoloft and I hope you and your family survive your experience with your SSRI.

      I also don’t consider it cost effective like you do to use a drug that can cause so many long term problems like heart damage, diabetes, and PPH in adults.

      Nobody is forcing you to read the blog.

  6. Angela,

    Our goal with this Bitter Pill Blog is to share the truth with the people who read it.

    I chose to use my sarcastic and inflammatory style of blogging with this post because I wanted to jolt the mothers who were reading. (Typically I only use this style of writing when I am talking about the medical profession and certain politicians).

    Every word of this post was thoughtfully and prayerfully put together in order to shake up those who read it, especially Heather Armstrong, who is such a popular blogger with a huge following of mothers who read her stuff every day.

    When I was taking all of my psychiatric meds, my brain was no numbed I had a hard time keeping my thoughts together. It was not until I fully came off the drugs that I was able to look back and realize how truly messed up my brain was by the psychiatric drug use.

    I understand the financial issues involved in choosing Alternative Healing vs. Insurance covered drug and surgical interventions; it is a topic my husband and I have struggled with and fought over for most of our marriage. No easy answers for any of us.

    I struggled to know where to draw the line with my rhetoric in this post, knowing how many, many wonderful mothers like yourself are taking psychiatric meds while pregnant and nursing.

    I decided to post this entry at my Natural Family Blog to share it with my regular readers, and it sounds like you are one of those I was most concerned about offending.

    As for the costs to the family if a mother is left untreated by psychiatric meds while suffering from bi-polar symptoms. This also is something that has been a personal struggle of mine for many years. While I have chosen to remain drug free, I have NOT remained symptom free.

    And this is something that I understand with every cell in my body.

    I have continued to suffer with Depression, Mania, and Anxiety for the past eighteen years. To say that because I stopped the drugs all of my psychiatric problems just magically disappeared would be to project a lie.

    I have attempted to be honest about these struggles in my books and on my blog.

    Fact is, I had a panic attack yesterday at work, came home, told Paul I could not do it anymore and quit my job all within a one hour span.

    I had been working at a local Chick fil A restaurant part time to help pay the bills.

    So yes, these issues are all still very much a part of my life – financial, emotional, and physical.

    When I panic, I break out in hives all over my body and I have to retreat to my room and lie in the fetal position for a couple of hours. No amount of oils, alternative healing remedies, and/or prayer can take it away. Sometimes we just have emotions raging through our bodies that we have no control over. It is just something I have learned to cope with, without the drugs.

    I don’t have any easy answers to any of this, but I do believe that all mothers deserve to know if drug companies are manipulating and fudging study results, paying off politicians and researchers, and then lying about what the studies say in the press when they are trying to make these most important health care decisions for themselves and their families.

    If writing about that in a sarcastic way smacks of mean spirited blogging, I’ll own it. I’m a bitch with or without Zoloft raging through my system.

    I’m compassionate and understanding, so understanding, that I want to yell from the rooftops, “DON’T let them poison your child while in the womb or while you are breastfeeding.” The truth is NOT unkind…..

    Living a comfortable fiction is…


  7. […] by Jenny Hatch Natural Family BlogDooce’s baby is getting so cute, I almost feel bad that I said she might be brain damaged by her Mom eating antidepressants while pregnant. Categories: Psychiatric Frauds | Trackback URL Leave a Reply Click here to cancel […]

  8. […] The Bitter Pill […]

  9. Annie says:

    This blog is judgmental and dangerous. What about the effects of a mental illness that is untreated on a fetus and baby. Your claims are just ignorant. Get a life and stop judging everyone else. There’s nothing wrong with ANYONE’S medically supported choice. Want to have your baby at home? Great. Want it in a hospital? Great. If you’re aiming to get anywhere with this blog, other than conservative and judgmental viewers like yourself, maybe try being a little more compassionate and stop using FEAR to scare people into thinking you know all the answers. “toxic poison”…come on. Really?

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