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Originally published August 19 2004

Antidepressant drugs found to cause birth complications

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

A new warning is being issued about pregnant women taking antidepressant drugs. It turns out that taking such drugs during late pregnancy puts the health of their babies at risk and leads to birth complications that may require prolonged hospitalization, breathing support, and tube feeding. This warning applies to all SSRI drugs, or what's called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, which include drugs like Prozac and other popular antidepressants. The warning comes from Health Canada, and is a latest in a series of warnings being publicized about the dangers of taking prescription drugs.

Of course, informed readers already know that prescription drugs pose significant health hazards to human beings, but when they are taken by pregnant women, they pose an even greater hazard because they effect the health of two human beings. The health of an unborn baby is significantly impaired by the consumption of both prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs, not to mention alcohol, smoking, and the consumption of processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup, white flour, or refined sugar.

The untold part of all of this is the rather shocking realization that doctors are actually prescribing antidepressant drugs to pregnant women. That's because there is no FDA warning about antidepressants and pregnant women in the United States. It's not surprising, since the FDA is typically very slow to issue warnings about prescription drugs, even as Canada, the UK, and other countries are quick to publicize such warnings in order to protect the health of the public.

Interestingly, one of the common defenses about this link between antidepressant drugs and birth complications is that there is also a risk to the fetus if a pregnant woman remains depressed. Some people are saying that it's worth giving depressed expectant mothers antidepressant drugs because it's a greater health danger for the pregnant mother to remain depressed. This is absurd, since antidepressant drugs don't actually improve the mental health of anyone in the first place. Even the clinical trials involving antidepressants have been distorted and selectively chosen to shed good light on SSRIs, but as we are now learning, these drugs actually promote violent behavior and can cause people to commit suicide.

(One of the little-known facts about antidepressant drugs is that those students who committed the Columbine school massacre several years ago were taking SSRI antidepressant drugs, and it may have been one of the factors that caused them to pick up automatic weapons and murder their classmates.)

Are these the kinds of drugs we want to be giving pregnant women? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to help educate women about why they might be feeling down in the first place, due to their dietary imbalances and their nutritional deficiencies, and then help them alleviate those at the core? Wouldn't it make more sense to use natural methods that actually support and enhance the health of unborn children as well as the health of their mothers?

Frankly, what pregnant women need in terms of battling depression is the same thing that every adult needs, and that is natural sunshine touching their skin on a regular basis. That's because most adults suffer from chronic vitamin D deficiency, and they either need sunlight or regular cod liver oil supplements in order to get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Pregnant women also need to avoid all environmental toxins in their food, drinks, and lifestyle habits. That means, of course, no alcohol whatsoever, no cigarette smoking, and absolutely no consumption of over-the-counter drugs, which are extremely toxic and by last count, responsible for at least 40,000 deaths each year just from painkillers alone.

Remember, these over-the-counter drugs are not necessarily safe or even mild, even though they can be purchased without a prescription. They are powerful, biochemically active chemical substances that kill human beings, that compromise the function and health of the human liver, and that pass through the bloodstream into the body of an unborn child. So, when a mother is taking over-the-counter painkillers, she's effectively dosing her child with those same toxic drugs.

At the same time, mothers need to avoid all toxic food additives and metabolic disruptors such as MSG, sodium nitrite, and food additives like artificial colors. She also needs to avoid hydrogenated oils and refined carbohydrates such as high-fructose corn syrup, white flour, white sugar, sucrose, and other similar substances.

In other words, a pregnant woman should have the highest level of responsibility to control her intake of dietary and lifestyle substances, and yet, in the United States today, I regularly see pregnant women smoking, drinking, and doing things that should potentially be considered criminal, such as drinking alcohol and taking ibuprofen at the same time -- which of course creates a highly toxic chemical cocktail that damages the liver of both the mother and the unborn child. It's one thing for a woman to compromise her own individual health in any way she chooses, and I'm all for freedom of choice and allowing people to eat what they want, but it's entirely different when a mother is destroying the health of her child. In the case of pregnancy, I think women need to be held to a higher standard, and in this country we need a program of education and support to help pregnant women get better nutrition and a better understanding of what is required to raise a healthy child.

Specifically, I think society should pay for nutritional supplements for pregnant women, meaning that those supplements would be available free of charge to any woman of childbearing age. Yes, it would be expensive, but it would be far cheaper than giving birth to another generation of health-compromised babies who are prone to learning disabilities, diabetes, and birth defects (among other disorders). Prevention is dirt cheap compared to the cost of treating disease, and prevention starts with the mother.


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