Happy Mom's Day
for the love of yarn

two-fer at Salon

So that you don't have to watch the ad more than once -- two good things to investigate at Salon this a.m.

First, Ayelet Waldman on drugs (SSRIs, silly) during pregnancy. A new study by a British journal indicated that newborns can go through a mild withdrawal after delivery if the mother is on certain anti-depressants, most notably, Paxil. As if depressed moms didn't have enough to feel guilty about...

My take? I'm still taking Zoloft and will do so until they pry it from my cold, dead hands, which is more likely to occur prematurely if I stopped taking it right now. Is it doing damage to the unborn Nemo? Maybe. But would spinning into a major depression also do some damage? Maybe, again. I wish the answers were clear. I also with I looked like Heidi Klum. Life is tough.

Second, my idol Anne Lamott takes on her mom, who died a few years back. It's an interesting piece. Not one that knocks my socks off, but still better than most of what I've read this month.

An excerpt:

For 35 years now, since I was 16 and Ms. magazine first came out, other girls and women have been telling me their deepest secrets and truths, and we have been laughing ourselves sick -- or, rather, well -- over this stuff. I learned that women could stand up to anyone, and that it was OK to be angry, and that, in fact, if you were over 13 and had been raised in America and were not furious, there was something wrong. So I had gotten to be really angry along the way, but my mother hadn't gotten to be. She stuffed it, she ate at it, and it ate at her and ultimately made her crazy. As a child, I was dependent on someone who was always on the verge of implosion.


But assuming the mother is breastfeeding (don't even get me started on that one) the baby would still be getting small traces of the drug anyways. It mightn;t be at the same amount as it was in-utero, but likely enough that it would lessen the withdrawal.

I would think so, too. And I also think this study is yet another in a long line of research that makes people panic at things that are statistically unlikely and/or minor inconveniences rather than tragedies. Other examples that leap to mind -- most sexually assaulted kids will be assaulted by someone in their immediate family, rather than by a complete stranger or the sex offender who lives down the streeet. Yet all of the angst seems to be directed at the outside chancce that a random assault could occur, rather than at the assaults that we know will occur. Now I'm not saying that one should put her kid on the front lawn of a known sex crime committer with a big neon arrow pointing at her vulnerability, but I am saying that the risk is miniscule compared to what the statistics really tell us.

Which isn't to say that it's a good idea to smoke crack while pregnant, just that the problem of minute amounts of SSRIs passing to the fetus are a minor problem, especially when compared to the much larger problems of smoking crack or cigarettes or drinking gallons of wine a day when pregnant. It just seems like we're focussed on the wrong thing, you know?

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