“People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” This proverb repeated in my head while I read the comments to an article I was interviewed for in Yahoo Parenting this past January on the use of medication in pregnancy opens in a new window. I remain sickened by the viciousness of the anonymous attacks on pregnant women with mental illness made in the comments section of that article.
The article accurately reviewed the controversies surrounding use of SSRIs in pregnancy and appropriately explored the various studies that have recently made headlines. The writer, Beth Greenfield, eloquently wrote of the choices a woman must make if she is struggling with mental illness in pregnancy. The piece was strongly supportive of the fundamental belief that mom and baby are bound rather than adversaries: ‘healthy mom, healthy baby.’
I read the piece with hope that it would inform and provide some solace to women suffering from depression and anxiety in pregnancy that they could and should seek treatment.
However, I was dismayed and frankly outraged to read many of the misinformed, ruthless comments. Rather than supporting the moms I was so hoping would benefit from this article, these commentators were nasty and judgmental, completely missing the point of the article. I choose to think these heartless responses come from ignorance of the true risks of untreated maternal mental illness. As such, I have begun writing a three part series to be published shortly on my HuffPost blog, MD for Moms opens in a new window on the risks of untreated depression and/or anxiety in pregnancy – part one will focus on the risks to mom, part two on the risks to baby, and part three on treatment options.
I hope you will read these upcoming articles and begin to appreciate (if you didn’t already) the importance of maternal mental health and wellness: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.