The Other Side of the Glass

Part One was officially released June 2013 in digital distribution format. To purchase to to If you were a donor and want to download your copy send an email to

The trailer

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Paxil and Celexa

The FDA approved the physician prescribed use of DES to prevent miscarriage years after it had been used "off-label" by physicians. It was another seven years before it was researched and found to not only be ineffective, but was detrimental for the unborn baby. It was prescribed for another decade or so before it gradually was seen as too dangerous to use. YEARS later, these babies were experiencing high rates of cancer. THIS is the pattern of evolving, advancing medical care that has helped to save the lives of many birthing women and babies; yes, but, what is the overall cost to our society? We have huge campaigns, the March of Dimes, Cancer Foundation, the Race for the Cure, etc., etc., etc. to find cures to many physical and psychological issues that might be best prevented by socially and medically demanding and supporting impeccable prenatal, labor, and birth experiences.

Now, we have the Celexa and Paxil research coming out that show us that a baby is twice as likely to have heart defects when the mother took these SSRI's (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitor) during pregnancy. And, like DES, it will be years before it is stopped. Meanwhile, the departments of children's cardiology and pulmonary and the early intervention system in every state will be fed amply. And obstetrics will openly fight the emerging wish of those craaaazy naturalist women to birth at home. These are the women, less likely to use drugs during gestation, who also want to also birth naturally, without drugs. One percent of the birthing population in the US births at home and one study, according to one doctor, with apparently poor sampling indicates babies born at home also are twice as likely to die, and there is an Internet uproar about it. A drug taken by millions of women shown to cause heart defects in equal incidence is ignored. I am shaking my head in disbelief.

Meanwhile, it's even worse!! Research is also showing that babies whose mothers took these SSRI's during pregnancy increase their baby's chance of a lung defect by SIX times. WHY is any woman allowed to use these drugs while pregnant now? Considering this, along with the research about epidurals and cesarean section surgical birth contributing to heart and lung issues during labor and birth, it is no wonder we have an epidemic of asthma in children. I was shocked when I enrolled my daughter in public school last year to see a one page/front and back form dealing ONLY with asthma. What the heck has happened in the last fifteen years?

Doctors dispensed these drugs because they believed it was safe for the baby? Who tells them and how do they know? Drug companies and the FDA, chief residents who learned from attendings. And, yet the drugs are not approved and are so not safe. Doctors frequently tell women, "Well, it hasn't been shown to cause problems." RED flag, ladies.

So serious is the severity and incidence of heart and lung damage to babies, that there is such a thing as a "Board Certified Celexa Lawyer. "(ttp:// Say WHAT !?!? And, yet the dispensing of these drugs to pregnant mothers continues today in 2007 and these women believe that they are safe because "the doctor says so" and they want it to be true, because hey, HELLOOOOO, they are already depressed women. Women diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorders, and anxiety and depression are not very good candidates for great decision-making. And, yeh, I'll be the one to say it, maybe not for mothering at this time. And seriously, who is really to blame here? Can the finger point to any one person -- doctor or woman?

I actually feel very sad for and defensive of practicing physicians and the double bind that they are in. First, they rely on the drug companies and young, slick drug reps to inform them about the drug (the furnish lunch and lots of office supplies and other big perks). Then, the drug companies advertise drugs for certain conditions so that the public comes in telling the trained physician what they need and want. It used to be that decades+ of grueling training prepared the physician to be the expert and diagnostician, not drug makers and the general public. Second, they are not only not taught up-to-date scientific truth about the body and healing, but they are taught to abhor those who do know it. Spirit magazine reports that it takes seventeen years for new research to find it's way into practice in medicine. Basically, sadly, because society heaps such responsibility and liability upon them ("Check with your doctor before you pass gas") physicians are held accountable. They are lacking some huge understandings and tools and given all the liability for others. Candace Pert, so aptly says in "Molecules of Emotion" that physicians in training learn on "dead hunks of meat", not the vibrant, energetic living flame that we really are. We are energetic beings --- it is scientific, not New Age woo-woo.

Interestingly, a new drug, which I unfortunately can't remember, is advertising that PAIN is the cause of depression. One article said that the average person goes to the physician nine times before it is depression that is diagnosed. This is consistent with what we know in the field of body-mind connection. But the approach to treatment (or healing or resolution as we refer to it) differs greatly.

Energy psychology and medicine are leading the way in treating pain and depression and every other malady and disorder that is currently drugged or chopped out. It works on the energetic, electric meridian system of the body, not taught in western medicine, so denied and vilified as quackery, New Age, or just plain evil and unscientific. The research shows otherwise.

Check out Emotional Freedom Techniques at You might think the claims sound too good to be true. I thought so too after earning college degrees to "help" people and was even insulted at the claims. A few years later I checked it out and it is absolutely true.

Other resources:

More about SSRI's Paxil and Celebrex and other forms of treating anxiety and depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (not shown to be helped by SSRI'S but prescribed none the less)


Rogers Market said...

Nice pages here. Great information. Will visit again and recommend.

Heather B said...

Thank you, I am glad to hear it as I was somewhat alarmed when I saw your comment on Dr. Amy's blog. I recommend you read through the comments on her most recent entries before recommending her site. We appreciate your stopping by and would love if you passed our link on!

K&M said...

Any advice or source you can point someone to in order to wean off the Celexa? My dr was more concerned about me having a depressive episode than helping me get off the 22 weeks pg and worried.

frumiousb said...

Something that I learned during my recent pregnancy is that doctors really have their hands tied when it comes to drugs in pregnancy. No drugs are tested on pregnant women, so no drugs are safe. There is no money for drugs and pregnant women, so virtually all medication for pregnancy is being used off-register. Our understanding of their effects is only in retrospect. When it comes to the pain killers, it is almost easy enough to say don't take them. However, when it comes to other conditions requiring medication, doctors are often forced to choose between an unknown and theoretical risk and the real risk of pregnancy loss. Unenviable.

Baby Keeper said...

I responded in private to K&M and wrote a post that promptly zipped off into the unknown -- such a bummer when that happens.

Frumiosb -- Absolutely -- it is unenviable, the responsibilty and lack of options, time restraints to research for one's self, and the media focus so that people self diagnosis and then want the drugs. And, it corresponds to this place we have come to where the body is no longer seen as capable of taking care of itself. And, there is a drug for everything.

Well, like, I notice now for any little need -- like I sneeze and someone has something to offer.
Or, my child has a fever and immediately multiple people have a tylenol to offer. I still believe that a fever means the body has detected a foreigner and is already "on the job" and that we use fever reducers only with a very high fever.

Doctors have to deal with a media information society now.

I agree that there are conditions which require medications even when pregnant. What I am leading into really addressing here is the consciousness of babies and the vulnerability of babies and their brains and how it impacts them for a life time. I am leading into addressing the need for serious responsibilty by all parties for how babies are affected and leading to the CONSCIOUS, or AWARE, or MINDFUL practices and use of medications for gestating, laboring, and birthing babies and newborns.

Medically necessary drugs and interventions can be done with awareness of their impact on the human baby, and there are skills for doing so -- that are not taught to nurses and doctors. My focus is really on supporting all parties. We adults know how it feels to have medical treatments by someone who is not conscious of us -- babies are no different, except that perhaps it is far more damaging that most would image, as it is part of their environmental experience that is wiring up the earliest of neural pathways -- those early ones upon which many roads will be built.

Thanks for posting.

Heather B said...

While we don't routinely test drugs on pregnant women, there are enough women with conditions so severe that they can only be managed with medication. It is our experience with those women, who MUST be medicated during pregnancy, that gives us some idea as to whether a drug is safe. We can see from what Janel has posted that the information available on Paxil and Celexa isn't too cheerful. However, there are drugs out there that may not have such severe effects. I have heard that Zoloft is generally considered safe for pregnant women, for example. The question is whether or not one can function without the medication and whether or not the risks outweigh the benefits. It really has to depend on the person. If a pregnant woman is so depressed that she is suicidal, she and her doctor may feel the risks of celexa are more acceptable than the chance that she will kill herself and thus end her baby's life, for example. We need to evaluate people on a case by case basis but at the same time taking into consideration what we know about the risks of the medications we hand out.

"Soft is the heart of a child. Do not harden it."

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren't always as rosy as we might think them to be. Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you. Here it's an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath. Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse. -- The mother who posted this YouTube. How NOT to wash a baby on YouTube Are you going to try to tell me that "babies don't remember?" There is no difference to this baby's experience and the imprinting of her nervous system/brain and one that is held and cleaned by the mother or father either at the hospital or at home? By the way, this is probably NOT the baby's first bath. The nurse is ungloved. Medical staff protocol is that they can't handle a baby ungloved until is has been bathed (scrubbed if you've seen it) because the baby is a BIO-HAZARD -- for them. Never mind that the bio-hazard IS the baby's first line of defense against hospital germs.

Missouri Senator Louden Speaks

Finally, A Birth Film for Fathers

Part One of the "The Other Side of the Glass: Finally, A Birth Film for and about Men" was released June, 2013.

Through presentation of the current research and stories of fathers, the routine use of interventions are questioned. How we protect and support the physiological need of the human newborn attachment sequence is the foundation for creating safe birth wherever birth happens.

Based on knowing that babies are sentient beings and the experience of birth is remembered in the body, mind, and soul, fathers are asked to research for themselves what is best for their partner and baby and to prepare to protect their baby.

The film is designed for midwives, doulas, and couples, particularly fathers to work with their caregivers. Doctors and nurses in the medical environment are asked to "be kind" to the laboring, birthing baby, and newborn. They are called to be accountable for doing what science has been so clear about for decades. The mother-baby relationship is core for life. Doctors and nurses and hospital caregivers and administrators are asked to create protocols that protect the mother-baby relationship.

Men are asked to join together to address the vagaries of the medical system that harm their partner, baby and self in the process of the most defining moments of their lives. Men are asked to begin to challenge the system BEFORE they even conceive babies as there is no way to be assured of being able to protect his loved ones once they are in the medical machine, the war zone, on the conveyor belt -- some of the ways that men describe their journey into fatherhood in the medicine culture.

Donors can email to get a digital copy.
Buy the film at

The film focuses on the male baby, his journey from the womb to the world and reveals healing and integrating the mother, father, and baby's wounded birth experience. The film is about the restoring of our families, society, and world through birthing loved, protected, and nurtured males (and females, of course). It's about empowering males to support the females to birth humanity safely, lovingly, and consciously.

Finally, a birth film for fathers.

What People Are Saying About the FIlm

Well, I finally had a chance to check out the trailer and .. wow! It's nice that they're acknowledging the father has more than just cursory rights (of course mom's rights are rarely acknowledged either) and it's great that they're bringing out the impact of the experience on the newborn, but I'm really impressed that they're not shying away from the political side.

They are rightly calling what happens in every American maternity unit, every day, by its rightful name - abuse. Abuse of the newborn, abuse of the parents and their rights, abuse of the supposedly sacrosanct ethical principal of patient autonomy and the medico-legal doctrine of informed consent, which has been long ago discarded in all but name. I love it!

In the immortal words of the "shrub", "bring it on!" This film needs to be shown and if I can help facilitate or promote it, let me know.

Father in Asheville, NC

OMG'ess, I just saw the trailer and am in tears. This is so needed. I watch over and over and over as fathers get swallowed in the fear of hospitals birth practice. I need a tool like this to help fathers see how very vital it is for them to protect their partner and baby. I am torn apart every time I see a father stand back and chew his knuckle while his wife is essentially assaulted or his baby is left to lie there screaming.
Please send me more info!!!!
Carrie Hankins
CD(DONA), CCCE, Aspiring Midwife

Thanks for sharing this. It was very touching to me. I thought of my brother-in-law standing on the other side of the glass when my sister had to have a C-section with her first child because the doctor was missing his golf date. I'll never forget his pacing back and forth and my realizing that he was already a father, even though he hadn't been allowed to be with his son yet.

Margaret, Columbia, MO

In case you don't find me here

Soon, I'll be back to heavy-duty editing and it will be quiet here again. I keep thinking this blog is winding down, and then it revives. It is so important to me.

I wish I'd kept a blog of my journey with this film this past 10 months. It's been amazing.

I have a new blog address for the film, and will keep a journal of simple reporting of the journey for the rest of the film.

I'll be heading east this week to meet with a group of men. I plan to post pictures and clips on the film blog.

I'll keep up here when I can -- when I learn something juicy, outrageous, or inspiring related to making birth safer for the birthing baby.

Review of the film

Most of us were born surrounded by people who had no clue about how aware and feeling we were. This trailer triggers a lot of emotions for people if they have not considered the baby's needs and were not considered as a baby. Most of us born in the US were not. The final film will include detailed and profound information about the science-based, cutting-edge therapies for healing birth trauma.

The full film will have the interviews of a wider spectrum of professionals and fathers, and will include a third birth, at home, where the caregivers do a necessary intervention, suctioning, while being conscious of the baby.

The final version will feature OBs, RNs, CNMs, LM, CPM, Doulas, childbirth educators, pre and perinatal psychologists and trauma healing therapists, physiologists, neurologists, speech therapists and lots and lots of fathers -- will hopefully be done in early 2009.

The final version will include the science needed to advocated for delayed cord clamping, and the science that shows when a baby needs to be suctioned and addresses other interventions. Experts in conscious parenting will teach how to be present with a sentient newborn in a conscious, gentle way -- especially when administering life-saving techniques.

The goal is to keep the baby in the mother's arms so that the baby gets all of his or her placental blood and to avoid unnecessary, violating, and abusive touch and interactions. When we do that, whether at home or hospital, with doctor or midwife, the birth is safe for the father. The "trick" for birthing men and women is how to make it happen in the hospital.

Birth Trauma Healing

Ani DeFranco Speaks About Her Homebirth

"Self-Evident" by Ani DeFranco

Patrick Houser at

Colin speaks out about interventions at birth