I need to vent.
I feel like, when a woman gets pregnant, people come out of the woodwork to tell you what you should be doing.
Don’t drink caffeine*.
You’re not supposed to eat lunch meat**.
Are you sure you should be working out?***
It really butters my biscuits when people come up to me and tell me what they think I ought to be doing. But it infuriates me to no end when I see the media adding to this culture of fear.
Where is this coming from? I’ll tell you.
Tonight on NBC Nightly News (with Lester Holt, because B.W. got the sack) they led with a story that had the headline: Pregnant Women Who Take Anti-Depressants More Likely to Have a Child With Autism (or something to that effect).
Now, I have a degree in journalism and one of the things we learned was how to write a news story. One of the things I will never forget is Dr. Clark hammering into our skulls that the most important info comes first.
However, during this story, all I heard for more than the first half was: “Anti-depressants will absolutely make your child have autism. Stop taking them!”
It wasn’t until the story was almost over that a medical expert came on and said, “Mothers don’t need to worry. The study shows that it [a mother taking anti-depressants while pregnant] only increases the chances of having a child with autism by half of a percent.”
Half of a percent. That’s it.
But I guarantee you that many women only heard, “Anti-depressants will cause your child to have autism no matter what.”
I would hope Dr. Clark would tell the writers at NBC News that the information relayed by the medical professional would be in the lead of the story. I believe THAT is the most important information. Not scaring women who probably need those anti-depressants into going off their medication before speaking with their doctors. After all, to quote Frozen, “People make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed…”
I guess I’m getting so worked up about this because I firmly believe that many people need those anti-depressants and its a bigger risk to encourage someone to go off of them rather than stay on a medication that they KNOW works****. And it also irritates me when the media adds to this culture of fear. Don’t they know that pregnant women are already freaking out about EVERYTHING?! This is why I have adopted the mentality of, “I’ll go by what my doctor tells me and the rest of you can bite me.” Its a great mindset to have.
So that’s my rant for the day.
*My doctor told me to limit my caffeine to either two cups of regular coffee or two sodas a day. I’m sensitive to caffeine, so that’s really all I need. For you it may be different. But talk to your doctor first before doing anything crazy.
** I was told by my nurse to have the folks at Subway (or any other sandwich place) to heat up my sandwich. If I make it at home, I don’t need to worry about it. She said (and I quote), “When you go out for a sandwich, have them heat it up. Just because I’m not sure if those teenagers behind the counter are making sure the meats are kept at an acceptable cooling level. When you buy it from the store, you keep it in your fridge, so you’re fine.” Different doctors may have differing opinions, so talk to yours.
***I worked out about 3-5 times a week pre-pregnancy. Its totally okay for me to continue to workout. If I get tired or start to cramp, I should stop and rest. And I absolutely need to drink as much water as I can. It may be different for you. Talk with your doc.
****I’ve been on Zoloft since having Huff the Tot. I suffered from anxiety and depression for years pre-baby and the natural ebb and flow of hormones made post-partum depression tough for me. I’ve been on Zoloft ever since and my doctor said that it is perfectly safe for me to continue (especially since I tried to go off of it prior to getting pregnant and it was AWFUL). Your situation may be different than mine, so talk to your doctor before switching or stopping medications.
(See what all of those had in common? TALK. TO. YOUR. DOCTOR.)