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So many women face wrenching decisions about using medication during their pregnancies. Now, federal officials are finally inviting them to tell their stories. And they’re not holding back:

“I was on Zoloft for many years before I became pregnant with my first. Both my psychiatrist and OB/GYN would not give me an answer about if I should continue to take it.”

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  • Health lifestyles that combine sensible eating with regular physical activity increase your quality of life. Overweight or obesity increases your risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, arthritis, and breathing problems. Proper weight is key to health and a long life. For adults and children, different methods are used to find out if weight is about right for height. If you have concerns about your child’s body size, talk with your physician.
    more information at

    • Ms. Women,

      Although I agree with most of what you’ve written. Being obese is one of the factors. As you getting older it is good to have sustainable fat, not obesity. A well around diet, because at > 65yr you at a higher risk of any disease, EX: Flu, peumonia, bacterial infections, immune diseases, not only heart diseases. Being old increase the likelyhood of diseases therefore; being sick decreases you weight gain due to a lot of factors therefore; having a little weight (not obesity) will help the body/ the immunity to be robust.

  • The European Union voted to end use of dental amalgam fillings in pregnant and nursing moms and children under 15 years of old as of July 1st due to its 50% mercury content, which off-gasses with heat and abrasion. It has already been banned in much of Scandinavia and Japan.

    Why is it not even raised as a health issue in the United States? Could it be due to the power of the American Dental Association, whose affiliates held patents on it as recently as 1995, and that has gag clauses in its Code of Ethics regarding a product on which this professional association has fundamental conflicts of interest?

    It is time for the FDA to heed the concerns of its two expert dental products panels, and comply with federal court rulings to warn the public and parents of potential side effects, health risks and contraindications – as it requires manufacturers to warn dentists. Children and adults with fairly common genetic methylation variants are at greater risk of harm, as mercury bioaccumulates over time when it is not excreted.

    Unfortunately, dental work to remove or replace amalgams raises mercury exposure even further. Biological dentists have special training and equipment that go way beyond a dental dam and high speed water drill to remove it safely when medically indicated. Add dental amalgam to the list of FDA approved drugs and medical devicces that mothers need be be concerned about regarding health impacts.

  • Pregnant women and healthcare providers have easy access to a free/confidential local information service that will gather all the available data for them and help them interpret it: Mother-to-Baby Massachusetts serves caller from most New England states and can be reached via phone (800-322-5014), text (855-999-3525) or email ( Callers can ask questions about medications, home/workplace chemicals, non-prescribed substances, herbal supplements, etc. The response is based on up-to-date databases and is in straightforward language. Mother-to-BabyMA is funded locally by The Genesis Foundation for Children and is a member of OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Specialists), a national group providing similar services to callers around the country.

  • Great article. Did you know about the many efforts and databases that are available to help women and heath professionals provide information about pregnancy and drug risk? As one example, a group at the University of Washington with a database called TERIS is working with a business in Michigan in an NIH (through CDC) funded project to make such data available on mobile devices. The press release, @, has more information.

  • Over the last few decades, I have had a variety of side effects from a variety of prescriptions that I thought were perfectly safe as they were FDA approved, until I learned they were not “right for me.”

    Unless it was an antibiotic for an infection, or for a life threatening condition such as excessive bleeding, I would not take it. So many things pass through the placenta to the developing fetus, whose nervous system and developing brain are exquisitely sensitive to substances foreign to their nascent immune systems. Hormonal changes also influence mothers’ need and response to medications.

    Rather than RCTs, set up registries in which pregnant women who do or did take prescription medications are invited to report through the convenient MedWatcher app, and track and compare them with data from women who did not take such Rx. I think this is the only ethical approach given the potential lifetime risk of harm.

    In addition, women should refrain from dental amalgam restorations during pregnancy. Europe is banning dental amalgam placement in pregnant women and children under 15 starting July 1, 2018, as there is definitive proof mercury from amalgams travels through the placenta and in breast milk and concentrates in fetal organs, in animal and human studies. Much of Scandinavia and Japan have already banned them altogether, and other nations are phasing them out.

    Given the rising rates of allergies, ADD/ADHD, autism, diabetes, obesity, rashes, and other health challenges among U.S. children, it is clear that gut microbiota are changing, and immune, metabolic and neurological disorders are rising. The last thing we need is to increase exposure to wild cards among fetuses and young children, as happened in the past with thalidomide, DES, and acrodynia/Pink’s disease.

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